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Basics Of Barrel Racing
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Simon Harris

 
By Simon Harris
Published on December 12, 2008
 
Barrel racing is a timed rodeo event that is meant to be a sport for everyone. This is one kind of sport that offers its enthusiasts the relaxation of the outdoors along with the excitement of speed and the unparallel connection with an animal that is significantly larger, stronger, and faster than the individual mounted on top.

Barrel racing is a timed rodeo event that is meant to be a sport for everyone. This is one kind of sport that offers its enthusiasts the relaxation of the outdoors along with the excitement of speed and the unparallel connection with an animal that is significantly larger, stronger, and faster than the individual mounted on top. It is all about being fast throughout the event, where cowgirls compete in the arena against each other and the clock. That is the only judge of the event is the clock. One doesn't find any style preferences, attitude, or subjective opinions other than the fastest time.

This sport has been around us for years now and has been a game event in a number of competitions for decades. At the first glance, the race is all that simple. It's all about cooperation between the horse and the rider. The arena is cleared for barrel racing first of all. It involves three barrels that is placed at specified distances in the arena in a triangular pattern. It is referred to as a cloverleaf pattern. Generally, the distance would be ninety feet from the first to second barrel and ninety feet to the third. However, different associations have their own recommended distances. The riders then enter the arena at full speed, quickly rounding each barrel in a cloverleaf pattern and then exit where they entered. A stopwatch or timer is used registering down to a hundredth of a second. That's it, fastest time wins!

Thus, speed is what it is all about in barrel racing. The riders steer their horses as close as they can to the barrels and try to shave every precious seconds. For each barrel the riders knock over a 5 second penalty that is assessed to their total time. Every riders' goal is to leave the barrels standing and ripping through the course! Usually, 13 to 14 seconds is generally a winning time in barrel racing, however, this also depends on the size of the arena. Because, all rodeo arenas are not created equal.