Amy LeClaire: Barrel Racer

Posted March 13, 2015

“I’ve grown up going to the National Western Stockshow and stuff and I kind of just wanted to be a barrel racer forever,” Denver Online High School senior Amy LeClaire said. After seven years of riding, she finally got her own horse.

“Riley is a nine-year-old mare who is very seasoned in the barrel racing community,” LeClaire said. “I really like adrenalin. I’ve always been kind of an adrenaline junky, and fifteen or so seconds of getting around the barrels is really great. Plus the level of skill and thinking that it takes to get around all three barrels at top speed with great precision and efficiency is fun and challenging.”

LeClaire expressed, “I would say in the next three years I would love to make it to the National Western Stockshow. When I turn eighteen in April, my goal is to get my permit which I then need to fill to get my pro rodeo card.” Her ultimate goal is to compete on a national level, saying, “I think my ultimate goal would be to make it to the NFR. The NFR is the National Finals Rodeo, so that’s where the top rodeo competitors in the country go in December and go head to head for ten days.”

But in order for those goals to happen, she must have time to practice and compete.

“In the summer, it’s like five days a week,” she said about practicing to keep her horse in shape. “And in the winter, it’s as much as the weather will allow you to,” even though sometimes the weather doesn’t allow, but she gets to have some fun in the snow anyways.

“You definitely need to have time to give your horse and give yourself the practice that you need to succeed at a competition,” she noted.

“If you want to be a professional barrel racer, you definitely have to travel, there are barrel races everywhere,” she said.

And that’s why she made the switch to Denver Online. “I sort of don’t like being on someone else’s schedule, so I like doing things at my own pace or spend extra time doing something else. I definitely like having days off to come to the barn.”

As she rides towards graduation, she has big dreams on the horizon, saying, “Right now I’m planning on going to Northeastern Junior College to get an equine management degree and compete on their rodeo team.”