Pamela Johnson

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When did you start barrel racing? I grew up in a small town about an hour from Dallas called Whitney. I have 9 brothers and sisters so I did not have a horse of my very own until I married. I started barrel racing shortly after that in 1993. Before that I was working two full time jobs as an OR nurse.

Are you involved in any other equine events? I wish I had time to learn to jump, but I barely have time for barrels. My barrel racing career has had many setbacks : numerous injuries, complicated pregnancies and now 16 month old twins. But I have some very nice horses now and look forward to coming on strong in 2003.

What was the name of your favorite horse and tell us a little about it. My favorite horse to date was my beautiful red roan mare, “Honors Native Lady” She was by Jet Of Honor out of a Lady Bugs’s Moon mare. She was a real eye catcher .We were just beginning to click again after coming back from injuries that her symptoms of EPM began to show.. I had to put her down on Labor Day 2001.

What are some of the events that you have won (or races that stand out in your mind)? The last race I ran on “Honors Native Lady” in Abilene is the race that stands out in my mind. She came in to the arena so hard that the crowd sucked in their breath as she inhaled the first barrel. I can hear it on my video. It felt great! I did not win but I made it back to the finals.

What is do you think of an equal pay out 4d? I feel that the 3-D,4-D was a great economical boost for the horse industry and any other industry associated with barrel racing. For example, You  can’t even get in some parking lots due to all the LQ trailers out there. That is big money being spent, by not just your pro racers.

As a 2-D or 3-D rider, I always enjoy getting a check from an equal money show. But I do feel the faster horses deserve more of the purse. I just am glad to be able to compete against them and win money at the other levels.

If your not a professional barrel racer what do you do for a living? I am a registered nurse, but choose to run a boarding stable for my living. My medical expertise has come in handy many times though with the horses.

Who is your favorite barrel racer or barrel racers? I have gone to several clinics and workshops put on by professional barrel racers. I have taken something away with me from each of them. I am impressed by any one who can be one of the top 15 to go to the NFR. I am also impressed by names that come up time and time again in the futurity circuit. If I were to name names I think I would have to say that Troy Crumrine is the most impressive. I do not know him personally, but I would love to spend time and learn secrets from a man who can win so much on so many horses year after year.

Do you have any advice for anyone just starting out in barrel racing? I think you need to form good riding habits early on. Study your videos, because they don’t lie. Bad habits are hard to break, so try not to form them in the first place.

Do you think barrel racing should be limited to women only? I think anyone should be allowed to compete in barrel racing- like in track, you run faster in a faster heat. In barrels, I like to match my time with the best out there, be it man woman or child.