Coming to us in the number 12 position is the Holden, Alberta barrel racer, Rene LeClercq. This year she placed second at Dawson Creek, was the Brooks Pro Rodeo Champion, placed second at the Finning Pro Tour Finals and was The Glow Slot Race Champion.
LeClercq felt the heat late in the season as she rode out the bubble waiting for Grass Roots to be over to clinch her third Canadian Finals Rodeo qualification.
This year she will be running Flit, aka “Flirt For a Diamond” who is by Chicado Book (Docs Paradise) and out of Molly Parton, a Quixote Doc mare. Flit was born and raised on their family farm and trained by Rene. She is also packing Razzle aka “Special N Tiny” who is by All Star Special, as her back up horse.
What quirks does your horse have?
Flit is super quiet and laid back, but she doesn’t like drinking from buckets with a halter on, ha!
How would you describe your horses barrel racing style?
Flit has a push style, with a rollback barrel turn. You really have to push her deep and keep that momentum.
What do you want people to know or remember about your horse?
Flit’s mom was the first horse I learnt to ride on and run/compete on barrels, so it’s pretty special that Flit is who I’m running now.
What was your favourite rodeo this year and why?
Lacrete, it’s a fun rodeo to go to. The committee really looks after everyone, and the ground is always great there.
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? How do you stay motivated throughout the season?
I feel that the key to keeping sharp and motivated is to keep reminding myself that I started this for the fun and joy of riding my horses. And that good or bad, you have to hit the reset button after every run.
What was it like being on the bubble this year? What were your emotions and how did you handle them?
It was definitely an interesting feeling, although I’ve always been confident in my ability to perform under pressure. I just had to keep pushing and accept that when everything was tallied, no matter where I finished I had done my best. Plus I enjoyed the adrenaline rush and high intensity of the pressure.
What does your feed program look like, keeping your horses in peak condition going down the road and even in the off season?
It is definitely critical to keep my horses in top performing condition, and then carry them through the offseason. I use a range of products, including Hoffman’s Elite/pro fat/mineral, Destress, Excel EQ and Sharpedge.
What is the best advice you’ve ever been told regarding life, horses, rodeo or barrel racing?
Best advice is a quote. Never a failure, always a lesson.
What has been your most memorable run over the years?
Jasper 2013, my very first pro rodeo win. It was on Flirt, the mare I lost in 2017.
If you could make a run on any one of the other CFR qualifiers horses which one would you choose and why?
Ripp of Carmen’s, she has so much heart and athletic prowess . That horse is so unique in its abilities.
What is one thing you can’t live without on the road?
What are you looking forward to the most as you head to the 2018 Canadian Finals Rodeo?
I’m really looking forward to seeing how the Westerner is going to run the CFR and of course making fast runs on Flit!
Thank you again to all my amazing sponsors. You guys are the reason I can keep going.
Frontier Western Shop
Country Junction Feeds
North Point Outfitters Inc.
Back on Track Canada
SharpEdge Equine Supplements
Excel EQ by Excel Supplements
Excel EQ Alberta at 10 Mile Ranch
HIDEZ Equine Compression Products Canada
Branded By B
Santa Fe Vetinary Services
Elk Island Mechanical Ltd
*photos provided by Rene