In the world of rodeo, Barrel Racing is a special event for youth and amateur riders. Special performance horses take part in the barrel racing. The Women Professional Rodeo Association run this race especially for the competition of women. In barrel racing, you ride a horse around three barrels in a cloverleaf pattern. The leaderboard pair will land higher if the rider completes pattern fast. Let’s have a look at the Barrel Racing basics first.
Usually, barrel racing takes place in an enclosed arena or ring. In the arena, three barrels put in a cloverleaf pattern. Every barrel race organization sets different distances between the barrels. However, an average distance between barrels are nine feet in between the barrels one and two, then 105 feet in between the barrels one and three and the barrel two and three. Distance between the start line and the barrels one and two are of six feet.
The Rider enters the ring and runs toward the first barrel. A rider can choose between the right-most barrel and the left-most barrel and then completes the circle around the barrel. The rider then steers her horse toward the barrel two and charges toward the third barrel. After completing a round around the third barrel, the rider pushes the horse at top speed toward the finishing line.
The goal of the rider is without knocking any barrels, run to negotiate a cloverleaf pattern in the fastest speed. Once a barrel is got tipped, five seconds got added to the final time of the rider, and if any cloverleaf pattern deviates, there is no score. For counting the time, most of the organizations use electric timers having a sensor alongside which start and stops automatically. This way the most accurate time gets calculated without the possibility of human errors that can occur when the stopwatch got used.
Riders enter the ring in their maximum speed before the timer hits. Riders try to make a small pocket as their horse bends around the barrel which gives them a little cushion. This move reduces the chance of horse to tip over the barrel. Depending upon the horse capability of turning, the rider can choose to take either one two right turns with one left turn or two left turns with one right turn. After rounding around the last barrel, rider runs her horse back toward the start line as fast as possible before the timer hits.
Variety of gears require for outfitting the horse for the competition. A saddle should be safe and comfortable during barrel race. For greater stability, the special saddles have short skirts and deep seats which allow more connection with the back of the horse. During quick starts, saddle shifts back that is why riders use breast collars. A gentle but effective bridle bit is essential to guide horses around the ring or arena. To prevent injuries, durable sports boots should get fitted on a horse before every run. To make a horse run faster, some riders carp quirt or whip. However, rules vary by association.
In the Barrel racing industry, the Association of Women’s Professional Rodeo is among the old professional organizations. In 1948, WPRA started holding sanctioned barrel races, and the original name of this association is the Girls Rodeo Association. Most of the events of WPRA are at Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association rodeos. Fifteen of the competitors gets an invitation to compete for the World Championship.
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