Where are you from? I was born in Albuquerque, NM and raised in the entire state. I went to 27 different schools from 1-12 because my Dad worked road construction. Almost always had a horse along in a pen we learned to build in about an hour.
When did you start barrel racing? When I was 3. I rode a Thoroughbred mare off the track that my parents raised and ran. I had to run in the 5-6 year class because there wasn’t a younger division. I still have the trophy that says 1st place!!!
Are you involved in any other equine events? I used to play cowboy polo. I played either goalie or 2nd guard. It was a blast, but could be very dangerous. Got hit in the chest a lot so I started wearing a bull riding vest to keep me protected. I was one of the first to start wearing a vest, but it caught on quickly.
When we lived in NM, and Paula was still in high school, I sat on the board for the NM High School Rodeo Association. I served as Barrel Director for a year, Pole Bending Director for one year, Cutting Director for one year and was the State Secy for 2 years.
Who or What got you started barrel racing? We were members of the Mountain Mustang Association. A little family association in the mountains east of Albuq. We did all the fun things like flag racing, cowhide race, barrels, saddle bronc and steer riding to name a few. Things were different back then, we didn’t think about how dangerous something could be, we just thought about how much fun it was! I won so much in barrels off that big Thoroughbred mare, it just naturally got into my blood.
On the road things sometimes happen. Do you have an unusual or funny story? I don’t know if this is an actual “road” story but it did happen on the road: My daughter, Paula, and I were going to a barrel race with her new horse. Just as we took a shortcut down a side road, he started kicking the trailer and bouncing it all around, so I pulled over to see what was going on. When I opened the window to see what was happening, he tried to come out! I managed to slam the door shut. At the same time Paula was opening the back door. He turned around (inside the stall!) fell down, crawled under the divider and busted out past her in a flash! (There was a swarm of wasps in side.) Then took off down the road home. While Paula was shutting the back door to the trailer, I ran to the truck started it and turned around to go get the horse. There was Paula standing by the side of the road!! I had forgotten her! I told her to just jump on the side of the trailer because we could see the horse just standing up the road a little way. As I started toward him, he took off down a very busy highway. I stepped on it and turned onto the highway, gaining speed on him. Uh, Paula. Yes, there she was, hanging on to the trailer for dear life!!! A nice couple had parked their car in the middle of the highway and had turned Budget into the back part of a business. He was caught and all was well. HOWEVER, Paula has never let me forget that the next time she will get in the truck no matter what I say!!
What was the name of your favorite horse and tell us a little about it. As a kid, we lived on the race track quit a bit. We always had Thoroughbreds and Quarter horses. So, when I could finally choose my own horse for my own reason, I bought my first Paint horse. His name was Robin the Train, and I called him Bandit. What a great horse! He would stand at the end of the arena watching the other horses run the pattern and sway his body around each barrel! Then perk up his ears and puff until they stopped at the gate. He ran with every horse! He was so much in love with barrels, that one time when I dropped his rein at the first, he completely finished the pattern without me guiding him. (The rein was tangled in his mane.) We won 2nd!!!
What are some of the events that you have won (or races that stand out in your mind)? The big paint gelding that I ride now, My Little Speed Racer, is the 2007 APHA World Champion in Jr. Barrels. I thought that I had been disqualified for some reason, so when they announced Speedy as the winner, I was very shocked. Very emotional and exciting.
Over the years have you noticed any changes in barrel racing what are the good or bad you’ve seen? Of course, the greatest thing to come along for jackpots is the divisional system. It is responsible for growing barrel racing into what it is today
What is do you think of an equal pay out 4d? Now you are just trying to get me into trouble!!! I have to say that the 1D horses should get the most money. It is just right, they are the fastest, the mark we are trying to attain.
Do you think of yourself as a professional barrel racer? No. Just being a member of WPRA and running at the Pro Rodeos does not make someone a professional barrel racer. Although one could make a great living with as much money being paid in Rodeo today.
If your not a professional barrel racer what do you do for a living? I am not in the league with Kassie Mowrey, Kay Blandford, Sheri Cervi, Ember Stewart, etc. Not even close. But, I do own a business that breeds, raises and trains APHA barrel horses. (Catmore Farms, Inc.)
Who is your favorite barrel racer or barrel racers? I admire Martha Wright for all that she stands for and does. She sits a horse like she was born there. Her training and patience are to be admired. Ember Stewart and Lana Givens are also two women that come to mind for their talents.
Do you have any advice for anyone just starting out in barrel racing? Don’t over mount yourself. Be patient, it will come.
Do you think barrel racing should be limited to women only? Of course not. But, with that said, the rodeos belong to the WPRA.
To view some of the events Katy has won money in click here