After what has been a dream season, the young and talented Hailey Kinsel of Cotulla, Texas is WNFR bound after winning $98,706.87 with a rodeo count of 71.
In 2017 Kinsel won a National College title, won the Day’s of ’47 rodeo AND won RFD-TV’s The American! WOW!
“Each were so unique and meaningful for myself and my family. These wins are blessings and have confirmed just how exceptional Sister is.” she said of her success on her mare Sister (DM Sissy Hayday by PC Frenchmans Hayday out of a Royal Shake Em mare). Her other horse TJ (Thunder Stones, by Sticks and Stones, out of a Pines Easter Jet mare) will be making the trek to Vegas this December.
What are your main mounts quirks?
Sister has a big personality and is very expressive about what she wants. TJ is a big sweetheart but is deathly afraid of flags and wagons.
What was your favourite rodeo this year and why?
The ones I did well at for sure! But I really love Denver, Fort Worth, and Spanish Fork
If you were just starting out now, who would you train under, what clinics would you be taking? Who do your morals line up with?
I would look to those who have been in the business a long time and had success on many levels. Sherry Cervi has always been my favorite to watch. I think I could learn a lot from anybody, but if I had to do it all over again, I would still choose my Mom. She has made me who I am as a horsewoman and a human being.
We all know that being competitive takes mental strength. What do you do to keep a sharp mental edge in the game of rodeo? Do you do anything before a run to keep your nerves in check?
I exercise my mental game daily. I compete better if I live in a constant state of mental practice and preparation, not just “getting ready” on race day. With that said, I have various things I do on race day to bring myself to the level of calm focus that I like.
Under your program, what do you do when a horse feels off to you? Who/what therapies do you include in your program?
I get to know their “normals” very well so that I know exactly when something is not normal. My mom and I will brainstorm, and then I go to my vet, Dr. David Dutton. I rely on him and his expertise and knowledge of our horses as well, and follow his advice closely for treatment.
When shopping, what areas of conformation turn you off? What points of conformation do your prospects absolutely must have?
Soundness. In the end, they have to be sound and built to work. I can appreciate almost any “stylistic” conformation as long as they are sound.
What would you like to see be done in the industry to better barrel racing as a sport?
Improvement in ground conditions. Safety should always come first.
What are you most excited for, heading into the WNFR?
Running down the alley that I dreamed about my whole life!
Photos submitted by Hailey*