Courtney McCown

Where are you from? Kountze, Texas

When did you start barrel racing? When I was about 9 I got my first horse.

Are you involved in any other equine events? I breakaway rope, tie goats, cut, and run poles.

Who or What got you started barrel racing? A friend of mine from school could never go to our soccer games, or play basketball because she ALWAYS had a rodeo. At that time I just couldn’t imagine what was more important than playing soccer or basketball. So one weekend she was like just come with me to the rodeo and you’ll see, its fun!!! I said well ok. So I got up at the crack of dawn and went with her to the rodeo. I have never had so much fun in my life. And of course, there was guys there and just tons to do. So the next time Christmas rolled around mom and dad wanted to know what I wanted….well it was A HORSE!! So that’s how I got interested and started barrel racing.

On the road things sometimes happen. Do you have an unusual or funny story? Well we were on our way to Gonzales, Texas for a TYRA rodeo, when me and my parents were discussing what truck I was getting to take off to college. Mom says well your probably going to get my truck, which is a reddish F350 4×4 4 door. I was like oh mom your truck is a piece of junk, its falling apart…she said Courtney don’t say that…it has gotten us everywhere we’ve needed to go and its a very good truck. Well I think it was as little as 15 minutes down the road we heard a huge BANG…and if you could only imagine.. our turbo charger went out!!! Wow! It was not pretty site. Every time we would come to a stop we would blow smoke out the pipe and this poor old man on his scooter was gone!!! He was no where to be seen. He was covered in our smoke. Dad said that next thing he knew we’d be getting sued for killin the poor old man of smoke!! It was terrible, and then we finally pulled up to the rodeo and everyone was staring…oh i was so embarrassed!!

What was the name of your favorite horse and tell us a little about it. Flash. He was my very first horse ever! He knew nothing about barrels, like me and we basically learned together. He has taught me the appreciation of having a nice horse. He has been hurt and yes ive had to lease other horses, and no its not easy or fun getting on something else and having to ride differently and change your ways. But, he is mainly a “one person” horse has a very distinct personality!! He doesn’t like men either. My dad can barely get around him, his ears shoot straight back and he starts lunging at you!! But to me he ahs taught me everything I know and has won me numerous awards!!

What are some of the events that you have won (or races that stand out in your mind)? I was the 2003 Region V Rookie All Around Cowgirl, 2004 Region V All Around Cowgirl, DJYRA Reserve All Around Champion, and I have qualified for the THSRA State Finals for 3 years.

Over the years have you noticed any changes in barrel racing what are the good or bad you’ve seen? the good or bad ones you’ve seen? I have noticed the barrel racing changing from 3D’s to 4D’s, and now im noticing the 4D’s changing to 5D’s. These really aren’t bad things, but who knows what’s going to change next.

What is do you think of an equal pay out 4d? I do not agree with equal payout. I do not think it is right or fair for a winner of the 4D to win just as much as the winner of the 1D. Totally different caliber of horse, and it should be a totally different amount won.

Do you think of yourself as a professional barrel racer? No.

If your not a professional barrel racer what do you do for a living? I am a 17 years old and am home schooled through Texas Tech Extended Studies and we travel all the time to High School Rodeos and youth rodeos all over Texas.

Who is your favorite barrel racer or barrel racers? I am a huge fan of Kelli Kaminski. I really look up to her knowing how she became what she is today. Her bio on is very exciting and interesting to read. I really think she has what it takes, and of course she has proven it, but I think she is a huge role model to younger kids out there who doesnt have the lugsery of purchasing that $40,000 horse. She really shows you dont have to have that horse to win. Its all in you heart.

Do you have any advice for anyone just starting out in barrel racing? Set your goals high. Be determined. PRACTICE makes PERFECT 🙂

Do you think barrel racing should be limited to women only? Yes I do.