Best of the Best in Ohio Qualifier: Heather Warnimont-Palmer

Heather Warnimont-Palmer is new to the Best of the Best in Ohio Charity Slot Race, and we’re excited to have this dynamite duo that was beat by only Barbara Jimison at the TOUGH NBHA State Show this year. She’ll be at the WB Ranch Sept. 22 to again run with the state’s best for a chance at BIG prizes, thanks to Chick’s Saddlery, Cactus Saddles, and Charlie 1 Horse Hat Co. (And MANY more!) 

Tell us about the horse you’re riding.
Cowboy’s registered name is Little Bit of Cowboy. He’s an 8 year old gelding out of Zions Sun Lady and he’s by TNT Money Bars by On the Money Red. My mom, Nancy Warnimont and I just purchased Cowboy Jan. 27 of this year and our first show was the end of February so we don’t have a lot of history together yet.

What has been your horse’s biggest win this year and of all time?
We were 1D Reserve Champs in the Open Barrels out of 326 at the NBHA State finals at Circle G this year next to Barbara Jimison.

What’s your ultimate goal in barrel racing?
To win the Sweepstakes at Congress ( not this year though because I didn’t sign up soon enough )

What saddle do you ride?
Billy Cook

What bit is in your horse’s mouth?
Charmayne James 3-peice short shank bit

What supplements do you feed?

What won’t you leave home for a barrel race without?
Well, I guess I’d have to say my saddle cause that’s about the only thing I actually haven’t forgotten at some point, lol.

To whom do you owe most of your success?
My mom, my husband and our two boys, Carson and Dalton, for putting up with me dragging them to shows, Rick and Lisa Cox (they trained Cowboy and have given me countless pointers) and Frank Vandeneynde for passing up such a great horse so I could buy him!

Tell us one fun fact about you or your horse. 
Every time he meets someone new, he has to put his nose right in their face and smell them. My husband smokes, and when he smelled him for the first time, he did a funny thing with his lips, pulling the corners of his mouth clear back as if he had a bit pulling back real hard on his mouth. I guess that means he hates the smell of smoke, lol. He makes the same face when you hose off his neck close to his head.

What charity is closest to your heart?
American Red Cross because I lost my dad in March of 2010 and I can’t tell you how important it is to have this organization.


Things Are Getting Exciting…

…We have just over two months until The Best of the Best in Ohio Charity Slot Race and On the Road with Dawn and Clea September Showdown. And holy cow, we’ve got so much happening.

This week, Charlie 1 Horse Hat Company signed on to be the title sponsor of our Open 4D. We can’t be more thrilled to have such a creative company on board for this race! We can’t tell you all the details yet as to how you can win a Charlie 1 Horse (or Resistol!) hat, but you’ll know soon enough. Everyone will have a shot at these, plus we’ll have some of my personal favorites up for auction!

We also want to welcome on board Head West Outfitters, who you’ve gotten to know over the last two months. This clothing store based in Erie, Penn., has some great ties to the local barrel racing community, so a partnership with The Best of the Best just makes perfect sense!

A division of the company I work for called USRider is also excited to offer donations this year as well. USRider is a horseman’s roadside service provider. It’s like AAA, except built for those of us hauling horses. It’s really, really cool, and you better believe I put my membership to good use. The winner of The Best of the Best in Ohio Slot Race will receive a free membership, and we’ll have one in the silent auction as well. This is definitely something that will keep on giving!

And last but certainly NOT least, we want to say welcome back to Chick’s Saddlery! Last year, they jumped in to help when we needed most and were putting this barrel race together on a shoestring budget and on a tight tight deadline! Last year, they donated silent auction items and the trophy halters our top 5 finishers received, and this year they are on board for more.

If you’re interested in more sponsorship opportunities, please email Chelsea at! 


Cowboy Academy Barrel Racing Camp with Kristie Peterson

If you’re somewhere in the West or up for a trip out this way sometime soon, this might just be the best reason you’ve had yet to do it.

The Cowboy Academy is hosting a clinic with 4-time world champ Kristie Peterson and other top rodeo stars. This timed-event camp offers everything from first-class rodeo instruction to Christian leadership. It’s a great weekend of skill building in tie-down roping, breakaway roping, barrel racing, team roping and goat tying. Check out the website and this flyer for more info!

Win Justin Bent Rail Boots from Langston’s Western Wear

Justin Bent Rail Women's 13" Boots - White/Black

Who doesn’t want a free pair of Justin Bent Rail Boots from Langston’s Western Wear? If you don’t, I’m pretty sure we aren’t friends and you probably aren’t reading this post anyways. So, read on to find out how you can win them : )

A few months ago, Langston’s Western Wear sent me over this pair of Justin Bent Rail Boots to try out. After wearing them through Colorado’s winter and spring mud season, I’ve got to report that these boots held up to everything I threw at them, both in the saddle and in the office. I wear my boots from the office to the barn every day, and I need a pair of kicks that can polish up like new after every ride. These boots still look good as new, but they’ve broken in to be super comfortable riding boots, too.

I even wore them to Frozen Dead Guy Days with a rockin’ Charlie 1 Horse fedora and got tons of compliments on them…even in a not-so-cowboy kinda crowd. (Enjoy the video clip… though it has nothing to do with boots and everything to do with coffin races.)

So anyways, I loved the boots. And so did everyone who saw me in them, because they are just a sharp looking boot that really rides well, something Justin Boots has built a reputation on.

And to keep things rolling right along, you can win a pair of Women’s Justin Bent Rail Boots or Men’s Justin Bent Rail Boots straight from Langston’s Western Wear right here only on The Barrel Racing Blog!

Here’s how you win. In the comment section on this very post you need to tell us the dates for this year’s Best of the Best in Ohio Barrel Race and September Showdown in Swanton, Ohio. After you post the dates, tell us one reason you’re looking forward to making it to that show! (And if you can’t come, you better tell us a darn-good excuse.)

So, you can win a pair of Women’s Justin Bent Rail Boots or Men’s Justin Bent Rail Boots from Langston’s Western Wear simply by following these very simple instructions! We’ll randomly select one winner on Wednesday at 3 p.m. MST, so get to commenting if you want a pair of rockin’ boots!

…But one more thing. Even if you don’t win, we want to hook you up anyways. Head over to Langston’s Western Wear and use coupon code goround to save 15% on any order over $50, just for being a loyal reader of The Barrel Racing Blog. You’ve got to use that by April 11, so get shopping.

Kaci Riggs: Charlie 1 Horse Hat Designer

…and that’s just the beginning with this Texas cowgirl. Kaci Riggs has made some of the most popular and stylish hats in the barrel racing (and Western) world, and that’s a combination that’s not always easy to create. Her Charlie 1 Horse hats have popped up everywhere from the National Finals Rodeo to the IBRA Nationals, and every barrel race and roping in between. (And quite a few Best of the Best competitors looked fabulous in them this fall!) 

Kaci’s taken her knowledge of the fashion industry and combined it with her in-the-arena know how to produce some of the finest hats we’ve ever seen. Whether she’s jet-setting across the West or kicking the boys’ butts in the roping pen, Kaci is looking fabulous in one of her designs.   

Tell us about how Charlie 1 Horse started, and how you came aboard to create these hats.
Charlie 1 Horse started in 1978. It was HUGE during Urban Cowboy. Many, many celebrities have worn Charlie 1 Horse; the list is long. It’s so cool to look back at the old stuff. They are TRULY works of art. Richard Petty, Kid Rock and Eddie Montgomery still wear the old ones.

I was hired as an assistant to the Resistol designer, Bob Posey. In spare time, we worked on C1H styles. When I was hired, we just didn’t sell many of the fancy ones. I chose to make a few things I thought I could relate to and wear. I kept the competitive cowgirl in mind, but I also had to consider the business woman who needed to look fabulous at a Cattle Baron’s ball. We started seeing a lot of success within the barrel racing industry and fashion industry.

What is your background in the horse industry?

I grew up in 4-H, junior rodeos, high school, amateur and college rodeo…. I ran barrels when I was little. I rode English for a couple years. I started roping when I was 11; my dad needed a heeler ;-D

My senior year of high school, I qualified for the National High School Finals Rodeo in the breakaway roping. I placed at Nationals that year in Gillette, Wyo. and received some scholarship money. That helped me continue my education and attend Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX with additional rodeo scholarships. I qualified for the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyo. my senior year of college. Since college, I have always continued to rope. No matter where I was in my career, I have always continued to rope. I feel very fortunate that my career allows me to cross over into many disciplines of the equine industry. I’m passionate about the western lifestyle.

How does that background affect your designs?

My background really helps me to know how important the FUNCTION of a hat is. When you compete, you can NEVER have to worry about losing your hat. It has to fit, be comfortable on your head, stay on during competition and you have to feel good wearing it. It has to fit your personal style and not make you feel awkward…. And it has to be affordable. I believe your horse, your rig, your entry fees have a higher priority than fashion. That is why Charlie 1 Horse is committed to making the most FABULOUS~LOOKING hat at the most affordable price.

When you’re making a hat, what kind of cowgirl are you thinking of as you design it?

I’m thinking of a cowgirl with the most original style. She wants a look that is her OWN. She DOES NOT blend~in. She’s a leader; not a follower – she blazes trails…. She respects the lifestyle, but she likes to put a modern TWIST on her own personal look. Her appearance is important to her and her hat is how she expresses her eccentric personality. I have to make a hat that appeals to a variety of women – I personally prefer the more core-western styles, but I also design some that are completely outlandish. You gotta give ‘em what they want….

So far, what has been your favorite moment of your career?

Gosh, that’s tough… I enjoy each moment. I guess seeing it come full-circle is best. It’s really fun to see C1H published in magazines. I love when girls WIN BIG who wear our hats – I LOVE seeing C1H in win-picts. I love seeing the flag girls at the NFR totally blinged-out wearing our stuff. I love getting tagged in photos on Facebook of little-bitty girls that look SO gritty and tough wearing Charlie 1 Horse – it makes me laugh! I guess the most rewarding part is to see how happy the hats make people.

Tell us about your all-time favorite hat, either one you’ve made or otherwise.

Hahahaaa… that’s like asking a mother to pick her favorite kid! LOL!!! I really love the tonal trimmed felts. I’m not a HUGE fan of flashy…. I love the tacky leopard prints, but they’ve been hard to make. Honestly, my favorites change each season we launch a new line.

What do you do when you aren’t busy making hats or working for Hatco?

I try to spend a lot of time with my family, but I’m sure my family would attest that I ROPE every chance I get! There are a handful of ropings that I like to go to each year. The Open to the World, the Windy Ryon, our Resistol Roping and the USTRC Finals…. I guess I travel a lot and spend a lot of time with friends. I’m all about a road trip…

What is one style tip that every hat-wearing cowgirl should know?

No matter what you think, if it’s creased right, you look GREAT in it. Women are SO UNCOMFORTABLE in hats. It drives me crazy…. They just aren’t used to wearing them, or they don’t wear the right one. I could pick a hat for any woman and I promise she would look great in it! A flattering crease makes all the difference. Don’t EVER just wear it straight out of the box. All brims need to be hand creased.

What is your favorite outfit to rock your Charlie 1 Horse with?

You didn’t really just ask me this…. Every day is a fashion show for me, you know. I’m all about dresses with cowboy boots…. Maybe funky tights? I love my cowgirl suit too!!! (CTC jeans & Barranada shirts) Whatever it is, it CAN’T overpower the hat!!! IT’S ALL ABOUT THE HAT. Sorry, but I just can’t answer this one directly…..

What is next for you and Charlie 1 Horse?

I have a new commitment and dedication to Hatco in product development for Stetson, Resistol, Wrangler, and Dobbs brands. Charlie 1 Horse will always be the most creative and fun line to design and will continue to surprise us each season. You will see a handful of fedoras with western twists (inspired by a fellow cowgirl fashion diva). They are for the cowgirl who wants to cross over into fashion without forgetting her roots ;-D I’m so excited about the new felts we will launch in January at Denver Market. Some can be found at NFR in December with ML Leddy’s.

Charlie 1 Horse has set some pretty high standards…. We will keep moving forward!

Our friends at Rod’s Western Palace in Ohio carry Charlie 1 Horse Hats, as do many fine retailers across the U.S. For a great deal on a Charlie, download and print this coupon! 

Meet the Best of the Best in Ohio: Penny Baker

And here’s our last interview! Meet Penny Baker in Shilohs Matrix, who will be smokin’ down the alleyway tonight at the Best of the Best Barrel Race in Ohio on her homebred and trained horse. 

Tell us about the horse you’ll be running in The Best of the Best in Ohio Barrel Race. (Name, bloodlines, style, age, owner, any other fun details.)

My horse’s name is Shilohs Matrix. His bloodlines are Special Effort and A Sharp Leo on the top side, and Easy Jet, Hoodwink and Sugar Bars on the bottom. His style is just quick and powerful. I’m the owner.

What is the biggest race this horse has won?

The biggest race Matrix won was the first go at the Jackson Flyer Futurity. He fell the second go.

What is your biggest win as a barrel racer?

The biggest race I won was a sweepstakes about 10 years ago.

Have you ever run at the WB Ranch before? (If so, what did you think of the facility and the ground, and how did your horses work there?)

We have ran at WB Ranch several times. We always enjoy going there. The ground is good as long as there is enough water on it. Matrix fell flat the first time there, but the groung held good the second time we ran him there.

Tell us one little-known fact about you or your horse. 

Matrix was born and raised at the farm. We own the stud and the mare; we raced him 1 time as a 2 year old then trained him for barrels.

This race is all about charity – What’s the biggest cause you believe in and why?

Cancer seems to be the biggest killer anymore, but we also have friends with other diseases that are just as bad. This barrel race for charity is a very meaningful thing, I really am greatful to be a part of it.