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?