After winning Camrose Pro Rodeo in early spring of this year, Diane had told me she wasn’t sure if she was going to still head to some amateur rodeos or not; that she had to check her schedule and had to be smart with her horse JG Hectors Pizzazz (by RNJ Heckofafrenchman out of RNJ Abigail) aka Sonic, as she was young and would need some more seasoning. Fast forward through 38 pro rodeos, the CPRA Rookie of the Year title and $22,620.74 won, Diane is headed to the Canadian Finals Rodeo in Edmonton, Alberta in sixth position.
Through out the year Diane and Sonic also won Innisfail, La Crete and Pincher Creek. Truly a dream rookie season for the pair!
How would you describe her style?
Confident and extreme. She’s an all business kind of horse. Her blast is incredible.
With all the miles made, varying ground conditions, and expenses,what kept the CFR dream alive for you?
Simply…my horse! She deserves to have a chance to go as far as she can. And my curiosity of “what else can she accomplish?” That drove me to keep going.
What was your favourite rodeo this year and why?
That’s hard to pick just one, I had a few faves this year. Kdays and Ponoka were incredible, the energy and feeling you get running in those arenas is a rush like no other! But I’d really have to say Camrose was my favourite rodeo above all this year. My horse had one of her best runs there, and winning that rodeo changed my whole year (and world)!
Who is your barrel racing idol?
Connie Combs, she is so wise! And of course Lisa Lockhart, they don’t come better!
Regarding legging a horse up,what is your routine?
Riding up and down our river hills, I have a long trail through the pastures. Lots of long trotting and some loping and breezing. We also try rope on her a couple times a month to keep her strong.
We all know that being competitive takes serious mental strength.What do you do to keep a sharp mental edge in the game of rodeo?
Preparation! Doing my due diligence to set my horse up for success. Being prepared takes my stress away. Also, I rely heavily on my husband. He’s been doing this sport a lot longer than me and has a great attitude towards competition. He keeps me grounded.
What is your go to product for keeping your horse feeling his/her best for the season?
Coulee Equine. Salt spa, lights, Proscope, Katie!
What is the best piece of advice you were ever given regarding barrel racing?
When I first started a veteran barrel racer told me, in regards to making runs, “it’s not a problem unless it happens 3 times in a row. Just call it a mistake and carry on”. That comment has really stuck with me over the years. It has saved me many times from getting too discouraged. I think this helps build confidence in my horses too because I ride with the attitude ‘it’s no big deal, it happened, let’s just make it better next time’.
What is one thing you can’t live without on the road?
My phone. …. obviously! Sirius radio is another must have!
*Photos submitted by Diane