Where are you from?
Originally upstate New York, now reside in Fayetteville, Penn.
When did you begin barrel racing, and how did you get involved in the sport?
I started running barrels when I was 12. I've been riding even before I could walk. I started with show horses and pony hunters. As I got older I still showed horses, but started taking a liking to the speed events. Being from NY, we didn't have a High School or Youth rodeo team, nor did I even know much about rodeo. Alls I know is that I would go watch the local pro rodeo when it would come to town and think that it would be awesome to be able to compete like that someday. So I would just run barrels at our local shows, and as I got to be about 15, I decided that since I didn't like the politics in the show world that I would just strictly run barrels. Then not to long after that I wasn't only competing with those people I watched at the rodeos but I was winning championships. I moved to Penn. in spring of 2001, and in the past eight years I've had much success with the help of a few great horses.
What are some of your biggest successes in your barrel racing career?
IFR Qualifier, NERF IPRA Barrel Racing Champion, 2 time APRA Champion, Multiple time PRCA Circuit Finals Qualifier, Dodge National Circuit Finals Qualifier, 4x SRA Finals Qualifier, QH Congress Reserve Champion and Finals qualifier, as well as multiple barrel racing and open rodeo achievements.
I have two mares that I run currently, mostly one that most people know as "Reba" or Hears The Deal, as she is known on her papers. She is 14-year-old once in a lifetime horse. I purchased her from Deena Fries in November of 2001, and since then the mare has suffered three broken legs and still runs hard and gives 100%. She has the biggest heart of any horse I've ever seen. She may not set the world on fire like she once did, but she loves her job and will make the same run every time and put me somewhere at the top. She is Jet of Honor on the top and out of Colonel Freckles mare, I have a beautiful, coming 2 yr old Frenchmans Guy out of her that I will be hauling in the future. Reba will be bred back to "Guy" this spring and I am selling a few of her embryos, to keep her legacy going. If her babies have even half the heart she has, it will be such a blessing.
I also run a 13-year-old palomino mare, ThisBlondeMeansWar, "Blondie". She is mostly all foundation bred. I've only had her for about a year but I've tried to buy her for the past six years, and finally in February I got the word that she was for sale, and the rest is history.
What do you do when you aren't on the road?
When I'm not on the road, which is scarce at times, I spend time keeping all my business' running smoothly. Besides the leather business, I'm also a Certified Equine Massage Therapist and Adjustor, as well as I take some horses in for tune ups and have a descent size group of lesson students. Between all that I also help my fiancee, John Leinaweaver, keep his bucking program running smoothly. All in all there is no such thing as spare time around our household.
What associations do you run?
I run IPRA, ECWPRA, WPRA, APRA, SRA, SEBRA, NBHA, IBRA, as well as a few I probably forgot to mention!
What are your barrel racing plans and goals for 2010?
Hmm, that's a tough one. I'm taking this next year day by day. We have a little girl due at the beginning of March, therefore I'm not sure how much hauling I will be doing. I may just want to stay home and be a mommy for a while. We shall see, I even surprise myself at times. I do know that I would like to haul my colt some to get her used to all the chaos. As far as goals... only time will tell.
How does your background in barrel racing help you make better tack?
I see so many people buying tack, gluing "sparkly stuff" on it and selling to the public. I personally wouldn't use any of that on my horses as its mostly junk and it will fall apart. The cheap and competitive prices on those items normally reflect the quality. Therefore I sell only what I would use myself. I make all my tack custom... from beginning to end by hand. I cut out the Breastcollars, Headstalls, etc. then sew them together and hand set all the glitz. Therefore I intend on being the best out there in providing custom items to the buyer.