Barrel Racers on Fire: Katelyn McLeod
So lets start with your background.. tell OTRR Fans about your history in the arena?
I have been riding ever since I was little, my sister and I did the Junior Rodeos in California then when we moved to Texas we did the TJRA Rodeos and then started high school rodeos. I made it to state in the poles and the barrels. I college rodeoed all 4 years but did not have the chance to make college finals. When we first got Kellies Chick I won the 2013 summer shootout in Oklahoma City, at the end of that year I won the Sherrylynn Johnson invitational barrel race on her as well. I made the American rodeo in 2014 with my mom, Michele, on Kellies Chick. She has carried me to 9 pro rodeo wins this year.
Tell us about the horses in your trailer and your relationship with them?
Slick By Design ( slick) Apt to be Special (Toby ) , and Kellies Chick ( Skye) . Mom usually runs slick and I stay on Skye and “Toby” is learning the ropes about rodeo. Mom has ran him in a few outdoor pens in slack and he is also used as a buddy horse for Skye. All three are so easy to care for and handle while on the road.
There are many highs and lows on the road, how do you deal with those mentally?
There are tons of ups and downs, each run is different from the one before because usually the arenas are nothing alike. I have really had to focus on the task in front of me and not what happened in the arena yesterday or what the arena will be like tomorrow. My mom has really stressed to my sister and I after her first year of rodeoing in 2013 that you have to ride for how the arena is set up and focus on how you need to ride your horse one rodeo at a time. Out here on the road I have had to learn how to adapt to many different situations. There are so many factors that play a role when rodeoing such as getting little to no sleep, little to no food, and having to perform and ride your horse at the best of your ability. It is a different world to say the least lol. It’s an adventure and it has helped me to handle the low times by knowing there is another rodeo tomorrow and there is always something to work on and try to make perfect during a run. It only takes one run to get out of a slump and that thought alone pushes me to try harder at the next rodeo.
We know you have been to Vegas with your Mother, how would it feel to share that experience with her?
That would be an amazing experience, I really enjoyed 2013-2014 with her helping her any way that I could. I learned so much in those two years that couldn’t be taught but just experienced. It would be an indescribable experience to know I have made it to Vegas AND be running with my mom, I don’t think it has ever been done so it would be neat to create history.
What do you feel is one of the hardest things about being on the road?
One of the hardest things would probably be having mechanical troubles, anything that comes up with being wrong with our truck or trailer can put us out for a couple of days and that can cause us to miss rodeos, it’s the things we aren’t able to fix ourselves that becomes a hassle. It is crazy to think of it this way but our living quarters is our house during the summer so when things go wrong sometimes I could leave us in bigger trouble than we thought. Something else that is hard is missing family and friends at home. People you are used to seeing everyday we have to go months without seeing.
Be sure and check back for Part 2 of our interview with Katelyn! Check out all our interviews in our “Barrel Racers on Fire” Series!
Pictures provided by Katelyn McLeod.
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