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Cowboy Diaries 2013: Molly Powell, a Family Affair

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Molly Powell, barrel racing
True cowboys are hard to find, but not at the Houston Rodeo. Life on the road leads them here this time every year for the biggest rodeo in the world, where they'll ride and wrangle livestock for cash and glory. Each day, Hair Balls will spotlight one person with enough dirt on his or her boots to call himself a cowboy -- or cowgirl -- and mean it.

Name: Molly Powell Age: 37 Hometown: Stephenville, Texas Event: Barrel racing

I've been to RodeoHouston...I don't know how many times. I started here when I was ten years old, but it hasn't been consecutively -- probably 20 times. We lived in Montana the first time, so coming here was kind of a huge deal for us. And mom [Julie Swanson] also competed, running in the Astrodome, but our best horse rode really good for me as a little kid, so she gave me the good horse.

When I'm not rodeoing, we have a 19-month-old little boy, so he takes up 90 percent of the time. But I love to shop and travel and travel. Since we travel all the time with rodeo, it's a great lifestyle.

As for the rest of the family, my husband is also a contestant here -- Turtle Powell, who's a team-roper. And two of my nephews are showing sheep outside.

If I wasn't rodeoing, I'd still be doing something with horses -- I've always been fascinated with cutting and show-jumping. But it would only be as a hobby, because professionally it's a little late to start.

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