This is a busy time for team ropers who have qualified for the USTRC World Finals in Oklahoma City. Many will rope numerous times over this week, and those watching will get see all sorts of action in the handicapped format.
I first saw Barrie in 2001 during the USTRC Finals. She was easy to notice, a blonde who roped in seemingly every event throughout the week-long championship. But I didn’t know who she was until I interviewed her earlier this year for Women’s Pro Rodeo News, the official magazine of the WPRA. It was then that I learned of a vibrant, fun-loving, hard-working cowgirl with a history of championships.
Women’s all-around champion Jackie Hobbs called Barrie one of the “funnest people to rope with.” Barrie has a tireless work ethic, from training horses to roping for hours in the practice pen. But she carries a great attitude wherever she goes.
“Good or bad, she’s going to be giggling or laughing all the way down the arena,” Jackie Hobbs said. “She’s one of those partners you feel no pressure roping behind at all.”
Jacque Woolman, who led the heading world standings at one time this season and is the wife of world champion roper Tee Woolman, told me today how happy she is to call Barrie her friend.
“She’s got a good attitude,” Jacque Woolman said. “If she wins, she wins. If she doesn’t, there’s another one. I think that says a lot about her.”
It definitely says she’s a winner, in and out of the arena.
But yesterday I visited with Barrie Smith of Stephenville, Texas, the 2010 Women’s Professional Rodeo Association heading world champion. She’s doing what she loves this week, competing at a high level for thousands and thousands of dollars at the Oklahoma State Fair.