KGUN 9 On Your SideNewsLocal News


Local barrel racer competes in 95th annual La Fiesta de los Vaqueros Rodeo

Local barrel racer competes in 95th annual La Fiesta de los Vaqueros Rodeo
Posted at 10:24 PM, Feb 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-16 00:24:46-05

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Crowds filled the stands at the 95th annual La Fiesta de los Vaqueros Rodeo. Among the competitors was Arizona barrel racer Ashley Haller.

For Haller, there is no horsing around when it comes to a competition.

She says racing is more than just the hype of racing day. To her it is about leaving everything she has in the area.

“I’m running barrels so toward the end of the rodeo I’ll go around the clover leaf pattern. It’s a horse race so the fastest horse wins,” she told KGUN9.

She has been racing for 20 years and says there is no better feeling than running into the arena with her horse bentley.

“You line up towards the first row and your heart starts racing. And it’s a competition just like everything else, so you’re trying to do the best you can, so you want to win,” said Haller.

The goal is to go around the barrels with the fastest time. If you hit a barrel, depending on the competition, it counts as disqualification or five seconds are added.

“But no matter what, you’re probably not going to place if you hit a barrel,” said the racer.

Haller adds it takes time to prepare for the race. Something that is not as easy as it looks.

“I mean, you’re raising horses if you do it yourself or if you’re training them yourself. It’s a lot of investment. It’s a lot of financial investment,” she told KGUN9.

Though it is a lot of work, she says it’s well worth it, knowing women can hold their own and stir up the competition.

“Oh women are successful in barrel racing. I mean, the pay didn’t used to match up with the guys but now it really does...and you can make a lot of money at it,” said Haller.

So, she’ll continue to train in order to “reign in” more wins.

“It’s a little more nerve-racking when there’s more people here, but it’s still exciting,” she added.

If you would like to go to the rodeo, you still have time. It will go on until Sunday, February 23rd.

For more information on the events, click here.