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The Wrangler National Finals Rodeo serves as a source of inspiration for many barrel racers. After all, who hasn’t dreamed of blasting down the alley at the Thomas & Mack?
Qualifying for the NFR is never as easy as it looks, however. The competition is tough and the standards are high – only the top 15 earnings leaders among over 3,000 WPRA members qualify each year for what is known as “the greatest show on dirt!”
With the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo now in our rear view mirror, it’s a good time to look ahead to the New Year and write/talk barrel horses; after all it takes a very special equine partner to rise to top of professional rodeo.
There has ever been a point in history when the equine athlete has been a more important part of the barrel racing equation. Every year the number of horses who have been genetically engineered for barrel racing grows. Although many of the elements necessary to win (hard work, determination, positive attitude, etc.) will remain the same as we go forward, at the same time what it takes to be competitive today is different than it was a few years ago.