Pat Classen

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Where are you from? Born and raised in San Antonio, TX. We moved around some but I am happy to be a hill country girl. I love to visit other places but love Texas.

When did you start barrel racing? In the Show de O’s, are now called Play Days, when I was in high school.

Are you involved in any other equine events? I love to calf rope.

Who or What got you started barrel racing? I babysat Pat Reynolds, as a little girl for Mickey (Doyle) Robauch, to have the chance to go to a few rodeos. Mickey put me on my first really good barrel horse. Scooter.

What was the name of your favorite horse and tell us a little about it. I have had a lot of nice horses. Drifter was probably my favorite. He was only about 14.2 hands but he had a heart as big as a house. He was out of a Driftwood Ike bred mare that my husband use to rope on. His sire was Mr. Bar Traveler, a well know barrel horse producer in my part of the country. He won me 2 OTRCA championships and one reserve. Assorted buckles and saddles. I got my WPRA card because of him. His consistency won me lots of checks but not any championship in the WPRA.

What are some of the events that you have won (or races that stand out in your mind)? I won a big barrel race at the San Antonio Rose Palace once that really stands out in my mind. I won a buckle for one thing but it was on a new horse that I’d only been riding about a month. I remember it so well because this horse kept trying to buck me off before the barrel race. Not knowing him very well I didn’t know what to expect. When I made my run I just through caution to the wind and let her ripe. I remind myself of this run and others like it to remind myself that you have to just go for it, no matter what, to win.

Over the years have you noticed any changes in barrel racing what are the good or bad you’ve seen? Oh I think it is all good. The 4D’s are great, the equal money in the WPRA. The new ground machinery is making the ground safer for horse and rider. Some of the Pro Rodeos haven’t changed there ground yet, but all are trying to get there. The money that is flowing into the sport of barrel racing is a huge, change. I love it all, and forsee it growing even more in the coming years.

What is do you think of an equal pay out 4d? I have mixed feeling because when I have a great open horse I feel I should win the most. On the other hand when I am hauling some youngsters in the trailer, I think the equal pay out is great. What it all comes down to is, I read all posted the rules and regulations of the barrel race. If I don’t like it, I don’t go. Now a days we have that choice. There are so many places to go.

Do you think of yourself as a professional barrel racer? Yes, I have a pro card, and have excepted money to ride and teach.

If your not a professional barrel racer what do you do for a living? We are ranchers, I oil paint, and do a little bit of everything.

Who is your favorite barrel racer or barrel racers? Thats a big question, I have great admiration for Charmayne James, her ability and focus are incredible. I think Kristie Peterson’s style and consistence runs on Bozo are remarkable. Her manner of presenting herself to the public, is just how I want to be when I grow up. HA! Kay Blandford’s style and intensity will get her a check every time. Janet Stover’s ability is staggering. How many of us could adapt and win an event like the NFR on a loner horse. He is a great horse, but were talking the NFR here. I could go on and on. I love to watch Martha Wright ride. He hands and feet a seemingly quite while she rides many horses consistently to the pay window. Martha Josey and R.E. have done so much for the industry you can not pass them buy. Her winning past record, speaks for itself. Then the foundation of the sport Wanda Bush. Need I say more.

Do you have any advice for anyone just starting out in barrel racing? Learn your basics, develop your own style, learn everything you can about maintaining the health of your horse. There is lots out there to pick and choose from, Videos, books, schools. If you like to work with a teacher, find one that you click with. Personalities some times clash, don’t let that discourage you. Remember that others opinions and words are just that, just one persons belief. Believe in self, and strive to be the best you can be only comparing self to self.

Do you think barrel racing should be limited to women only? Of course not.