Barrel race at Hoedspruit

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

“We promise you will like it!” We would like the western riding to become more popular in our region as it has already grown a lot in other parts of the country. The event will be collaborated with The Equine House Saturday Market, which is a new family friendly market, ”she said.

She has been driving for 15 good years. “As a child, all I wanted to do was ride, touch, draw or just rub shoulders with horses; I pretty much wanted to ride before I even knew how to walk! There is no other explanation for my love of horses than the passion God instilled in me, which I believe he will someday use to accomplish my goal, ”she said.

She told the Herald that her love for horses keeps her going as a rider, she said the people she’s had the privilege to meet along the way keep her going as well.

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“I have built invaluable relationships throughout my ride with the horses. My horses give me so much in return and they are ultimately the reward, ”she said. She said that although horseback 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 predominantly female dominated because we are a bit crazy and we don’t show any fear. In the United States, barrel races are included in the NFR (National Finals Rodeo) where men and women are equally important in the roles they play in the various events; I believe the attitude around the setup is fair and inclusive. The barrel race is adrenaline-filled, dangerous, thrilling and also extremely technical when you are a serious competitor.

According to Swan, the rules are fair and the competition is tough, not to mention the fun. “Even if we don’t always win with the best time, sometimes we win thanks to our personal bests. There is nothing more satisfying than leaving the arena once you know you have performed the perfect race in technique, best time or not. At the end of the day, every runner is competing against their best selves, ”she said.

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

“She pushes me to pass. Traci has 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 the big girls who have invested so much in their careers. “I admire three-time World Champion Hailey Kinsel and Amberly Snider who is the only professional quadriplegic barrel racer in the United States and who is a great inspiration to our attitude when life seems to be at a standstill,” she declared.

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

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

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

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