Every Second Counts

WPRA Partners with Alan Woodbury on New Timing Devices – BY A NOSE

By Ann Bleiker

Photo by Kenneth Springer

On February 14, 2024 WPRA Vice President Heidi Schmidt and Alan Woodbury and Shaun Maher with By A Nose Timer joined Amy Wilson and Hayley Novak on Western Sports Roundup to discuss these innovative timers that are being introduced at rodeos across the country.

With a new year comes new opportunities. The Women’s Professional Rodeo Association Board of Directors is pleased to announce its partnership with Alan Woodbury on his latest innovation BY A NOSE.

BY A NOSE is a new timing device that Woodbury has developed for the world of barrel racing, specifically in the professional realm. The term By A Nose comes from horseracing and that is where the idea of this new timing device came about.

BY A NOSE was developed, designed, and produced from research and data. Woodbury has closely followed barrel racing and horse racing for over 40 years. He recognized a need for a more accurate barrel racing timing system early on. A few years ago, he was at the track in Ruidoso, NM, when he met the expert who analyzes film, (and horses’ NOSES,) to determine race winners.

Woodbury hired him to travel the country, filming over 700 barrel racing runs at major rodeos. Using state of the art technology, the runs and their times were analyzed to record timer heights and nose heights both starting the run and finishing the run. From these numbers, Woodbury designed a timer tripod with a standard height and WITHOUT adjustable legs. This tripod is easy to set up and is ALWAYS THE SAME HEIGHT. He was also able to determine the nose height range of horses crossing the eye. From this data, he designed a canister to sit on top of the tripod that uses four eye beams spaced at specific measurements to catch the differing heights of noses…all sizes of horses, running with heads up or heads down.

BY A NOSE Timing Device

The WPRA Board of Directors have been working closely with Woodbury over the past year.

“When Alan called a year ago to come look at the prototype for these timers, I went into that situation not really knowing what to expect,” stated Heidi Schmidt, WPRA Vice President. “It was pretty incredible to come out of that meeting with an extreme sense of excitement. Witnessing something that could revolutionize barrel racing timing and the industry was something the WPRA Board needed to see immediately, so we arranged for Alan to present the product to the board at our 2023 Spring board meeting in Colorado Springs.”

The team saw the fruits of their labor at the recently completed Montana Circuit Finals Rodeo in Great Falls, where BY A NOSE timers were used.

BY A NOSE Timing Device

Photo by Clay Guardipee

BY A NOSE Timing Device

Photo by Clay Guardipee

“We were excited to put the BY THE NOSE timers into action at the Montana Circuit Finals,” stated Dillon McPherson, Montana Circuit Director. “They definitely created a buzz and everyone from contestants to spectators were interested in learning more about them. They were well received by our circuit members, and we are anxious to get more in the field during the 2024 rodeo season.”

The WPRA Board of Directors believes the Montana Circuit Finals was just the tip of the iceberg and are excited to use these at more events throughout the 2024 rodeo season. Currently there are a few prototype units being used successfully with 50 more in production that are planned for WPRA distribution. Woodbury hopes that sometime in March, there will be 100 more units available to purchase.

BY A NOSE Timing Device

This timer was designed with colored lights on the back of the canister to indicate when the timer is on, lined up, ready to time, timing in progress, and back to ready to time. It’s EASY and as long as someone is paying attention to the lights and the battery has been charged, it shouldn’t miss a time. In addition, the BY A NOSE timing system has its own wi-fi that will transmit times to an app that can be downloaded to a phone, etc. When changes or upgrades are needed with the system, the app will update automatically.

“In the WPRA, hundredths of a second can change lives, and it is the WPRA’s responsibility to provide to its members the most accurate timing system we know of,” said Schmidt. “The WPRA Board is very excited to move ahead with BY A NOSE and help get these game changing timers in the hands of contractors and other contract personnel.”

As more information becomes available including where these timers can be ordered, the cost, WPRA plans for implementation at rodeos, etc., an update will be shared at that time.


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(719) 447-4627
(719) 447-4631 (fax)

431 South Cascade
Colorado Springs, CO 80903

(719) 447-4627   |   (719) 447-4631 (fax)


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