I’m simply OVER THE MOON that my daughter Sinclair has a full blown love affair with horses and barrel racing. My little 40 pound jockey has gone from trying to find a D in the alphabet this past spring to running in the 1D Labor Day weekend—in the OPEN! AGAINST ADULTS!
At Diamonds & Dirt™ this past March, she trotted and baby loped a blistering 46-second pattern on her steadfast mare Rosie. I SWEAR I’m having this mare cloned. She is a SAINT!
Later this spring we ventured off into pee wee rodeos. We did our first series at the Waller County Fairgrounds in Hempstead. Next thing I knew she was loping home from a broken pattern with her head thrown back and a smile on her face.
She was having fun; bottom line that’s why we do this. But, just how far will she take it?
We moved on to the next series—Little Britches in Field Store. Sinclair got to experience her first all-night rodeo, but never weakened, even when we finished at 3 a.m. She was getting faster and had moved up to Butter, a speed-demon pony that came from the family of Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier and former IPRA World Champion Jane Melby.
Butter was no softy though. He was testy to say the least, but she stayed hooked. She earned her first open checks with her plush Palomino pony.
Her confidence was growing in leaps and bounds. Was she ready for her first REAL barrel horse?
Sinclair’s next big test was the Ogden 8 & Under World Championships in Andrews, Texas. This was no backyard goat-roping, these young riders came to play with some serious horsepower. One of the horses we ran against was Mystic Angela, a former NFR record holder!
She ran Butter and Homie, a great gray gelding that is a solid campaigner that had carried my friend Shanna Brown’s daughter at Hempstead earlier this spring. The next thing I knew it was bye, bye Butter. I HAD NO IDEA that Homie would be next to go.
Once Sinclair saw other kids her age competing at such a high level, her competitive nature took over. (I have no idea where she got that from!) She went and spent two weeks with Jackie Ganter, one of the toughest youth barrel racers around and proud member of Team Woof Pack, a group of talented young riders who donate a portion of their earnings to K9s4COPs.
She saw how much work Jackie puts into her horses. After hanging out with Jackie, all she’s wanted to do is learn how to run barrels. The kid lives with LaTricia Duke, for heaven’s sake–all she had to do was walk to the barn to learn from the best of the best, but seeing how much work another kid put into it made her want to do it.
She went from having someone else booting her horses before and after a run to taking care of that herself. Of course, a good pile of dirt still calls to from time to time, but she’s learning her horses have to come first.
That dedication earned her a new mount—Little Bit. Professionally known as APHA World Champion Sugs Calico Dreamer, the Paint gelding was one of LaTricia’s first superstars. She knew he would be perfect for Sinclair. He’d do his job, but take care of his rider.
Little Bit and Sinclair ran in the 1D at the very tough Jurassic Classic over Labor Day Weekend, and she won the 1D Youth!
When you look at her 40 pounds and see the determination of driving this 1,100 pound amazing animal at top speed, you just sit and watch them in awe. Doodle, I’m so PROUD of YOU!