Barrel racing is the women's event; it's always a favorite of spectators combining the elements of a race, outstanding horsemanship, and an opportunity to see some of the best Quarter Horses in the country - not to mention some of the prettiest ladies!
The competition is as keen as in any other rodeo event. Naturally the women depend on their own horses because the best barrel racer in the world can't win on a slow mount.
Time starts with the drop of the flag as the rider crosses the score line. The two barrels at the base of the triangle must be turned first, in either order. Then the girl proceeds to the third barrel at the point of the triangle, turns it, and dashes back to the score line to be flagged by the judge.The prize money goes to the firl whose horse can run the fastest and negotiate the sharpest turns without hitting the barrels.
With well-trained, strong-willed horses and fiercely competitive riders, one or two hundreds of a second are often all that separates the final standings in this all-female rodeo event.
This is a timed event. Contestant is allowed a running start. Time begins as soon as horse's nose reaches the starting line, and will be stopped when the horse's nose reaches over the finish line. Start and finish line are one and the same. Contestant will run in cloverleaf pattern, starting either to left or right. Five-second penalty will be added to time for each barrel knocked over. Disqualification will come if designated pattern is broken.
Article Courtesy of PRCA (prorodeo.com)
Photography Credit | Herberta Schroeder of Windswept Images