Best of the Best in Ohio Qualifier: Barbara Jimison

Just jumping onto the barrel racing scene in a big way these past two years, Barbara Jimison has made a name for herself as one of the country’s best up-and-comers. She’s earned titles from Florida to Michigan, and it will only be a matter of time until we begin to see her name popping up in the WPRA standings. (She filled her permit in just two rodeos this spring.)

Barbara Jimison and Miss Secret Memories

Last year, Jimison placed third in The Best of the Best in Ohio Slot Race after her mare C.C. had a major layoff in the month prior to the race. She went on to win the Open the two days following the BOTB, and we’re confident she’ll be a hot item in the Calcutta on Sept. 22. 

Tell us about the horse you’re riding.

She’s a push-style horse. The harder I ride the harder she will run. She is 9 years old. She is out of Leaving Memories and Our Miss Z Whiz who goes back to Zevi. Her registered name is Miss Secret Memories.

Order your Charlie to wear during the September Showdown!

What has been your horse’s biggest win this year and of all time?

Her biggest win this year was winning each round at Ohio’s NBHA State Show. And I would say of all time would either be winning the finals at Great Lakes Nationals in Illionis or winning the Shamrock Showdown in Florida.

What’s your ultimate goal in barrel racing?

My ultimate goal in barrel racing is to compete in ProRodeo and someday make it to the NFR.

What saddle do you ride?

Right now I am riding in a saddle my mom bought me when I was 13 years old from Congress. Its so comfortable and broken in that I love it! I cant wait to get my new saddle from Strayer Saddle Company in a few weeks.

What bit is in your horse’s mouth?

I ride her in a short shank twisted snaffle.

What supplements do you feed?

I feed her Fast Track supplements and the Mega Omega Oil.

What won’t you leave home for a barrel race without?

I won’t leave home without my cowboy hat or my dog Milo. They are both a necessity.

To whom do you owe most of your success?

I would have to owe my mom and dad most of my success. If it was not for them I would not of been able to get to where I am today. They have always pushed and encouraged me to reach my goals and have been behind me 100% of the way.

Tell us one fun fact about you or your horse.

CC loves to go swimming in the pond, or in her water trough in the pasture. She’ll stick her whole head in there and slash around. She likes to splash me with water at a show when she’s getting a drink then stick her tongue out at me.

What charity is closest to your heart?

Breast Cancer Awareness is the charity and cause that I support the most. Many people I know family and friends have been affected by this cancer. We have started doing the charity walk in downtown Toledo to help raise money and its an awesome feeling.

Best of the Best in Ohio Qualifier: Heather Warnimont-Palmer

Heather Warnimont-Palmer is new to the Best of the Best in Ohio Charity Slot Race, and we’re excited to have this dynamite duo that was beat by only Barbara Jimison at the TOUGH NBHA State Show this year. She’ll be at the WB Ranch Sept. 22 to again run with the state’s best for a chance at BIG prizes, thanks to Chick’s Saddlery, Cactus Saddles, and Charlie 1 Horse Hat Co. (And MANY more!) 

Tell us about the horse you’re riding.
Cowboy’s registered name is Little Bit of Cowboy. He’s an 8 year old gelding out of Zions Sun Lady and he’s by TNT Money Bars by On the Money Red. My mom, Nancy Warnimont and I just purchased Cowboy Jan. 27 of this year and our first show was the end of February so we don’t have a lot of history together yet.

What has been your horse’s biggest win this year and of all time?
We were 1D Reserve Champs in the Open Barrels out of 326 at the NBHA State finals at Circle G this year next to Barbara Jimison.

What’s your ultimate goal in barrel racing?
To win the Sweepstakes at Congress ( not this year though because I didn’t sign up soon enough )

What saddle do you ride?
Billy Cook

What bit is in your horse’s mouth?
Charmayne James 3-peice short shank bit

What supplements do you feed?

What won’t you leave home for a barrel race without?
Well, I guess I’d have to say my saddle cause that’s about the only thing I actually haven’t forgotten at some point, lol.

To whom do you owe most of your success?
My mom, my husband and our two boys, Carson and Dalton, for putting up with me dragging them to shows, Rick and Lisa Cox (they trained Cowboy and have given me countless pointers) and Frank Vandeneynde for passing up such a great horse so I could buy him!

Tell us one fun fact about you or your horse. 
Every time he meets someone new, he has to put his nose right in their face and smell them. My husband smokes, and when he smelled him for the first time, he did a funny thing with his lips, pulling the corners of his mouth clear back as if he had a bit pulling back real hard on his mouth. I guess that means he hates the smell of smoke, lol. He makes the same face when you hose off his neck close to his head.

What charity is closest to your heart?
American Red Cross because I lost my dad in March of 2010 and I can’t tell you how important it is to have this organization.

On the Road with Dawn and Clea from WB Ranch: Margaritas and Tasers

Looking for NEW Boots??   ENTER TO WIN to WIN A PAIR! 

The winner will get boots and an On the Road with Dawn and Clea 2012 T Shirt!

T Shirts are $15.00 and all money goes to Team Marley!  Help us support a great cause and a wonderful group of children!  Your anticipated help is greatly appreciated!  Contact Dawn and Clea on Facebook for more : ) 

Good Morning Chels just a little reminder up top!!  It is a cool crisp morning and beautiful.  You would think it was a September morning instead of June. As I find time to write this I look out and the horses are in the field so I know it was a comfortable night for them as they are not in the barn avoiding the mosquitos.  As I get ready to go to the office I hear one of the dogs bark–at our house that early in the morning can only mean one thing.  There is a horse out or horses out… Clea ask “What is she barking at?” Yep you guessed it Shawn decided she needed to be out of her pasture and in the barn isle way for a morning snack!  And the day begins…

Last weekend took us to WB Ranch in Swanton, Ohio, for the $3000 added open and a whole lotta barrel racing.  It was a great weekend for all.  We had some awesome runs on our ponies, we had a lunch at Barron’s that we will not soon forget and got to see a lot of great friends some old and made some new ones.

Friday we would have the trailer packed and ready to roll out the drive at 8:30 a.m. Oh wait we had both trailers packed, we are trying to make up for our missed shows with all our ailments. It was well worth taking all the ponies. They all ran great and made us proud.  After getting to WB Ranch we unloaded the gang, got all the fans, buckets and whatever else needed hung – hung. We get parked and all situated and decided to get things started with our exhibitions. After that we breakout the ASS KICKIN barrel covers from – and get the barrels ready for the weekend!  We are getting ready for The Best of the Best at the September Showdown September 21-23, 2012! Go Team Marley!

Becky and Helen – you remember Helen from Circle G! Yep that’s her.

Wanted to go to lunch – it is 3 p.m. so it is now a late lunch.  We all decide to go to Barron’s for a little Mexican and Margarita’s, just a few though as we have to ride in a few hours.  So here we go.  Helen Clea and myself are waiting outside Becky’s trailer waiting for her.  Clea yells “Becky what the heck are you doing?”  Helen says “Beck Let’s go” then picks up her phone to call her just then Crystal walks by and says – “What are you 3 doing?” Clea says, “Waiting on your freakin mother!” Crystal replies “She’s waiting in the truck!”  We all laugh and go get in the truck and head to Barron’s.

While there Helen and I are asking about a Juke Box–Clea is praying there isn’t one and Becky is saying “Dawn, please don’t egg with her.” Just stop girls!  We are all laughing.  Our waiter is impressed, we can tell, for sure.  Helen has dropped the F Bomb about 5 times in the first 10 mins and has everyone chuckling at the restaurant.   Helen and I begin to sing a little song as we are waiting for our order.  Of course we have our margaritas to help us through the wait for the food.   We started talking about Helen’s funeral plans – she wants to have one BEFORE she actually dies.  So every time we see them we ask her the same thing “Helen what about those funeral plans” and Becky says “girls don’t start” so we are sitting at the table laughing and we have then entire place (about 35 people) yelling Hooray when we yell “Hip Hip” – it is entertaining to say the least.  In between all the Hip Hips Clea says to Helen “lets practice the dead part of the funeral” without hesitation – Helen falls to the floor as if she just was shot. The entire place gasps for air.  The 2 men at the bar – Helen was right at their feet- look down and had she stayed thee 30 more seconds they would have started CPR.  Helen jumps up and everyone is cracking up.  The 2 gentlemen behind us are calling their wives to let them know they will be late getting home so they can stay and see what else is happening…. Clea yells out “O-H” and our table says “I-O” the rest yell Blue and Gold.  Clea jumps up and says “I’ll kill ya”  … we finish our margaritas which were very small but man I am here to tell you they were mighty!  And we hit the road..

We head on back to the ranch with the radio up and Helen and I singing as loud as we can while Becky and Clea shake their heads.  Oh how I love a good ol’ country tune.   We are about half way back and Becky puts in her favorite song. It was a little slow and heartfelt – Clea says “What the hell is this” turn that other music back on… We listen to it- I sing of course and then we get back to the tunes.  We have to stop at Sunshine corners for some beer for Josh and Crystal.  We pull in and there are bikes everywhere. Becky and Helen get out and the truck is running… of course you know we are going to move it.  Clea jumps in and puts it in Drive hits the gas and BAMMMM over the curb!  We laugh and wait to see if they will find us.  About 3 mins Becky comes around the corner with a case of beer and laughing… She gets in and says Helen will never find us she has no sense of direction.  I say “she is going to get a ride on one of those hogs”  We wait for about 3 more mins then Becky decides to pull around to get Helen.  We pull up and you guessed Helen is on the back of a trike with a gnarly biker dude.  Pink tank top, 12 pack of Busch, throwing the Hawaiian Shaka sign  they head down the road!  At this point we are laughing so hard we are crying.  They head down the road at a high rate of speed.  Becky driving with Clea and I in the back seat going “ come on Beck – don’t lose them” the rest of Hell’s Angles watch us as we are pulling out of Sunshine corners trying to catch Helen and Easy Rider when all of a sudden BAMMMMMM Becky goes up over the curb and about knocks us out… Now we are rolling…  Oh my gosh we had a great time!

We get back to the Ranch right behind Peter Fonda and Helen she bails off and anyone who is around is laughing their butts off!  Good Times Good Times

So Clea heads for the trailer as the 4 yes 4 little itty bitty margaritas (they were so little who knew) had now kicked in.  I myself am thinking holy shit I gotta ride 4 horses in a couple hours.  Aaaaaaaaaaaa Make that 5 Clea decided that I would be better suited on the ponies with her current state of mind/body!  So I walk around and visit to shake off the Rita’s and start to get the ponies ready.  There are 101 in the class and I am 19th in on KC Jane… I am praying I can stay on- if I make the first barrel I should be good!  Well I made the first second and third barrel and KC Jane ran like Carl Lewis.  Thank you KC Jane for such a great ride.  She would stay at the top of the leader board til the last horse ran… Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!   The other ponies would win the 3rd and 4th Division as well and Chili as 2 out of being in the 2D.  So we decided we would be headed back to Barron’s on Saturday for lunch and to visit our friend Rita!  Just kidding we didn’t but we thought about it.

Saturday would bring a few more riders to the show but not the numbers WB had hoped for.  We think there where a few things’ that contributed to that.  A late showbill, others point shows scheduled and Father’s day!  All in all it was a great show although not as big as we would have liked to see.

The pole class as in deed fun to watch.  Clea would run 2 of the pole horses (she was feeling better) and then one of the barrel horses.  I would run 4 and we would both get in on one horse in the $3000 added class.  The senior and youth were low attendance classes but always a joy to watch.

Saturday night most would pull out to head home for their Father’s Day celebration. We would find ourselves at Becky’s and Helen’s campers enjoying the company of many around – it wasn’t a campfire – but a tiki torch and telling stories and listening to lies.  Calvin Korek would bring his sense of humor to the party- he was however a little preoccupied looking for his bubble gum.  The Strayers were there.  We chit chatted about work a little and Emily would endure John on his quest most of the evening for his taffy he lost.  Boys and their candy!

Chase Marshall would keep Helen entertained while in her beer hat and a few went to another camp sight to play corn hole for a awhile- it must have been a smoking game as they were back in no time.  Kelly Bowser’s Mom and Dad would grace us with their presence- always so nice to see them. Danielle, Lisa and Cheyenne would be getting their game on to run for the Best of the Best.   Barbie Jimison would wear her hat in the Saturday race to make sure she kept all the barrels standing – and it worked she won the Open on Saturday. Congrats Barbie!

Clea would terrorize the entry booth gals with little, let’s call them stories, one was that the tractor was broken, Heather about had a heart attack.  The other was that the gate gal punched someone in the face for lipping off – she had everyone believing that one.  At this point The gals said “You will not get us on anything again”  ummmmmmmm Wrong.  She would get them one last time but calling and pretending to be the police and telling them that they had someone in custody and needed assistance…… She got them again. I am sure it won’t be the last time.

Joe and Heather were rock stars in running the show.  Very smooth and ran on time.  It was by far the best ran show at WB Ranch.  They had the gate area very safe;  Sheri Schnitkey did a great job!  The entry booth was 100% organized (although gullible) and the tractor driver-Well let’s just say Andy YOU ROCKED!  Thanks to all who worked so hard to put on the show.

We are looking forward to seeing everyone at the State show and hoping we can out do last year.  Dustin Whitesel  – Gentleman start your Tasers!

We will have our 2012 T shirts for sale at State!  We will be seeing Marley there and she will be making her debut as a Pee Wee Rider!   So excited for the weekend!

Everyone has been asking about getting forms for the Best of the Best.  You can get them by going to  that is the only thing on there.  Someday maybe it will have more but right now that is it!  J

As I was driving to work this morning thinking about what to put in the WB blog I couldn’t help but keep going back to The Wiley family and their terrible loss this weekend.  Clea and I would ask that you take a minute and send loving, healing thoughts and prayers to The Wiley’s at this time.  Life is so precious and we should all live it to the fullest as we never know when God needs us.

Until next time, remember be kind to one another.

Clea & Dawn

On the Road with Dawn and Clea

PS REMEMBER!! T Shirts are $15.00 and all money goes to Team Marley!  Help us support a great cause and a wonderful group of children!  Your anticipated help is greatly appreciated!

Looking for NEW Boots??  ENTER TO WIN to WIN A PAIR!

The winner will get boots and an On the Road with Dawn and Clea 2012 T Shirt!

Jackie Harris and Team DO3: Part 3

Here’s the last part of our interview with Jackie, and check out:

Gabby’s Rodeo from Jackie Harris on Vimeo.

Is there anything like Team DO3 in the rodeo/barrel racing world?
I do not believe there is anything like TEAM DO3. Most organizations in the equestrian world are about points. Points in order to be named “champion” at the end of the season and receive awards. That is all fine, however, I do not want that to ever be TEAM DO3. I want the members to want to succeed in order to be able to donate more to the charities. I want them to want to improve so that they can donate more to the charities. There won’t be any champions crowned, as our tally grows as a team! I do not report who adds what amount to our tally, as I want it to be a team effort. It doesn’t matter who adds what amount, what matters is that we are all out here doing our best and adding to that pot to watch it grow!

Who has helped you the most on this mission?
My husband, Sean. He knows full well, of course, how much it has cost me all these years to be a barrel racer. From the horses, to tack, to trucks, trailers, barns, arenas, etc. etc. Then for me to say, I need to do something, I can’t feel helpless any longer when it comes to cancer or heart disease, and wanting to help animals-I’m going to donate all of my winnings-He totally supported that decision. He didn’t tell me I was off my rocker! (Not for this particular circumstance anyway! Not even when I cracked my skull open before the Venango horse show and still insisted on heading down the road because I had the tv interview to help get the word out!) He has always supported me and listens to all my ideas and gives me feedback. He tells me that he feels I am in inspiration to others, which helps me to push forward. That others see that I didn’t just throw my hands up when Sis got hurt, and give it all up-that I thought it through and found a solution. As he tells me that most after losing all that I have, would have quit. To come up with Dreaming of Three after losing my step father and father-to have this huge plan, then for it all to crumble (seemingly with Sis’s injury)-he lets me know how strong I am, which makes me even stronger. He is going to help me with the business side of things, the business plan, expenses, assisting me with the “Rodeo Kids” and making things go smooth, being camera man, road crew, etc. Believe it or not, all of it has actually inspired him to learn to barrel race! He was generous enough when Sis got hurt to sell his trail horse so that I could have the room for a back-up barrel horse. I made sure I found something that he could ride on trails, and found Smoke. Which, he is such a great horse, and so patient with Sean learning the ropes! It is great to watch Sean with that big grin on his face as he finally is learning how to lope circles! He says “I can’t stop smiling when I do that, as it’s so much fun”. So he is finally, after 20 years of marriage, understanding why I’m so addicted to the horses and barrel racing!

What has this whole deal meant for you so far?
Every day as things progress, I think about how I hope my step father, John, and my father are proud of everything I am doing. As I try to make it more successful I think about them. So it is an avenue for me to honor their name-to perhaps mourn a bit throughout it all. I really miss them both and not a day goes by that I don’t have a moment where I think about them both. I wish they could both see all of it! To know that I am doing this for them, for all those names on my saddle crosses, for all of those out there still fighting, for the rodeo kids and their families. It was a way for me not to feel helpless any longer when it comes to cancer or heart disease or animal rescue/cruelty and I hope the Team members feel the same way.

Congrats to Barbara Jimison and Miss Secret Memories

Barbara Jimison and Miss Secret Memories

The kick-A team of Barbara Jimison and Miss Secret Memories (a.k.a. CC) has been on FIRE lately, and we haven’t gotten to brag on them nearly enough.

This duo made their first run back after a layoff at The Best of the Best in Ohio Slot Race last September to turn in a reserve finish, and then went on to win the Open the next two days of the race. All winter and spring this duo has been HOT HOT HOT wherever they go, and I’m pretty sure I want them to make Colorado their next stop!

Check out the write up on Barrel Horse News’ site!

Congrats to Megan Yurko and all PA/OH/WV IPRA Barrel Racers!

Boy oh boy have I missed a lot. Major congratulations to IPRA Rookie Megan Yurko, who in her first run at the International Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma City last week took home a third place check worth $730! Also, big congrats to Laura Lee Thomas for two second place checks, and to Shanna Simmons for winning round three and running second in round two.

Here’s the rest of our interview we did with Megan Yurko before the IFR.

What’s your game plan for handling the pen and the ground in OKC?
My game plan is to just have fun, I ran Beea in that pen at the 2009 BFA so
it’s not new to us even though it will be set up different. I know she’s going
to love all the noise so I’m going to trust her and let her do what she does
best, RUN!!

What does making the IFR mean to you?
I can not describe what making the IFR means to me especially my rookie
year and being the youngest the whole thing is really quite overwhelming. There
are so many people to thank that has helped me and Beea get to the IFR: Amber
Mostoller and Heath Wyre, Teresa and Donnie Tyner, Stassi and Rob Pyne, Sherry
Sunden, Teresa Quay, Karla Arthur, Linda Jett, Laura Lee Thomas, Chris Bryant,
Melvin Byler, Virgil Templeton, I hope I haven’t forgotten anyone, I really just
want to thank you all!! Also my family and my sponsors LubriSyn, Buckeye
Nutrition and K.E.Y. Animal Hospital!!

Why would you rather rodeo than go to barrel races?
I LOVE the whole atmosphere, the noise, the crowds, the excitement, being
on the rode seeing so many new places and of course meeting new people that I am
happy to call my rodeo family!!

What is your goal for 2012?
I really haven’t thought a lot about 2012. Of course I would love to make
it back to the IFR, so I guess to continue to ride strong, keep Beea happy and
healthy and learn all I can from anyone and everyone that is willing to teach me

Will Beea continue to be your mount, or would you sell her to move on to another
Beea will continue to be my mount, I can’t imagine selling her but you
never know I guess…

What is your pre-run routine?
My pre-run routine is pretty laid back I normally ride in the grand entry
then watch the rodeo till its time to get Beea ready. I stretch Beea a lot, lope
a few circles each way, I always say a prayer then let her go!!!!!

What are you most looking forward to at the IFR?
I just can’t wait to get there!!! I am looking forward to the entire

Who will be going with you?
Beea and I are hauling out to OKC with friends and my mom and dad are
flying out on Thursday.

Who will you haul with in 2012?
My dad has been hauling me since school started back up but I would love to
haul with Amber Mostoller again this summer. Summer is a crazy time at K.E.Y.
Animal Hospital and my dad needs to be there so I guess anyone that is willing
to haul us I’m in, I can’t thank everyone enough, again, that helped and hauled
us this past summer I wouldn’t be going to the IFR if it wasn’t for all of

Kick Ass Cowgirl Jackie Luffey Harris: Part 1

Jackie on her Race for a Cause mount, Sis.

Jackie Harris has been through hell and back, and her life experiences with death, disease and despair have taught her never to stop swinging. Now that this Western Pennsylvanian cowgirl has made it through her own rough patches, she’s on a mission to help others in a way that hasn’t quite been done before in the world of barrel racing. With the help of Kick Ass Cowgirls and lots of friends, Jackie is riding for a cause. Find out all of the good things Jackie is doing in our three-part interview, just in time for the holiday season. If you’re looking for a way to make an impact this time of year, look no further! 

Tell us how you got involved in Kick Ass Cowgirls, and what you’re doing with them now.

I got involvedwith the Kick Ass Cowgirls by chance. I just happened upon their page on Facebook one day. I read about all the great things that were happening there–how they would always “pay it forward” and help others in need. I loved everything about them and how they supported each other through hardships and difficulties–or just gave each other a kick in the ass at times. At that time, they were trying to raise enough funds for a new saddle for a little girl with Retts Syndrome. I started checking every day, and helping anybody that was in need. Then, I noticed they had a “Cowgirl In Need” Contest. Described as, “Any up and coming horsewoman who needs a little extra push to get into the spotlight, get down the road to victory or is just plain down on her luck, let us know about her.” With my plans for 2012, I thought it could be a way to help me raise some funds for fuel for 2012, a friend, Beth Penland, nominated me along with several others-and I won!

I became their “poster child” for their newest contest “Race for a Cause” for 2012. I helped them put some ideas together, they wrote up the rules and are out there getting tons of awesome sponsors and prizes. The basic outline of the contest: You pay a membership fee, which gets you into the contest, a members only tshirt and a decal. You race in the same arenas you always do throughout the year. You designate a percentage (10%-100%) to go to your favorite designated charity. You keep track of your winnings and turn them into KAC. The “points” go off of your total earnings for each quarter, not your donated amount. There are four regions. Each region will have a winner/top money earner every quarter. So prizes will be given out 4 times a year to each of the four region’s. Then there will be a BIG winner for end of the year with all regions combined.

It is a great way for barrel racers to donate to a charity close to their heart and have a chance at some Kick Ass prizes as well.

What inspired you to start riding for this cause?

The thing that inspired me to race for a cause is losing my step father to cancer in October 2010 after a year long battle, then my father three months later to a heart attack in January 2011. I had several other friends and family struck with the same diseases, and always would see on Facebook friends with loved ones that were struck as well. I felt so helpless. I wanted to do more. Of course I prayed for each and every one, but I wanted to physically do something for them. My mare started improving these last several years, becoming more consistant. Seemingly, I would come home with paychecks every time I went out. I have waited for this caliber of horse since I had started barrel racing at the age of 12. One day while waiting to enter the arena, excited at my success this year, the thought came to me-I could take these winnings and donate it to The American Cancer Society and American Heart Association, and of course because I volunteer at several animal rescues, some to those organizations as well. I feel fortunate enough to finally have the horse, a great family, to have all that I need in order to participate in this sport I love so much and to spend time with my friends. I have found out in the last year or so, that life really is too short, I am thankful for what I have, and want to pay any extra I receive forward. I have started to put away the money from my last several races as well into my “fuel fund”- the way it made me feel, racing for others, is so much better than just racing for myself. I started a saddle cross collection as well, where friends and family can give me the initials of loved ones they know that are fighting, lost fight or won fight to cancer or heart disease. I feel in a small way, I am racing for them as well. I saw a quote once by Margaret Meed it stated, “Never doubt that a small group of citizens can change the World. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has”. So, I will do my best in 2012, and hope to raise as much money was possible for the charities.

What associations do you plan to compete in?

I plan on competing with the IBRA, Penn-Ohio BRA, and getting my IPRA card as well to compete at some of the rodeos in the area or a reasonable distance. It’s been a dream of mine to get my IPRA card, but if I didn’t have a consistent enough horse, I wasn’t about to do so. Again, life is short, so I’m going to do so this year while I “Race for a Cause”!

Kaci Riggs: Charlie 1 Horse Hat Designer

…and that’s just the beginning with this Texas cowgirl. Kaci Riggs has made some of the most popular and stylish hats in the barrel racing (and Western) world, and that’s a combination that’s not always easy to create. Her Charlie 1 Horse hats have popped up everywhere from the National Finals Rodeo to the IBRA Nationals, and every barrel race and roping in between. (And quite a few Best of the Best competitors looked fabulous in them this fall!) 

Kaci’s taken her knowledge of the fashion industry and combined it with her in-the-arena know how to produce some of the finest hats we’ve ever seen. Whether she’s jet-setting across the West or kicking the boys’ butts in the roping pen, Kaci is looking fabulous in one of her designs.   

Tell us about how Charlie 1 Horse started, and how you came aboard to create these hats.
Charlie 1 Horse started in 1978. It was HUGE during Urban Cowboy. Many, many celebrities have worn Charlie 1 Horse; the list is long. It’s so cool to look back at the old stuff. They are TRULY works of art. Richard Petty, Kid Rock and Eddie Montgomery still wear the old ones.

I was hired as an assistant to the Resistol designer, Bob Posey. In spare time, we worked on C1H styles. When I was hired, we just didn’t sell many of the fancy ones. I chose to make a few things I thought I could relate to and wear. I kept the competitive cowgirl in mind, but I also had to consider the business woman who needed to look fabulous at a Cattle Baron’s ball. We started seeing a lot of success within the barrel racing industry and fashion industry.

What is your background in the horse industry?

I grew up in 4-H, junior rodeos, high school, amateur and college rodeo…. I ran barrels when I was little. I rode English for a couple years. I started roping when I was 11; my dad needed a heeler ;-D

My senior year of high school, I qualified for the National High School Finals Rodeo in the breakaway roping. I placed at Nationals that year in Gillette, Wyo. and received some scholarship money. That helped me continue my education and attend Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX with additional rodeo scholarships. I qualified for the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyo. my senior year of college. Since college, I have always continued to rope. No matter where I was in my career, I have always continued to rope. I feel very fortunate that my career allows me to cross over into many disciplines of the equine industry. I’m passionate about the western lifestyle.

How does that background affect your designs?

My background really helps me to know how important the FUNCTION of a hat is. When you compete, you can NEVER have to worry about losing your hat. It has to fit, be comfortable on your head, stay on during competition and you have to feel good wearing it. It has to fit your personal style and not make you feel awkward…. And it has to be affordable. I believe your horse, your rig, your entry fees have a higher priority than fashion. That is why Charlie 1 Horse is committed to making the most FABULOUS~LOOKING hat at the most affordable price.

When you’re making a hat, what kind of cowgirl are you thinking of as you design it?

I’m thinking of a cowgirl with the most original style. She wants a look that is her OWN. She DOES NOT blend~in. She’s a leader; not a follower – she blazes trails…. She respects the lifestyle, but she likes to put a modern TWIST on her own personal look. Her appearance is important to her and her hat is how she expresses her eccentric personality. I have to make a hat that appeals to a variety of women – I personally prefer the more core-western styles, but I also design some that are completely outlandish. You gotta give ‘em what they want….

So far, what has been your favorite moment of your career?

Gosh, that’s tough… I enjoy each moment. I guess seeing it come full-circle is best. It’s really fun to see C1H published in magazines. I love when girls WIN BIG who wear our hats – I LOVE seeing C1H in win-picts. I love seeing the flag girls at the NFR totally blinged-out wearing our stuff. I love getting tagged in photos on Facebook of little-bitty girls that look SO gritty and tough wearing Charlie 1 Horse – it makes me laugh! I guess the most rewarding part is to see how happy the hats make people.

Tell us about your all-time favorite hat, either one you’ve made or otherwise.

Hahahaaa… that’s like asking a mother to pick her favorite kid! LOL!!! I really love the tonal trimmed felts. I’m not a HUGE fan of flashy…. I love the tacky leopard prints, but they’ve been hard to make. Honestly, my favorites change each season we launch a new line.

What do you do when you aren’t busy making hats or working for Hatco?

I try to spend a lot of time with my family, but I’m sure my family would attest that I ROPE every chance I get! There are a handful of ropings that I like to go to each year. The Open to the World, the Windy Ryon, our Resistol Roping and the USTRC Finals…. I guess I travel a lot and spend a lot of time with friends. I’m all about a road trip…

What is one style tip that every hat-wearing cowgirl should know?

No matter what you think, if it’s creased right, you look GREAT in it. Women are SO UNCOMFORTABLE in hats. It drives me crazy…. They just aren’t used to wearing them, or they don’t wear the right one. I could pick a hat for any woman and I promise she would look great in it! A flattering crease makes all the difference. Don’t EVER just wear it straight out of the box. All brims need to be hand creased.

What is your favorite outfit to rock your Charlie 1 Horse with?

You didn’t really just ask me this…. Every day is a fashion show for me, you know. I’m all about dresses with cowboy boots…. Maybe funky tights? I love my cowgirl suit too!!! (CTC jeans & Barranada shirts) Whatever it is, it CAN’T overpower the hat!!! IT’S ALL ABOUT THE HAT. Sorry, but I just can’t answer this one directly…..

What is next for you and Charlie 1 Horse?

I have a new commitment and dedication to Hatco in product development for Stetson, Resistol, Wrangler, and Dobbs brands. Charlie 1 Horse will always be the most creative and fun line to design and will continue to surprise us each season. You will see a handful of fedoras with western twists (inspired by a fellow cowgirl fashion diva). They are for the cowgirl who wants to cross over into fashion without forgetting her roots ;-D I’m so excited about the new felts we will launch in January at Denver Market. Some can be found at NFR in December with ML Leddy’s.

Charlie 1 Horse has set some pretty high standards…. We will keep moving forward!

Our friends at Rod’s Western Palace in Ohio carry Charlie 1 Horse Hats, as do many fine retailers across the U.S. For a great deal on a Charlie, download and print this coupon! 

Cody Powell Takes Home Two Congress Championships

Cody Powell and Mo winning one of their two Congress championships this year.

Cody Powell and Moss Me Moe were perhaps the most dominating force in barrel racing and pole bending at the All American Quarter Horse Congress in 2011. The team took home the titles in the Senior Pole Bending with a smokin’ 20.087 and in the Youth Barrels 14-18 with a 15.108. We grabbed Cody for an interview as soon as he got home from his whirlwind week at the Congress, and he’s here to meet The Barrel Racing Blog’s readers today!  

Tell us about Mo. How is he bred, how old is he, and who started him?

Mo is a 9-year-old gelding. He’s got Easy Jet in him and had a lot of Thoroughbred in him which explains his height. He was started by Dave Eget in partnership with Tom Snyder of Blue Lakes Farm.

How long have you been running Mo?

I’ve been running Mo for 3 years going on 4.

About how long did it take before Mo started clocking like he did at the Congress?

It took me and Mo about 2.5 years to start clocking like we are now.

What would you say Mo’s running style is?

Mo’s running style is he likes to be driven hard to the pockets and runs hard. He’s pretty automatic but if you don’t ride hard, you won’t get a good run out of him. When I run Mo in barrels and poles, I try and give him as much free rein as possible. Hes pretty easy to stay balanced on.

What were your goals going into the Congress, and what do you think of how you ended up?

My goals going into Congress this year were to bring home the win since it was my last year as a youth at Congress. How I ended up was exactly how I wanted to! Two champion runs!

What has been your biggest win before the Congress this year?

The biggest win I had before this year at Congress was getting Reserve Champion in Novice Youth Poles 14-18 last year at Congress.

What bit do you run Mo in? Do you use the same bit for barrels and poles?

When it comes to running Mo, I don’t use a bit. I use a hackamore. He gets ran in it in both barrels and poles.

Do you have an pre-race routines or superstitions?

Before a race I usually practice the pattern a couple times but not that much because he gets too hot headed.

What feed/hay/supplements does Mo eat?

Mo’s feeding is he gets Natures Blend sweet feed with Dumor joint supplement. He also only gets first-cutting hay that we made this year.

Does Mo require any vetting?

When it comes to vetting, Mo only goes to the vet if he gets hurt.

Do you prefer running poles or barrels more? And which does Mo prefer?

When it comes to choosing a favorite between barrels and poles, I can’t. I enjoy them both. Mo on the other hand enjoys poles more I believe but who knows, I’m not a horse whisperer haha.

What does the future hold for your barrel racing and pole bending career?

My future in barrel racing and pole bending is to do well in the years to come. Wouldn’t mind being like the big-dog barrel racers and pole benders like Charlie Peoples, Troy Crumrine, and Jud Little, but I can live without being like them also.

What does the future hold for you and Mo, and will Mo ever be for sale?

The future for me and Mo is more racing and more bonding time as a great team. I doubt I will ever put him up for sale. If anything ever changed, the price tag would have to be able to change my mind into selling him. I like the horse too much to sell him cheap.

What do you do when you’re not barrel racing or pole bending?

When I’m not racing, I’m usually working around the barn or going on trail rides. I also enjoy hanging with friends.

Best of the Best in Ohio Barrel Race Videos and Photos

Yikes! I’ve been so swamped at works folks, I’ve been MIA on here lately. And my cohorts on the editorial end have been even busier catching up with everything. Dawn and Clea have been working, running and making some around-the-barn improvements, so we’ve all let you down lately.

We’ll be catching up for sure in the coming weeks, but for now, we’ve got all of your multimedia coverage from the Best of the Best in Ohio Barrel Race! Again, we want to send a huge Thank You! to our awesome sponsors, Greeley Hat Works and Rod’s Western Palace, Rock and Roll Cowgirl and Panhandle Slim, Chick’s Saddlery, Cowboy Militia, G4 Ranch, and everyone who sponsored our Chinese Auction!

Champion Anne Johnson and Show Me Some Glory

Reserve Champion Regan Henning and Story Tellen Flower

Third-place finishers Barbara Jimison and Miss Secret Memories

Highest-placing male, Justin Theado and An Angels Treasure (6th place)

And now, check out their winning runs! First is Anne Johnson.

Here’s second place winner, Regan Henning:

And here’s Barbara Jimison’s third place run: