Where are you from? I am from Houston, Texas originally, I have lived in Azle, Texas, northwest of Fort Worth since 1977.
When did you start barrel racing? I started barrel racing as a young teen. I had a friend who had horses and started barrel racing. I loved horses, loved to ride and my parents could not afford for me to have a horse so I spent a lot of time with my friend, Martha Sims (Marty, where are you?). She had a horse that was soured (reared over in alley) and I asked Martha’s parents if I could straighten this horse out could I use him to compete. They allowed me to do so. That is the good news about the bad news. My parents did not support me in barrel racing as many do, so I got out there and rode everyone’s rednecks in order to ride. As a result I believe I am very talented in fixing horses with problems.
Are you involved in any other equine events? I really like to pole bend. I also like to breakaway rope. I believe horses need several events so they keep a good mind.
On the road sometimes things happen do you have an usual or funny story? A few years ago Peyton Raney and I were going to alot of pro rodeos. She was so good at entering and keeping track of things I turned all of that over to her. Soooo we loaded up and went to Lufkin to ride in the slack. We got up early that morning, fed, cleaned up and put on our long sleeve shirts, hats, etc, and went to look at the draw. As we walked to the arena we commented, boy, no one is hear yet!!! Then Peyton asks me, is today Tues or Wed? When was the slack? I commented, I have no idea, I left it up to you! We were there one day too early! We were so embarrassed and we didn’t want the stock contractor crew to see us so we snuck back to the truck thru the livestock pens (bulls and broncs) back to the camper to change clothes!
What was the name of your favorite horse and tell us a little about it. I guess right now. I have a 5 year old mare, Peppermint Flit. She is a God thing for me as I really did not want a baby. Rebecca Lockhart, founder of the APHA, enductee of the Cowgirl Hall of Fame, is a friend of mine. She called me telling me I really should have this yearling and that she never let her fillies go but she wanted me to have her. My trainer, good friend, Bob Ruffin, said she was papered awesome. I believe she will far surpass HOT SHOT!
UPDATE 8/25/04- Peppermint finished 3rd in the 2003 Regional Standings, 38th in the nation, and 29th in the Barrel Futurity of America standings. She helped me to finish 6th in the Regional Standings (Texas) as a futurity rider and 52nd in the nation. She continues to prove her abilities as an awesome barrel horse and just gets better and better. I am very proud of her. What are some of the events that you have won (or races that stand out in your mind)? I have qualified for the NBHA World show for the last four years. I have made it to the short go 3 years and won money in the short go the last two years. I have won Reserve Champion in the Los Colinos Futurity in 2000. I recently placed in the non-pro in the BFA Progressive Barrel Futurity, Ada, Oklahoma and in the Speedhorse Silver Cup in Tulsa, OK. Some of the things I attribute to my success are Omelene 200, Necessity with Glucosamine (Thanxs Preston), Ruffin Training Station, Kathy Brown-Wes, Williams-Gene White and all the DVM’s who have helped me with health problems. Also thanks to Peyton Raney who sponsors me with Advocare to which I attribute my recent weight loss.
Over the years have you noticed any changes in barrel racing what are the good or bad you’ve seen? I have seen barrel racing grow in numbers. I believe I have seen more Christian like attitude at races as well. More patriotism.
What is do you think of an equal pay out 4d? The equal payout is OK. It depends, if I am running a 1 D horse I don’t like equal payout, if I am running 2D, 3D, or 4D I usually think it is great :-). It does help the beginners and allows less experienced riders to receive payouts as well.
Do you think of yourself as a professional barrel racer? Yes, I have won money at all levels, amateur, pro, and futurity. I consider myself a Professional at life, business, and barrel racing.
If your not a professional barrel racer what do you do for a living? At present I run a Property Management Company out of my home and manage 41 rental units. This gives me the ability to work at home and ride and have a barrel horse business as well. I hope to someday drop the Management Company.
Who is your favorite barrel racer or barrel racers? I have several favorites. First of all my good friend Peyton Raney. I admire her for what she did with Hot Shot. I first met her at age 16 or 17 when she was bringing Hot Shot over to the house to rope off of. He was no easy candidate so don’t ever underestimate what it took to make him the champion he is today. Other favorites are Martha Wright, Kelly Kaminski, Tammy Key, Kelly Bruner, Charmayne James, lots of good friends and I guess many many more I haven’t listed.
Do you have any advice for anyone just starting out in barrel racing? My advice would be to go for your dream. Push thru the walls of fear. Never learn too much and think you know it all. Always be teachable. STAY COMMITTEDDo you think barrel racing should be limited to women only? Barrel Racing should be allowed to anyone who is willing to climb aboard and go down the alley!!!!!!!!!