All Blogs, In The Arena

Barrel Racers on Fire: Carley Richardson….. Brought to you by Kentucky Performance Products


First off this year has to be a dream come true, you have dominated! So lets start with your background.. tell OTRR Fans about your history in the arena?

I started riding as soon as I could walk. My Dad ranches and team roped so he took my sisters and I to the junior rodeos when we were old enough to walk. I started on a pony named Okie. I also breakaway roped and tied goats in high school.

Tell us about the horses in your trailer and your relationship with them?

The main horse I have been riding this summer is Doda Flit (Radio). He is an eleven year old gray gelding by Doda Dash out of Flit Priss by Flit Bar Beggar. We bought him as a two year old out of the BFA sale in Oklahoma City from Barbra Burns. My dad rode him outside a lot on the ranch before we showed him the barrel pattern. From the first day we started him he acted like he was born to do the barrels. The first big thing I won on him was the IFYR high school rodeo in Shawnee. He was 5 and I was 17. That’s when I really knew that he was a special horse. We have been together a long time now and I know him like the back of my hand. I think he knows me too. We feed off of each other. It’s almost like he knows when it’s a really important run and he tries even harder. He is so honest and tries the best he can every single time. I think that’s important in a horse out here on the road. They have to love their job and they have to show up to work day in and day out.

My other horse I have been riding is Fashionable Boy (Boy). He is a 13 year old sorrel gelding by Nonstop Firewater. I bought him 3 years ago from Catherine Clary in Louisiana. He is the first horse I’ve run that my Dad didn’t train, so it took me almost a year to figure him out. I used to think that girls that bought a trained horse had it so easy, but Boy gave me a new respect for girls who can jump on anything and win, because it’s not near as easy as it looks. Boy is so strong and like riding a freight train. I ran him all last summer after Cheyenne when Radio sustained an injury. He stepped up to the plate and I’m very happy to have him in the trailer.

There are many highs and lows on the road, how do you deal with those mentally?

When things aren’t going well it can be very hard to handle because you are so far from home and so tired and stressed all you want to do is go home. I just try to remind myself that there is a reason I’m out here, because I have two great horse who love to run barrels. I tell myself that nobody is making me be out here and I can go home anytime I want and get a real job….which usually makes me snap out of it and refocus. I also call my friends from home and make them talk to me about anything but barrel racing lol. Having a positive mind set is so important. It’s not always going to go your way, but that’s okay. I just try to keep my head up and go to the next one.


What are your plans for the rest of the season?

I’m going home for two weeks after Cheyenne before I will go back out for Hermiston. I think I need those two weeks to recharge and I know my horses will love it. The ultimate goal is to make the NFR, but I look at it as one run at a time. I plan to just make solid runs and just ride as consistent as I can. I’m hoping to run Boy a lot more in the northwest and give Radio a breather, but we will have to see how things are shaping up later in the year.

What do you feel is one of the hardest things about being on the road?

The hardest thing is all the miles traveled. The hours and hours spent in the truck. When I’m home I’m riding colts or helping my Dad. I’m used to being outside all day so it’s very hard for me to sit still in a pickup all day long. But for the most part I’m very thankful to be doing what I’m doing. I’ve seen some amazing sights that I didn’t even know existed.

Check back next week for Part 2 of this great interview! Read more of our “Barrel Racers on Fire Series”

All photos provided by Carley Richardson.

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