Barrel racing 2013 World Standings: 14th 2013 Earnings: $68,144
WPRA: Tell us about the horse(s) you will be riding at the 2013 NFR?
SB: I will be taking 2 horses, Clancy (NF French Tigger) and Victory (Per Victory Dash). Clancy loves to drink Starbucks coffee.
WPRA: How would you describe your horse's running/turning style?
SB: They are pretty different horses; Clancy's has a style to where he is real responsive and Victory is more free running.
WPRA: What are you looking forward to most when you get to Las Vegas?
SB: The feeling of being in the alley is quite the reward in itself because we work all year long for it. Your family and team put everything they have into it as well; we all give up so much. That's what is so exciting about it!
WPRA: What has been your biggest lesson or learning opportunity in 2013?
SB: The biggest lesson I learned this summer and it was to put God first, because I was trying to do everything myself and really push things and when I just gave it up and put God first than everything came together. I really prayed about it, both my horses ended up getting hurt and I was just shown great opportunities to ride with really great trainers. I just really try and learn everything I can from everybody; you can always learn something from somebody else that will benefit you.
WPRA: What has been your greatest achievement or most memorable experience this year?
SB: My most memorable experience was winning the first round at Cheyenne, WY, that same day we were headed to Nampa, ID and stopped in Rock Springs, WY and watched my little brother rope and win the first round of the National High School Finals, which was so neat! And then that same day my Dad's race horse "Just Plain A Zoom" qualified for the Rainbow Futurity. It was just a really great day for our family, I won't ever forget that day!
WPRA: How do you stay physically and mentally fit with all the difficulties of rodeo life?
SB: I stay gluten free, which allows me to cut out wheat, barley and rye and allows me to eat more meat, vegetables and fruit. Physically, I work out every day; we have a gym at the home and I try and keep the same schedule on the road which gets hard. I make sure I do 2 minutes of cardio every day, so I will either run stairs or run the bleachers at rodeo's or I have a jump rope that I keep in my tack; so every time I open my tack I will jump rope real quick. Just things like that you have to do, it's hard, you are an athlete and you have to treat your body like you are one. You just have to ask yourself, how bad do you want it?
WPRA: What is your best advice for keeping your horses healthy, happy and sound on the road?
SB: I would say just spending time with them, you have to take care of your horses they are the whole reason you are there. The more time you spend with your horse the easier it is to notice when they aren't feeling the best or even becoming a little sore which allows you to know when to give them time off.
WPRA: From a training perspective, what should barrel racers instill or develop in their horses to support their success as a pro-level equine athlete?
SB: From a training perspective I would say just having a broke horse, whether you are leading them on the ground, trailering them, riding them, letting them know when to stand up on bad ground, they have to be broke enough to understand your ques.
WPRA: What quality do you feel barrel racers need most in order to make the dream of qualifying for the NFR a reality?
SB: Besides faith, opportunity and horsepower I would say the one thing that holds barrel racers back is their mental toughness. I always hear excuses, I just tell them if you don't feel strong enough to ride that horse, than work out, if you need more knowledge than ask somebody and if you are green than ride with someone. There is always something you can do to progress yourself, so do it, again it just depends on how badly you want it!
WPRA: Who are you most thankful to and/or grateful for supporting your career and journey to the NFR?
SB: I thank God for all of my blessings in and out of rodeo he is the only reason I get to do what I do! Besides my faith, my parents (Paul & Kandace Blanchard ) and my granny and grandpa (Dorothy & Butch Scrivener) have always supported me in any unimaginable dream I've have. They always say, "It's ok you can do it!" There are so many people that have supported me, we could fill the entire Thomas and Mack with everyone that has supported me and that have somehow made a difference and helped get me to the NFR and I am truly grateful for everyone of them!
WPRA: What is an average day for you at the NFR?
SB: There is no average day in Las Vegas at the NFR!
WPRA: Who comes with you to help?
SB: I have a team of friends that have helped me throughout the year that will be there (Stacey Amentia, Nicole Kline & Lacey Tripplet), as well as Barry Bader that works with and trains on my horse Victory. Also one of my sponsors Tracy Sharp, she does a lot of chiropractor work on my horses. Also, my boyfriend Luke Butterfield.
WPRA: What is it like in the alley, what is going through your mind?
SB: I just get so excited and grateful to be there. When you are lined up and you watch the truck drive in with the 3 barrels you just think, "Wow, this is it. I am just so blessed to be able to be here in the top 15 and to run in the Thomas and Mack." It's the coolest thing and you work so hard for it and give up so much to get there, it's crazy but it's what we do. It's really a relief and it's such an exciting and joyful feeling be in that alley.
WPRA: Once you have qualified for the NFR do you start to do anything differently?
SB: I just breathe and start revaluating my goals of now what is laid in front of me. For me being on the bubble this year, I pretty much knew I had made it after Amarillo, TX which was a huge relief and I could start breathing and not worrying so much about it. But the girls that were with me encouraged me to not get too relaxed yet.
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