Ever met a barrel racer? Neither had we, or at least we thought, until we found out one of our very own employees at Wilkins Automotive, Jessica K., is just that! She’s definitely a fearless female and we decided to have a chat with her to share what she does.
Melissa: How would you describe barrel racing to someone like me who doesn’t know much about it?
Jessica: The fastest time wins. Everyone follows the same generic clover-leaf pattern, and you can go to the right or the left (depending on the horse) and ride without knocking over a barrel. There are always 3 barrels. It’s a lot of work, adrenaline, and you have to find a way to work with a 1,500lb animal.
M: How long have you been barrel racing?
J: It’ll be nine years this year. I’ve been riding since I was five.
M: Tell us a little about your horse, Kiss?
J: I was with her for eight years total. She’s an Appaloosa. She’ll be 15yr this April. It was a challenge riding with her at first. She used to have bad habits of rearing, but she kept you on your toes no matter what.
M: What is a memorable/funny moment you’ve had?
J: In 2005, while I was getting help in [the arena], my horse knocked this short lady out with her rear! But you can’t stop, you just have to keep going!
M: This seems like it could be dangerous if you’re not trained to ride. Have you had any injuries from racing?
J: Oh yeah. You can hit a 55 gallon drum, I’ve been drug, slammed into a fence, you have to know what you’re doing.
M: Any advice to someone interested in barrel racing?
J: Start off with a slow horse, find someone you trust to help you. Don’t go for winnings or money. Go for fun, that’s what I’ve done!
Thanks Jessica for allowing us to get to know you! Connect with us on Facebook to keep in touch with our awesome staff! Here’s a video of Jessica’s awesome riding skills: