As early as 1954 the now highly followed national sport of barrel racing was formed when a group of cowboy wifes and ranch hand girlfriends got together and decided to create an exciting hobby in which they could ride horses and utilise their surroundings to the best of their abilities. Little did these ladies know back then that their small idea of creating a backyard hobby would become such a popular national event some fifty years later.
Barrel racing has become a truly exiting and professional sport which captivates millions of Americans every weekend throughout the season from May until August in 25 states throughout the country. The associated tack and authentic western saddles that have subsequently been produced by companied employing saddle designers and makers have certainly flourished since professionals such as Cassie Mowry have graced the rodeo circuit with her good looks and riding style, not to mention her inspirational trophy wins and record times.
Such athletes must however carry out strict training regimes and even include nutrition based diets in order to compete at the highest levels. Shedding 100th of a second off every race can mean the difference between fame and fortune or nothing at all.
Barrel racing is predominantly still a female sport and as such, saddle manufacturers have been clever in designing ranges of barrel style saddles that are widely allealing to the lady barrel racer. Such products are now manufactured and produced here in the U.S and also overseas and where this fact draws criticism from purists, many of the overseas brands have become top sellers due to their quality, value for money, performance and asthetic qualities.
Take the beautiful Double T 6472 model with pink alligator print seat below. This saddle is actually an extremely popular product that sells for around $350 with certain saddle distributors such as Texan Saddles.com offering free shipping anywhere within the U.S. direct to your door for free. A pretty good deal I’d say!
Barrel races and rodeo events abviously go hand in hand, so these days at almost every rodeo there is, at least one barrel racing event will take place. The event itself (for those who do not know) consists of a series of barrels set at pre-defined distances apart in a cloverleaf pattern. The riders enter the arena at a fast gallop at which point an electronic timer sets the starting time and which ever rider completes the circuit in the fastest time wins. Penalties occur if a barrel is struck in any way.
Riders wear traditional western attire, such as denims, casual shirts and boots which all add up to bring authenticity to the event and keeping within the true traditions of the all American Western ways.