has been a dream season for barrel racer Mary Walker, which
has been a long time in coming. Having joined the WPRA in
1983, this will be her first trip to the Wrangler National
Finals Rodeo and with a late season surge has put herself
in the hunt for her first world title.
Walker of Ennis, Texas, has served as
an inspiration for all in and out of the rodeo industry.
Having collected barrel racing titles from Cheyenne, Wyo.,
to Nampa, Idaho, to Window Rock, Ariz., to Missoula, Mont.,
to Ellensburg, Wash., and numerous other checks in between,
she has now added a title for her 8-year-old bay horse,
Perculatin ("Latte") - the 2012 AQHA Barrel Racing
Horse of the Year.
This time last year, Walker was still
trying to recover from the death of her son and a barrel
racing wreck that shattered her pelvis, broke two vertebrae,
two toes and left her in a wheelchair for four months. She
wasn't released from rehabilitation until Christmas Day,
2011, and it took a few months to get her strength back,
She credits Latte, a long-strided Dash
for Perks gelding, for helping her regain her strength and
carrying her to her first Wrangler NFR.
"He's very lazy," said Walker,
who doesn't use soft boots or magnetic blankets or anything
except cookies on Latte. "He only went as fast as I
wanted to on those early runs."
The duo is now full speed ahead en route
to Las Vegas in December.
Brittany Pozzi's horse Yeah Hes Firen
"Duke" finished second in the 2012 AQHA Horse
of the Year voting and Fallon Taylor, who finished 16th
in the final world standings, finished third in the voting
with her horse Flos Heiress "Baby Flo."
A complete story on the AQHA Horse of
the Year will appear in the November issue of the Women's
Pro Rodeo News.