Bet on Bettis – Pre-NFR Interview with Barrel Racing Qualifier Taci Bettis

2018 NFR Barrel Racer Taci Bettis
Photo by Dan Hubbell

Tell us about the horse(s) you’ll be riding at the 2018 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo?
Bogie is a Smash is ten years old. He’s quirky, but means business. He’s my main mount who has qualified me to the WNFR. Traffic Guy Shine is a five year old colt I got in May. She’s a little behind but has loads of talent.

Do you think the Thomas & Mack environment will complement their running & turning style, or do you anticipate making any specific adjustments?
Smash seems to deal well with anything. Obviously we would both rather be in a big outdoor pen. But that’s not what the T&M is so we deal with it. It might takes a few runs to adjust but I’m not changing much. Go in how I know how to ride him and give everything we have.

Ivy ConradoDo you have any specific goals or intentions for this year’s National Finals Rodeo?
Take it all in, and be so thankful to be there again. However it ends up is in Gods plan and I am just blessed to be there and compete with these elite athletes.

Do you have a preferred bloodline, running style, body type, or personality you prefer and look for in your barrel horses?
No, not really. I value heart and try more than anything.

What has been your biggest challenge or learning opportunity during the 2018 rodeo season?
Trying not to overthink in a run. At the beginning of the summer I put too much pressure on myself to win enough to come home and I was messing up because I was over thinking it and trying too hard.

What motivates & inspires you to keep going and stay positive through all the ups and downs of rodeo life?
I’m competitive by nature and that keeps me motivated but I love reading inspirational books or books that professional athletes have written.

What products and therapies do you depend on most to keep your horses healthy, happy, sound and competitive?
I use Oxy-gen products, accuscope therapy, and PHT Magnetics and Back on Track products.

What piece of tack or equipment is one you can’t live without?
My Tammy Fischer treeless saddle

From a training perspective, what aspect of a horse’s development do you think is most critical to their success as a pro-level athlete?
Building up their confidence. If a horse isn’t confident in themselves, they won’t be able to compete at a high level.

What do you think is the key to making the transition from a part-time amateur barrel racer to a full-time professional?

If you could give one tip to a barrel racer with a goal to qualify for the National Finals Rodeo, what would it be?
It’s not easy, but it’s not impossible. I firmly believe you can do anything you put the time and effort into.

Can you share one of the most memorable moments or experiences from your years of rodeoing and barrel racing?
Winning Rookie of the Year and qualifying for the NFR in my rookie year.

If there was one theme, or one message that your barrel racing journey stands for or represents that is a positive message to others, what would it be?
Never give up!

If you could change anything about professional rodeo, that you feel would help ensure it can grow and be enjoyed for years to come, what would it be?
I think the WPRA and the PRCA should work closer together and focus on the betterment of ALL rodeo athletes. I feel that is crucial to the future of our sport.

What individuals or aspects of your support team have been absolutely crucial to your success?
My family for helping me find something I am so passionate for as a kid, and Tammy Fischer has been a key role in my success in my professional career. One aspect has being having someone help guide me through the do’s and dont’s of rodeo. I would recommend anyone with NFR goals find a veteran to help you. I know it helped me a lot.

Please share your sponsors or any special people you’d like to give recognition to:
Classic Equine
Cinch Jeans
Oxy-gen, Inc.
K&N Equine Solutions
SheFit Apparel
Round Top Farm and Ranch Supply

If you’re up for some NFR inspiration, you’ll love this feature on Taci from Racer’s Edge.


Click here to learn more about becoming a member of the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association.

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