$17,000 won by last year’s champ
Theresa Tayler/metro calgary
At the tender age of nine, Joleen Seitz decided she was born to brawl with the barrel.
The now 28-year-old barrel racer has already galloped to $17,000 in prize money at this year’s Stampede rodeo, nearly twice as much as any other competitor.
But for Seitz, rodeoing is less about money and more about doing what she loves.
“The advice I give new riders is just always love your horse and keep on smiling — no matter if you win or lose,” Seitz told Metro yesterday.
This is her third time competing in the Calgary Stampede, and last year she rode to a $100,000 cheque with the title of Stampede champion.
Her husband, Cam, and seven-year-old daughter, Tosha, are back home in Savona, B.C., and Seitz said Tosha is following in her footsteps, as the youngster already barrel races and pole bends.
“She competes already against other kids, and does quite well,” said Seitz.
“There’s nothing like the Stampede, though. That’s the biggest prize pool,” Seitz said of her prize money.
Seitz, who grew up in Savona with her five sisters and three brothers, said her father encouraged her to begin riding when she was just a little girl and she took to the sport right away.
“Without God and my family, I really wouldn’t be here,” she said.
When Seitz hits the dirt with her horse, Dolly Parton’s Jolene is played over the rodeo loudspeaker, and the crowd is certainly pleased by this horse and rider’s speed.
Seitz finished second in yesterday’s Ladies Barrel Racing, grabbing $3,500 in prize money. Debbie Renger from Okotoks finished first.