Where are you from? I was born in Killeen, Tx. and grew up in Lampasas.When did you start barrel racing?other was still riding 2 to 3 weeks before I was born, so I probably could get by with saying “before I was born”. I won my first trophy on my mothers mare ‘Peppy Lyn’ at the age of 4. I am definitely a “second generation barrel racer” and horsewoman!
Are you involved in any other equine events? My mother ‘Lavinia‘ toted me all over Texas, La and Ms. We did Jr Rodeos, horse shows, Quarter horse shows and barrel races. I vaguely recall mother putting me on Peppy Lyn and sticking me in a cutting one time, Whoa! I was sure glad when that mare finally stopped! That old mare could do anything. Of course, that mare came out of an era where they had to ROM in stuff to even be registered. I believe she was ROM in Barrels, Reining and Cutting (have to check with mother on that one).
I have a Bachelor of Science in Equine Reproduction and Management and that led me to working on breeding farms in the 80’s. I started at Oklahoma Stud in Purcell, Ok back in the days when they stood Victory Stride. That was a really interesting time in the equine industry. I galloped race horses from the age of 13 to 21 and actually got to ride in a race down in Manor, which was something I had always wanted to do. But as most childhood dreams it wasn’t what I expected. So, I moved on to Arabians for several years and really enjoyed that..Who or What got you started barrel racing? Most every moment of my youth up to 16 and 17 was spent on a horse in the ring or wondering around the country where we lived or at the race horse trainers place galloping horses.
Mother put me on a horse when I was tiny and they became a permanent part of my psyche for a long time. Running barrels was just one of the things I did as part of my riding life. I can remember when she started carrying me to Quarter Horse shows I had to learn to use my left hand rather than my right and that is why I can do so many things with my left hand today. Mother always left me with the felling that horses should be able to do many different things and she had an appendix mare ‘Sea Charge’ that I could show in Western Pleasure, barrels, poles and straight away (I had to not work her on the pattern for at least a month if I was going to show her in Pleasure). Anyway, I have had the pleasure of riding all the good horses my mother has had to date and I consider them exceptional. Of course, to get back to the question I would have to say my Mother is who and what got me started barrel racing. After all she named me after a Quarter Horse Stallion in the 50’s that was owned by Audie Murphy (Does anyone remember him?). I believe the story goes ‘She was flipping through the Q H Journal and saw him, liked the name and decided to name me after him’.
On the road sometimes things happen do you have an usual or funny story? Oh gosh, I have so many! There was the one when Mother, myself and Gary Freeman went on the Circuit through Texas, La, and Ms. That was a wild time and Gary decided to nickname me ‘persimmon’. Then there has been the times (before living quarters trailers) when we would be bathing near the arena at night and somebody would drive up, the race was on to get back to the camper without being spotted in our skivvies. Then there was the time in 94 when Bob, myself, mother, Joseph (my oldest son) and ‘Jock’ (mothers chiwawa that thought he was Cujo) broke down on the way home from Amarillo. You will have to just ask me about that one because there isn’t enough room here.
What was the name of your favorite horse and tell us a little about it. I have had 3 horses in my life that were my favorite; Lad (an old TB that I could do anything with, show in showmanship – which I usually won. I could point at his feet and he would move them. I rode him in pleasure – almost always won on him too. I ran barrels on him and always won or placed), Bold Copper (a QH I showed in Halter, showmanship, pleasure, horsemanship [which I always won or placed on] but you couldn’t get him to run barrels [He crow hopped the whole pattern]. His favorite speed was whoa! So, he was more suited to the show ring) and finally Sea Charge, she was a nice mare. Sure wish we had gotten some foals out of her. I did everything on her too. All of our horses where like that. But, Bold Copper was the only one I could put a string or piece of rope in his mouth like the Indians did and chase my brother around and throw things at him :-).
What are some of the events that you have won (or races that stand out in your mind)? I have lots of races and shows I am extremely proud of, all of them are from my childhood. The first trophy I every won (4yrs old). The time I won the district western pleasure class because David Freeman went from a lope to a walk and he was supposed to transition to a trot. That was probably the toughest class I was every in. All the times I ended up winning the Horsemanship classes on the Circuit in Tx, La and Ms (I wanted to win the pleasure classes) I was the Miss Rodeo Sub Teen Queen of Texas in 72′(those were the days when you had to ride and know something about horses, there was no ‘ticket selling’ involved).
I started College and Rodeoed some but didn’t have the kind of horse that would carry me anywhere so I stopped running barrels, I was Miss Rodeo CTC, transferred to Tarleton and got wrapped up in the breeding side of the industry. Then marriage and children came along, and of course the computer storm came along in the 80’s (I used to sit in front of our Amiga – anyone remember them? and try to balance our checkbook and scream at the darn thing. Who would have ever thought I would have ended up in front of a computer most of everyday running one of the Top Barrel Racing sites on the internet, www.ebarrelracing.com, a Central entry called Equivent Bestearenas.com and WinningRuns.com .
Over the years have you noticed any changes in barrel racing what are the good or bad you’ve seen? Barrel Racing is considerably different from when I was a child. The 4D concept has totally changed marketing in the industry.Do you think of yourself as a professional barrel racer?No, but I do consider myself a horsewoman, and I think that must always come first.If your not a professional barrel racer what do you do for a living?I would have to say I hold many different position in life; a mother, business owner, teacher, therapist, nurse and many other things. New Creations Productions and www.ebarrelracing.com are our businesses and we have started a really cool company called Equivent that processes entries online.
Who is your favorite barrel racer or barrel racers? I would have to say my mother, Lavinia Trull and Martha Wright.
Do you have any advice for anyone just starting out in barrel racing? Take your time, make sure you have a horse that is right for you, and if you want to be a world champion then chose a World Champion that you can imitate.
Do you think barrel racing should be limited to women only? In 3D and 4D races no. But in the rodeo yes, it is our sport in that particular environment.
Click here to see some of the barrel races Tamet has won money.