Barrel Races or Rodeos?

Every weekend my traveling partner and I debate where to go – do we take the chance on that rodeo with the rough ground or do we head to the clean, well drug arena to an NBHA or IBRA barrel race?

As anybody who knows me will tell you, I’m usually the one advocating for the always-risky rodeo ground. I just love to spend only a few hours at a rodeo, running against only 30 or so girls for a chance at a $1000 paycheck than sitting all day at a horse show for a chance at splitting $500 with the 300 other barrel racers that showed up. 
But, then again, that’s probably why my old horse has 4 broken legs. She’s never actually hurt herself at a rodeo, it’s always been at a big, great pen like Jackson, Miss., or Jackson, Ohio. The wear and tear on her joints inevitably, though, came from running on tracks like Canton, Ohio, and Dayton, Penn. 
Some of the best barrel racers can flip-flop between both styles of running, but normally they have more than one horse that can perform at any arena. Mesa Leavitt, the three-time IPRA World Champion and Josey Junior World Champion has proven to be tough in both arenas, like her mentor, Martha Josey herself. 
So, the question is…Where would you rather go? A rodeo or a barrel race?
Please comment!
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2 thoughts on “Barrel Races or Rodeos?

  1. I personally like the excitement of a crowd at the rodeos and the music. I personally feel alot of finished horses fire harder at a rodeo. I do enjoy watching the show and usually getting out of there before 2 am, unlike most jackpots. It mostly depends on what horses Im working with and what Im trying to accomplish.If I'm hauling a bunch of younger horses, Id definatly hit an IBRA or NBHA show. Im not a huge fan of rodeo ground with young joints plus they are still learning and most likely that big check wont be in your pocket. The 4D system is nice in this case because you can still bring home a check.In the end, I prefer a rodeo over a barrel race in most cases, but depending on finances and what events are avaliable. Id rather be chasing cans, than not, so what ever is going on, Id take either rather than none at all.

  2. I agree! Really well said, especially the whole rather be chasing cans than not! I tried to take a weekend off last week, and ended up taking my young horse to a local show with five other entries in the barrels just to get out. It's quite the problem we all have!

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