One of the top barrel racers in the world is coming out of the Tennessee Valley.
Sadie Wolaver is heading to compete in the barrel racing world championship next week. Wolaver’s love for rodeo has taken her across the continent. From her first solo ride at four years old to this past year where she’s entered more than 50 rodeos, it’s taken a lot to get where she is today.
“She’s right now one of the top 15 barrel racers in the world! Here’s the lefty!” said an announcer at a competition.
Wolaver has made a name for herself in the world of rodeo. She’s been competing for a year to get to this point, but it all really started long before.
“My dad and my grand dad grew up barrel racing,” Wolaver said. “I just remember I was never led by my parents. My mom said the first time I ever got on she just wanted me to walk through the pattern and I remember going in, she said I looked back at her and I just started whipping, going at it.”
Now the 18-year old cowgirl heads to the international barrel racing finals.
“It takes a lot to get here,” she said. “It takes a lot of people to help you get there. It takes a lot of fuel money and definitely a lot of friends to help you split fuel money with for sure.”
Wolaver’s hauled her horse Princess from Canada to New York, from Kansas to Texas, picking up new friends along the way. It’s all for the love of the sport.
“Whenever I’m riding the thrill comes at you so fast,” she said. “Every pattern size is different. You have to adjust every time. And most of your average barrel second pattern is probably 14-15 seconds and if you think about all that goes on in those 14-15 seconds, it happens so quickly. I mean you’re at one barrel having to drop at the split of a second. Barrel racing goes off tenths of a second. It barely separates a winner. So really you have to have a lot of focus. I even I talk to myself the whole run just to get through it. But I love it. I wouldn’t change it.”
Wolaver says the thing she loves the most about it is making new friends She says she’s now hauling horses across the country with people she didn’t know before this year.