Barrel Racer at Sahuaro!?

Dacey Cervantes, Reporter

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As a senior in high-school anything rodeo related is out of the blue. Even though all Tucson-ans love Rodeo Break, most don’t participate, partially due to the fact it’s not a school sport. However, it is one of the most astonishing sports in the world, in my opinion at least. It’s a race against time, going around three barrels on horse back as fast as you can. Each barrel is preset to form a cloverleaf pattern. Getting around the first barrel is referred to as the “money barrel” due its crucial part in the competitor’s overall time to get a good run. Knocking over any of the three cans is a five second penalty, which means the judges add five seconds to your overall time.

To succeed and get better/faster times in every run you take, it is important to have a strong bond between the horse you are riding; there has to be trust for both the rider and the horse. While chasing the cans, the horse has the same amount of control as the rider, it’s a fifty/fifty team.

It combines the horse’s athletic ability and the rider’s horsemanship skills. The closer and the more you know one another, the better the ride will be. Barrel racing is one of the most stunning sport I have ever been a part of in my life. It’s by far hard work but in the end, all the hard work pays off and you have a lot of fun. Being able to compete and travel with my greatest friend is the most incredible feeling.

To get ready to compete you practice, or as we call it, training. Training is four days a week or sometimes Sunday through Saturday. Competitions are in a dirt arena and you get to travel to multiple different states and cities to compete. You can either compete during rodeo after the bull riding or you can compete with the NBHA (National Barrel Horse Association), in which the committees of both choose the next place we compete. To get awards you have to place within the top three, but then again everyone gets something for joining in the fun. The top three competitors get a big check plus some other goodies of the committee’s choosing. Every competition is amazing and so much fun, whether you are competing or just watching it’s a breathtaking experience.

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