Equine athletes and their skilled riders perform at their best.

Barrel racing is one of Professional Rodeo’s most colorful and exciting events. This fast-paced contest teaming horse and rider is easy to understand, just like a horse race and often ranks just behind Bull Riding in crowd popularity.

From the grandstands, the event seems simple: horse and rider cross the start line at a run, follow a cloverleaf pattern around three barrels, then dash across the finish line. What is not seen are the years of practice required to train that horse to run the barrels. The times of top riders are so close that electronic timing devices accurate to the hundredth of a second must be used in scoring.

The horse and rider to complete the run the fastest, with no faults, wins the event. Each barrel knocked over is considered a fault, and a penalty of 10 seconds.