A barrel racing event is coming to Hoedspruit


Rider, Melissa Swan, also known as The Barrel Bee, invites riders of all disciplines to join in the fun and try barrel racing as well as other western games.

“We promise you will love it! We would like Western riding to become more popular in our area as it has already grown so much in other parts of the country. The event will be held in conjunction with the Saturday Market of The Equine House, which is a new favorable market for the whole family,” she said.

She has been riding for over fifteen years. “When I was a child, all I wanted was to ride, touch, draw or simply rub shoulders with horses; I almost wanted to ride before I even knew how to walk! There is no other explanation for my love of horses than the passion God has instilled in me, which I believe He will one day use to accomplish my goal,” she said.

She told the Herald that her love for horses kept her going as a rider, she said the people she was privileged to meet along the way also kept her alive.

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“I have gained invaluable relationships throughout my horse riding. My horses give me so much back and they are ultimately the reward,” she said. She said that although riding in general is a largely female sport, it is often not seen by many as a sport at all.

“Barrel racing in particular is mostly dominated by women, because we’re a bit crazy and we show no fear. In the United States, barrel racing is included in the NFR (National Finals Rodeo) where men and women are equally important in the role they play in the various events; I believe the attitude surrounding the setup is fair and inclusive. Barrel racing is adrenaline-pumping, dangerous, thrilling, and also extremely technical when you’re a serious competitor.

According to Swan, the rules are fair and the competition is tough, not to mention fun. “Although we don’t always win with the best time, sometimes we win with our personal bests. There’s nothing more satisfying than stepping out of the arena with the perfect run in technique, fastest time or not. At the end of the day, every runner competes with their best selves,” she said.

She told the Herald that her instructor and trainer, Traci Thomson, is her role model because she taught her how to saddle her first horse when she was 10 and has taught her a lot since. “She taught me gentleness, forgiveness and perseverance.

“She pushes me to push through. Traci has had a major role to play in shaping my character over the years and what I love most about her is that she teaches us that the horse always comes first,” she said. declared.

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Swan said that in the barrel racing industry, she admires big girls who have invested so much in their careers. “I look up to three-time world champion Hailey Kinsel and Amberly Snider who is the only professional quadriplegic barrel racer in the United States and who inspires our attitude tremendously when life seems to be at an impasse,” she said. .

She said the upcoming event will have a lot to offer runners and spectators. “It’s a fun and inclusive sport that welcomes new and competitive riders and encourages them all to feel like they have a place in our sport. “I am extremely excited to show our beautiful community of Hoedspruit what our sport is all about and will definitely be hosting more events in the future with many more exciting surprises, this is just the start.

“Our event also invites Hoedspruit businesses to get involved and contribute as sponsors to make the day a success,” she said. According to Swan, the NBHA is the only association focused on giving back to its riders, so a “jackpot” is set aside for the day that will be redistributed as cash prizes for divisional standings.

If you or your company would like to make a contribution, Melissa can be contacted on 072 443 5011.


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