If you pull up the results for The American barrel racing slack, you'll scroll down to the end of the list and see my name. The end of the list isn't where you want to see your name—especially at an event like this. This means that this is the end of my journey for the 2020 American rodeo. Forty other barrel racers have advanced on—including a friend of mine, who I will be rooting for the whole way—and 105 barrel racers, including myself, are packing up, heading home, and trying to figure out how to make it all happen again next year.
I'd like to say that I wasn't upset, that I was happy, despite not making it back to the top 40. But frankly, that's just not the truth. It hit me on my walk back to the trailer—the near half mile walk seemed to have turned into two as negative thoughts kept rolling through my mind. That was it. That was my run. My run wasn't a success. I needed to stomp my boots and throw my sucker in the dirt—which is not like me at all. Never once did I get mad at my horse for having an off day, though. None of this was her fault, she just went in and ran the same pattern she's ran countless times before. But that still didn't stop me from throwing my own pity party.
I tied my horse up at the trailer and started to untack, all the while I was replaying every step of my run in my mind. I walk in the trailer and my mom has my run from today and my run from last week on two iPads watching them side by side. We were all trying to figure out where I went wrong. Obviously my horse was fast enough and good enough to qualify, so why didn't I make it back to the top 40?
That's a question I still don't have an answer to, other than the fact that you can see DD just isn't running like she normally does. The cause of that could've been anything. She isn't a huge fan of small, indoor arenas anyway, she could've been tired from practice runs, maybe I didn't set her up correctly to make a fast run, or maybe she needed to make a practice run today, since she always gets faster the more she runs in a day. But I won't ever know the answer. So all that I could do was have short pity party, get over it, and move on to the next race. There's no need to over analyze what happened.
If you hadn't noticed from my blog "The Horse That Made It Happen," DD is a special horse to me. She doesn't deserve for me to replay this run in my mind over and over again. Today is over and it's time to move on. Even if I never make it back to another semi-finals, at least I was able to achieve this goal on a horse that I love so much. There are hundreds of barrel racers that only dream of running here, only 245 made the cut, and I was able to be one of them.
So after kind and uplifting words from several friends—including my supportive coworkers—who all messaged me after my run, I feel like I'm ready to take on 2021 RFD-TV's The American.
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