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Tonight Seals the Deal-The American Semi-Finals

Courtesy: RFDTV

Tonight will seal the deal on who makes it back to The American Rodeo at Cowboy’s Stadium in Arlington on March 1, 2015, making these contestants one step closer to a chance at winning a Million dollars. So far, out of 115 contestants that competed in the original slack go of The American Semi-Finals, there are only 10 left to run out of the top 30. The top ten out of the Shootout round will then advance to The American and compete against the top 10 from the NFR.

This format is the most exciting out there today. It gives barrel racers a chance at big time money who may not have an opportunity to run in the WPRA/PRCA. This format also allows kids and men to compete opening up the opportunity to even more contestants. The best part of this rodeo, along with the large sum of money up for grabs is that we are basically betting the favorites (NFR crowd) that they can’t beat the underdogs (Qualifiers)… and who doesn’t love a long shot?


But it’s not that simple and don’t think for a second that these Qualifiers aren’t having to go through the ringer for the opportunity at running at this money. Also, I’m pretty hard pressed to say that the qualifiers are long shots. The qualifier pool is made up of some of the best barrel racers and barrel horses in the world, World Champions, Futurity Champions, Youth Champions and in some of their cases… a lot….a lot of money.

The qualifier’s journey started by paying a $500 entry fee at one of the (11) qualifier races that were held across the country. At that race they had to end up in the top ten to qualify for the semi-finals. The semifinals which are happening now in Ft. Worth, Texas started with a slack round of all of the qualifiers from across the country. Each person gets one run and to advance to the next round (shootout) they had to end up in the top 30 of the 115. The top 30 were then split up into 3 performances of 10 each. After that run (the last performance this evening Sunday 2/22), the top 10 advance to The American Rodeo in Dallas. Once at The American they will run against the top 10 from the NFR. Everyone will get one run and the top four then make it to the Final Round to run for a clean slate. There are also two exemptions that will be allowed to run.

pt7iuEElvio6OEZL.jpgSo now that I have you thoroughly confused you, it breaks down to this: The top 10 NFR girls are going to show up and compete against the Top 10 Qualifiers who have made 3 runs of their life (assuming that they only went to one qualifier which is not the case for most of these contestants, a good size group went to at least two). The champion will win $100,000 and the reserve champion will win $25,000. In the case that the champion came from the Qualifiers, they will place themselves in a pot for the chance to win $1,000,000.

Right now the Semi-Finals is being led by 9 year old Chayni Chamberlain on a grey gelding with a time of 13.907. Dat Flowin Bunny is a consistent horse that has been ridden by 3 generations of ladies, Chayni, Chayni’s Mother and Grandmother. Chayni has a direct advantage with her size and also her innocence. You can tell by the young girls glow and spirit that she is out to have fun and soak “it” all in, the Million Dollars is an after thought. The fact that she weighs 50-100 lbs lighter than an average adult barrel racer is helping her. On the flip side, she doesn’t have the experience that these other contestants have, but her consistent horse with a million dollar heart may not even make that a contributing factor.


The following contestants are headed into tonight’s round: Steffani Mather, Megan Swint, Tana Poppino, Kathy Grimes, LaTricia Duke, Taylor Jacob, Kelsie Miller, Jacie Etbauer, Sharin Hall, and Joy Wargo

The top 10 after two performances are:

Chayni Chamberlain 13.907, Carmel Wright 14.005, Lindsey McCloud 14.040, Jane Melby 14.066, Callahan Crossley 14.090, Jackie Jatzlau 14.104, Destri Davenport 14.134, Shelly Anzick 14.153, Adeline Nevala 14.242, Sabre O’Quinn 14.271

TV Schedule:

RFDTV Sunday, January 22nd 1:00 pm EST  |  The American Semi-Finals Round Two

RFDTV Sunday, January 22nd 3:00 pm EST  |  The American Semi-Finals Round Three

So you think Steve Coburn is a sore loser?



So you think Steve Coburn is a sore loser?

If he is anything like the man that I think he is, then he doesn’t really care what you think.

What he cares about is his family, his horse, and the people who helped his horse achieve greatness.

He also probably cares about racing fans as a whole, but I don’t think he cares whether you put a label on him or not.

I have to commend Steve for speaking his mind (even though I don’t think they should change the Triple Crown format). In this scoreless soccer world that we live in, what would have been the benefit of him just saying what everyone wanted to hear and then walking away? Yes, they would have said, he handled it with “class.” But really, I don’t think he cares if you think he is “classy” either.

This is a man that got one chance to make history. He probably won’t be in any position to make that statement again for the rest of his life and in that moment he decided that is what he wanted to say, so he said it. He may regret it now because of the backlash that it caused and the big grey cloud that it put over his horse and his supporters, but I have to give it to him, at least he said what was on his mind.

My feelings are that people like Steve don’t really care if you think they are “Sore Losers,” just like they don’t care if you think they are “classy.” They are all just labels. The same type of labels that were put on him for investing in a losing mare and then investing in breeding that losing mare to a lack-luster stallion and then believing that he could have a Triple Crown contender as a result of that.

So why would he start caring about your labels now? His apologetic interview this morning on Good Morning America is just another example of exactly what he cares about and his opinion of how the Triple Crown is achieved is only second to those things that matter to him…. his wife, his horse, his partners, his friends, and racing fans as a whole.


Hundreds of Hearts Breaking…

January 29th, 2012 in Glen Rose, Texas is a day I will never forget. I’m sure several hundred other people will agree with me.

It was on this day, that Karen Wyatt headed down the alley on her black gelding Dashton aka Ash, like she had done many times before. He headed into the Glen Rose Expo Arena with his ears perked and at full attention. Getting a stride away from the first barrel, he rated beautifully with his nose tipped to the inside, positioned perfectly to make what could have been a perfect turn. Instead, the crowd heard a pop that sounded almost like an overreach, but was as loud as a rifle. He took several more strides, trying to complete the turn and the job he was sent into the arena to do. The crowd gasped and yelled, as Karen tried frantically to pull him up and get off of him. While he hobbled on three legs, she hung half way off of him with her foot stuck in the stirrup. Someone from the crowd, yelled for a barrel setter in the arena to help her. Several people came to her aid. The music was turned off, all talking in the arena turned to a whisper. The loudest thing heard were the hundreds of hearts breaking all at once.

I can’t imagine what she is going through. I don’t know if I would ever be able to bounce back from something this tragic. I love this sport and we all know that accidents happen, but I just can’t even imagine. So many awful things happen in this lifetime and we don’t know why they happen to us or for that matter why they even happen at all. There was no bad step that I could see, the ground was safe, he was in the right position. Of all of the conditions that “could have been” I wouldn’t have thought that this could have ever happened to anyone at this race.

We take chances, every time we get in our car, get on our horse, or make a decision on any given day. We try to prevent everything we can from going wrong and yet still we have no power when it comes to these types of outcomes. Life is precious. I think that is why it is so important that we do what we love and love what we do. Because in an instant, it could be over. I have yet to run into a stronger group of people than barrel racers, they are hard working people with kind hearts. They always seem to bounce back and they are a true reflection of a true America. Stories of their perserverance are around every corner. I’ve had to tell myself in the past that barrel racing is not what defines me, which I believe is still very true. However, I can not deny that most barrel racers can be defined in a certain way. They are strong, dedicated, compassionate, loving and hard working. It is with this in mind that I can’t imagine ever NOT bouncing back from a tragedy like this.

15 year old Dashton (Ash) stood there patiently in the arena as they took his saddle off and splinted his leg up. He was under the immediate care of two vets within minutes of the accident happening. A large stock trailer was pulled into the arena and he was loaded up. The x-rays showed that his hock was shattered. Karen made one of the hardest decisions there is to make in life and put him down. She hauled him home and buried him this morning.

I hope she finds comfort in knowing there are hundreds, if not thousands, of people who are shedding tears and thinking about her today. I hope she finds comfort in knowing that.

Karen is in the first row, 2nd from the left with the brown shirt on.

Karen and Ash ran in the Texas Senior Pro Rodeo Association this last summer and fall, finishing Reserve Champion for the year end. Friends say that they have never seen Karen happier on a horse. The Jurassic Classic producers gave Karen the Julie Swanson memorial buckle that was going to be given to the fastest time for the weekend. Wow, I can’t wait to get to heaven. We’re going to have one heck of a barrel race someday!

“….I risk my life every time I climb on a horse. I’m not afraid. Neither are they. I want to win, just like they do. It’s true. The last horse I rode ran so hard his heart burst. But it’s who they are. And it’s who I am.” –(movie) Ronnie Turcotte, Secretariat

Top Ten Barrel Racing Qualifiers going to The American

1. Chayni Chamberlin 13.907

2. Carmel Wright 14.005

3. Lindsey McCloud 14.040

4. Jane Melby 14.066

5. Callahan Crossley 14.090

6. Jackie Jatzlau 14.104

7. Destri Davenport 14.134

8. Shelly Anzick 14.153

9. Sharin Hall 14.229

10. Adeline Nevala 14.242

Texas By Way of California

I know a lot of you gals are dreaming of Texas. I know I used to, but I don’t have to anymore because I moved here 5 years ago. It was the best decision I ever made other than going to college and falling in love with barrel racing. I’ve also lived in Colorado and New Mexico and I can say there really is nothing like this state.

If you ever move here, I want to help you with your transition so I’ve provided you this list in an effort to help you not stick out when you finally make the big move.

#1 Don’t say “y’all”! It never comes out natural and you will never sound like a Texan when you say it. I’m not saying that you should go around screaming that you are an outsider, just know that “y’all” doesn’t flow well with “like” and “you guys.” You can add a drawl to your “bye” and “oil” and no one will know the difference.

#2 Gravy in Texas is like Guacamole is in California. You don’t need an excuse to put it on anything and if you can make it from scratch and make it taste delicious, then you will be an instant celebrity.

#3 No one here knows what a thigh gap is….. This is a perfect and wonderful thing.

#4 They are called exhibitions not time-onlies and if you want one you better start standing in line at the entry office at least two hours before it opens.

#5 Hay is called Hay and Grain is called Feed. Everyone “Feeds” twice a day and that includes grain.

#6 Hay is mostly two stranded and you will curse a three strand bale after you realize how much easier it is to move a smaller bale.

#7 Hot is considered anything over 95. Cold is considered anything under 60. Get used to it.

#8 Ice is worse than snow.

#9 You will need approximately 3 head of horses if you want to go to every barrel race within a 50 miles radius.

#10 Summer is tire blowing season. Get your tires checked in the spring and learn how to change your own tires.



Heritage Place Winter Mixed Sale Webcast and Results


The Heritage Place winter Mixed Sale is happening. Click on the link to watch it live. January 22 through the 24th, 2015

Sale Results To date

Every year the hottest barrel horse prospects and race horses are purchased out of this sale. If you want to be ahead of the times and see what people are going to be riding two years from now check it out!




Kinda Clean Eating Cowgirl


After years of food allergies, being uncomfortable, sluggish and rundown… drowsy in the middle of the day, hard to wake up in the morning and pretty much not being able to eat anything that wasn’t cooked in a home kitchen because it would make me sick, I have finally come to the conclusion that I can’t eat ANYTHING!

This is a tragedy to me. I love to eat. I love food in general.

I think that the best conversations happen at the table, whether it be a bunch of “good ol’ boys” sitting around having coffee, or tossing bread across the table with a dozen of your cousins, the thought that I couldn’t eat what everyone else was eating was heartbreaking to me.

The food problems started about 13 years ago, when my body decided that I couldn’t have eggs anymore, a while after that, milk also was added to the list. Then after that, basically a long list of things that made me uncomfortable but not sick. It’s something that I have talked with allergists and general practitioners about many times over the years. The allergists told me to stay away from allergens that showed positive on my allergy test, which of course included horses, dogs, cats, and pretty much anything outside, along with a long list of foods. We all know that wasn’t going to happen. They also suggested allergy shots, which were expensive and not 100% effective. My general practitioner wouldn’t talk with me much about it, just racked it up to allergies. When I talked with her about my midsection “pooch” (that’s what I call it, it’s like a small muffin top, but only in the front), she wouldn’t really consider anything that could help. At 5’1 and 113 lbs, I’m a very healthy weight and my body fat percentage is on the lower half of healthy, so she basically just told me it was the way my body was built and to accept it. What bothered me was that it didn’t get much better despite exercising multiple times a week, eating pretty healthy and even training for a half marathon.

Then I ran into a holistic doctor at a barrel race in North Texas and talked with him about it. He said it was all inflammation in my midsection and it was more than likely caused from the food allergies. He suggested an alkaline diet to basically detox my system. He said NO Sugar, NO Gluten, and NO Dairy. All I was thinking was, “What is there to eat, then?” The thought of giving up bread (wheat) was heartbreaking. The sugar wasn’t going to be as bad as I had already started cutting back on that. Dairy didn’t bother me much, because I wasn’t able to have much of that anyways. But I was still not convinced nor committed to the cause. Weeks went by and I ran into another holistic doctor and discussed the food issues. He confirmed what the first holistic doctor had said, but he threw in a few more things like, NO Genetically Modified, No Added Sugar, No Processed Food, and Organic Heavy. He also suggested a broad based probiotic supplement and an Omega 3 Fatty Acid supplement.

Now hearing it for the second time and being sick and tired, of being sick and tired, I knew I needed to at least try it. I don’t like to waste food, so let’s just say I went about this at about a 50% effort and I wasn’t going to throw away food I already had in the house. The process was hard! Finding food that was organic and not a million dollars was one challenge, the other was making sure that I was actually buying what I thought I was buying. Buyer Beware!! Just because something is in the “organic section” doesn’t mean it’s organic. You have to look at the label. Also, you need to look at the prices. My favorite green vegetable is zucchini and unfortunately it’s a veggie you need to watch because apparently it is one of the most genetically modified veggies out there. So when I went to grab the organic “zuke” my jaw hit the floor when I saw they were $3 a piece. Yes $3 Dollars EACH. I’m sorry but that is out of control. When you can buy a bag of regular zukes for 88 cents a pound.


Grilled Wild Red Salmon, Organic Green Leaf and tomato salad and mashed potatoes. Total cook time 35 minutes.

Please don’t think that I’m some sort of snobby person who is eating organic food for the sake of being able to brag about organic food. A matter of fact I went home with a giant bag of regular genetically modified pesticide sprayed zucchini that day and after rinsing it and frying it up with garlic and butter, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’ve done a lot of research and I could go on for days about what could possibly be bad about GMOs and pesticides. At this point I’m eating organic not just because the doctors suggested it, but to stay away from the pesticides that they spray on the GMO pesticide resistant crops. I could also go on for days about how it’s important that we make sure our farmers have a healthy profit margin. I’m pro-farmer all the way!


The proof is in the pudding!

In just 5 days of taking this more holistic clean eating “half-hearted” approach, the following occurred:

1. I didn’t get sick once

2. I lost 4 lbs

3. My stomach was flatter

4. I had energy all day and was able to fall asleep at night

5. I wasn’t hungry

6. My sugar cravings went down

7. Organic Fruit was sweeter and stayed fresh longer

8. Figured out Gluten Free bread isn’t that bad if you toast it

What scares me is that it made so much of a difference. The thought that maybe the food industry is selling us food, just to make a profit rather than feed us, scares me. Even when I go to the “health food” stores I run into the same thing. If you look closely there are products even in those stores that are not the best for you and are meant to sell you a “product” rather than something that is really in line with healthy clean eating.

5AedF1dD9tn2Vlbo.pngIf you get a chance, there is a movie called “Fed Up” and it gives the history of the food industry and explains why the food you see at the market is actually at the market. It is very enlightening and will help uncover why sugar is an ingredient now in almost anything processed. It also shows what is wrong with “low fat” and “low calorie” processed foods.

Confession: I had a doughnut for breakfast this weekend and a Hot Dog and a small Dr. Pepper at the Barrel Race. No one is perfect, but there is no doubt that eating cleaner will make you feel better and healthier.

Absorbine’s Newest Botanical Line– Barrel Racing Bravo!

Courtesy: Absorbine

Courtesy: Absorbine

Absorbine recently sent me two of their newest products to test and I have to say the Botanicals Natural Herbal line of body rinse and foam liniment, hit the mark! I was skeptical at first. Although I liked the idea of a botanical line, I figured the products wouldn’t be any different than the liniment products of the past, which although seemed to make the horses feel better, created a mess and had an over bearing alcohol smell. Boy was I wrong.

I first tested the foam liniment on myself. I use A lot of the horse products, on myself because I figure if they make a difference on me, then they are likely to make a difference for them. The first thing I noticed was the pleasant smell, not like the over bearing smell that icy hot or other muscle rubs have, which made it user friendly and didn’t make my eyes water. I liked this because sometimes after long runs (me running), I use a muscle rub and it often smells up the entire house, something I have to apologize for whenever friends come over. However, this was not the case with the botanical foam. Along with its pleasant smell, it spread over my skin and didn’t feel sticky and it didn’t dry my skin out after use. Along with all of these benefits, I was pleasantly happy to find myself relieved of minor aches and pains, just after several minutes.

Now for the barn test?

Both the foam and the brace have Aloe Vera, Arnica and a mixture of 10 different herbs. My favorite thing about the foam and the brace is that they are easier to apply to the horses than other braces. The foam actually goes where you want it to, not like the liniments of the past that you spill most of on the ground and hope that it gets where you want it. The brace makes up to 24 gallons and can even be diluted further if you want to. I was pleasantly surprised about the brace because I expected, based on recommended dilution, that it wouldn’t work as well if you diluted it further, but that was not the case at all. The dilution recommendation is right on and was easy to do. The brace didn’t suds up and it didn’t leave a film that I felt had to be rinsed off later. I simply poured the brace into a 5 gallon bucket, filled it with water and then sponged it on my horse with a natural sponge. I also felt comfortable leaving the brace on my horse (which I did) and knowing that it wouldn’t aggravate her sensitive skin. Although I don’t know if there is any factual significance to it, I also found that flies and mosquitos do not like the smell of the Asborbine Botanical brace and they were not attracted to it, a huge benefit in Texas during the summer time. I have found the opposite effect with other “herbal” body washes.

I have to give Absorbine a “Barrel Racing Bravo” for making an innovative product like the Botanical line that not only works well, but is also user friendly and utilizes natural herbs and oils to relieve minor aches and pains.

… and as much I liked the foam liniment for the horses, I even liked it better for me, so it’s moving back in the house from the barn!

If you would like to find out more information, you can go to the below link.


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