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Barrel Racing

Barrel RacingAlthough barrel racing may look less harrowing than some other rodeo events, it certainly is not for the faint-hearted. The horsemanship skills and competitive drive in this fast and furious event make it a crowd favorite. In barrel racing, the contestant enters the arena at full speed on a sprinting American Quarter Horse. As they start the pattern the horse and rider trigger an electronic eye that starts the clock. Then the racer rides a cloverleaf pattern around three barrels positioned in the arena, and sprints back out of the arena, tripping the eye and stopping the clock as she leaves. The contestant can touch or even move the barrels, but receives a five-second penalty for each barrel that is overturned. With the margin of victory measured in hundredths of seconds, knocking over one barrel spells disaster for a barrel-racing competitor.


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