- Robert Rodriguez comes from a family in which all were riders. That is, except for his mother. His father roped calves. His mother was the one who hauled him when he was a little kid.
“I Have Been running barrels since I was a little kid, I started off borrowing one of my sisters horses when I was about 8. I Took it away from her because she had quit and started chasing boys, and I had started chasing Barrels.
His first experience was in Playday. He remembers the first trainer he worked for, Marcheta Garrett.”That’s where I first started learning a little finesse about training horses instead of just Ky Yahing.”
Some of my favorite wins came from my home town, Houston livestock show and rodeo. I won Houston 2 different years; The Jrs. one year and The Srs. the Next year. The first year I won it I was on a horse I trained and raised myself, which was the best experience for me. I won the Phoenix futurity in 94 and I won a big Grand National barrel race in Italy which was really neat. It was a four country barrel race that was on a soccer field. It was a 2 week long show; they had an Appaloosa show, a Paint horse show, a Quarter Horse show and then they had a huge combined barrel race. There were 200+ horses there and that was probably my most favorite barrel race.
- Asked about his experiences in Europe Robert relates that the racers there are mostly men as opposed to the ratio in the states. He says the Italian men lag in their experience level but are really eager to learn. They do things a little differently than we do, they have groups/teams from each ranch that went from ranch to ranch to the shows, it was a lot of fun. The countryside he visited was gorgeous but the ground was a little treacherous. The Italians are innovative, though; they plowed the middle of a cornfield and left the outside of the field standing as a arena fence. It was pretty scary but all in all it was pretty neat. Another time they raced on a soccer field where they had just scratched the ground and there was still some grass on the field. That turned out to be a pretty cool experience too. It was just beautiful over there and the people were real willing. The first year I went the interpreter was a bit difficult, the way she interpreted didn’t really go with the horsemanship part of learning. The 2nd time was a lot better, I learned more Italian so that made it a lot easier.
Robert currently works on a ranch called the Happy Hour in Stephenville, Texas. The ranch is in progress and after a year and a half Robert says there are still a couple of years of work left to get things in working order. This will be the first year he will have a few colts to work with from the ranch and he is very excited about it. He’ll take some outside horses but not many, he wants to concentrate on the Colts at the Ranch.
To see some of the barrel races Robert won money in click here.
Update: Robert has passed away. He was loved by many and remembered by all who knew him.