Taylor Christianson

Where are you from? Opelousas, Louisiana

When did you start barrel racing? I started barrel racing at the age of 2.

Are you involved in any other equine events? I pole bend sometimes and I am starting to rope

Who or What got you started barrel racing? My mom, Heather Bertrand, got me started in barrel racing. She has been barrel racing since she was 2 years old, also. .

On the road things sometimes happen. Do you have an unusual or funny stories? My mom panics about everything when it comes to caring for our horses, so when we take a road trip we have to stop every 2 hours and take our horses out of the trailer for at least 30 minutes. On our trip to Fort Worth, Texas, we stopped and let my horse graze in a bank parking lot. I think everyone in the small town we stopped in was amazed at seeing a horse graze in a bank parking lot. A cowgirl does what they have to do.

When I am attending school at the Home study church and the weather gets bad, I always call home and ask my mom to put my horse in the barn. When the weather gets bad, I feel like my horse gets scared and I don’t want her to feel insecure. My parents think I am crazy, but we have lost a horse due to lightning and I don’t want to lose another one like that

What was the name of your favorite horse and tell us a little about it.  My favorite horse is Leighs Midnight Magic, aka “M&M”. She is a solid bay paint mare. I started riding her in late 2004. She is a very moody mare and she is hateful, but when you saddle her and enter the arena it’s all business. Every time I run barrels on her, she gives me 100%. M&M has brought me a long way in the barrel racing industry. I love her very much, she is my best friend! I tell her every morning and every afternoon at feeding time just how much she means to me and how much I love her.

What are some of the events that you have won (or races that stand out in your mind)?  My horse and I are the 2006 American Paint Horse Association Solid Paint Bred Barrel Racing World Champions. I am also the 2005 Acadiana Barrel Racing Association 8 & Under Barrel Racing Champion, Open Barrels Reserve Champion, $500 Novice Barrels Champion, and the 13 & Under Barrels Reserve Champion. I am the 2005 NBHA Louisiana District 03 Youth Barrels Reserve Champion. I am the 2006 APHA Solid Paint Bred Barrel Racing World Champion and the 2006 Youth 1-D LA-03 Reserve Champion and the 2007 Coca-Cola Ride With The Pros 18 & Up Barrel Racing Champion. I won the 2007 APHA Solid Paint Bred World Championship Barrel Racing , 2008 APHA Solid Paint Bred World Championship Barrel Racing. I also won the 2007 APHA PAC Barrel Racing and my horse Leighs Midnight Magic was named the 2007 APHA Solid Paint Bred Honor Roll Horse of the Year.

Over the years have you noticed any changes in barrel racing what are the good or bad you’ve seen? Yes, almost all barrel races are going to the 4d format. And I have learned that some barrel racers only want to be your friend when they are beating you, and once you start winning you start losing those so called friends.

What is do you think of an equal pay out 4d? I think that it is good for contestants that are just beginning and for those that are not pros. I ride a lot of 4d barrel races. Sometimes I get aggravated that I run a fast time but did not place, but that is what 4d’s are all about.

Do you think of yourself as a professional barrel racer?Yes

If your not a professional barrel racer what do you do for a living?I am also a home schooled student, that way I get to spend more time with my horse. A few days of the week, I attend school at a local church and the rest of the time I am home.

Who is your favorite barrel racer or barrel racers? My Mom, she always has a positive attitude. We both like to win, but have learned to enjoy the sport of barrel racing. My mom has taught me so much about barrel racing, she is my number 1 fan and I am hers. I love my mom very much and I thank her everyday for everything that she has taught me and done for me and my horse.

Do you have any advice for anyone just starting out in barrel racing? Remember to always enjoy barrel racing, if you don’t enjoy it you can’t succeed at it. Always respect your horse, every time you ride they give you their all. Take things slow and you will be successful in the end

Do you think barrel racing should be limited to women only? No, who ever wants to barrel race, let them. The more entries, the better the payout!

I would like to Thank all the competitors that I have competed against so far. It is you that make me push myself to be successful in the barrel racing industry. A barrel racer can’t win every barrel race, that would be boring. But every time I do not win makes me ride that much harder the next time.
And I would like to Thank my mom and step dad for all the hard work that they put into the horses and farm and also for hauling me to all the barrel races. They are very supportive and I love them dearly.