Where are you from?
I was born in Mt.Pleasant TX. and now live in Winnsboro Tx. I married my high school sweetheart, Dwayne. We have been married for 40 yrs. We have 2 boys and 1 daughter -in law. Scott our oldest is a doctor in Orlando Fl. and Shawn and Kelley live in Harlton TX. Shawn trains calf horses and kelley runs barrels too.
- When did you start barrel racing?
- I would have to say I was maybe 5 or 6 when I started running barrels. I do have pictures of riding when I was even younger than that.
- Are you involved in any other equine events?
- My youngest son Shawn ropes calves UPRA, CRRA, AQHA so I do love to go watch him when I can, but as far as me roping I just never could throw a rope.
- Who or What got you started barrel racing?
- My uncle would have to be the one that got me started running barrels. he raised poa’s and we would load up and go to horse shows and I would show halter and then do the speed events .I never really liked running poles so I just stuck with barrels. Also my daddy rodeo’d with Jerald Smith (Wing Rodeo) and when we would go to the rodeo’s Jerald always would let me exhibition.
- On the road things sometimes happen. Do you have an unusual or funny story?
- I think the funniest thing I remember that happened to me was when I lived in Palestine Tx. I would haul with my best friend Shelley (Taylor) Bretty and we both hauled mares, neither of them were very good natured but they loved each other. We were at Fairfield Tx ( old pen by the road) Shelley was sitting by the alleyway and I was running Jan’s Star my mare and she turned out from under me on the 2nd barrel ,I hit the ground and she went to the 3rd on her on running wide open and everyone was hollering get her she will go to the road . Shelley just sat back there hollering “no she won’t” and as Jan ran down the alleyway Speck ,Shelley’s mare nickered at her and Jan found the fence and went right up to Shelley and Speck and stopped. Everyone got a big kick out of the 2 mares being inseparable. No one worried about me hitting the ground, just Jan running to the road. A little embarrassed but no one was hurt.
- What was the name of your favorite horse and tell us a little about it.
- Jan’s Star was my favorite horse she is the one that I was able to seriously do some hauling on. I bought her from Kelley Pipes (Bruner now). Jan was stared on cattle and they said was just to hot so Kelley took her and started her on barrels. My husband saw Kelley run her at Teague Tx. and bought her 2 days latter for me. When I got her I went to hauling nearly every weekend. She was a dream come true for me. All you did with her was sit up and hang on.We moved back to Mt. Pleasant and a little 8 yr’ old girl would ride her at youth rodeo’s and would pull a check every run. I sold her to Shelley Gish when Shawn got serious about roping to buy him a horse.
- What are some of the events that you have won (or races that stand out in your mind)?
- I would have to say my winning money at an ANHA on a gelding (Soppin Dark) I bought from Randy and Lisa Ogden stands out it was almost $900.00 and I had never one that much at one time. He is now 27 yr’s old and my 5 yr.old niece rides him in the pasture. Don’t try to take him to an arena because he still knows what it is all about. I won several buckles and awards on him in Red River Barrel Assoc. My first saddle I ever one was when I was 51 from NBHA Dist.17 Sr.4d on a little mare Bailey’s 39 (snazzy). I was so thrilled but she was just so much more horse than I could ride, so my son took her and started calfroping off her. I now have a horse Easy Mac that a good friend Michelle Brock tried to get me to buy back in Nov. 2009, finally I went and tried him in March 2010 and he just fits me perfect. I love riding him and he makes going to the barrel races fun.
- Over the years have you noticed any changes in barrel racing what are the good or bad you’ve seen?
- Yes I have noticed a big change in barrel racing everyone wants to do it. And the riggs they pull up in, you did good to have a trailer with a dressing room on it. I think the divisional races has made it so that everyone can feel like they can compete. And all the big money shows were not even heard of. You had rodeo’s and playdays. I know I sure wish they had it when I had my good mare Jan. The only thing I can say that is bad about the barrel industry now is I’m not 25 or 30 yrs old and can go all the time. I’m just out to enjoy myself now and if I win a little that is icing on the cake.
- What is do you think of an equal pay out 4d?
- The equal payout I guess is ok. It is nice for me running in the lower D’s but I do see everyones concerns about the faster horses getting more money. I know it is nice to win what they win .and yes I know I feed and tend to my horse just like they other girls do I think there are enough of both payouts you can pretty well pick where you want to go
- Do you think of yourself as a professional barrel racer?
- No way do I think of myself as a professional barrel racer. I am truly what you would call a weekend warrior and the older I get that is slowing down too. I truly admire these girls that can afford to stay on the road. You have got to have alot of determination to do it of course I guess if you are winning that drives you even more.. I work at Mt. Pleasant High School as a teachers aide. I do all the printing for the teachers , have been there 15 yrs.and looking forward to staying at home .
Who is your favorite barrel racer or barrel racers? Lindsay Sears is my favorite one to watch, she and Martha make it look so easy. Martha reminds me alot of my mare the way she runs and I think that is why it is so neat to watch her, and also I like watching Jackie (Dube) Jatzlou , I’m sure I misspelled it, but she was maybe 6 or 7 when I started watching her at Pineywoods Youth Rodeo’s her mom would get her out from under the bleachers playin in the dirt and put her up on her palomina horse and off she would go, and boy did she go, she wasn’t afraid to ride. Her nickname fits her well “the wild child”.Do you think barrel racing should be limited to women only?Men don’t bother me they just add more to the pot. If you are afraid of compition stay out of the arena.
All I would like to add is that barrel racing has helped me to keep my sanity all these years .There is nothing like getting on a horse and just forgetting everything. Being able to go to shows and visit with some good friends that I watched thier kids growing upat all the youth rodeo’s. I may not ride like I use to but I do enjoy the sport and having the D races makes it possible for me to fell like I can go more.