Life On The Rodeo Road: Smoking Brakes In The Middle Of Nowhere

Photo by Paul Knight
Name: Annesa Self
Hometown: Valley View, Texas
Event: Barrel Racing

I got into rodeo because my mother and my father both did it. My dad roped, so I just kind of followed in his footsteps. I was five years old when I started winning ribbons, and when I got a little older, I was like, 'I want money.' When you feel like you got the horse power under you, you take that step to the professional ranks. I didn't know I was that well-mounted, because I was 12 years old. I just knew I wanted to win money.

If I didn't rodeo, I would probably train colts. The horse I'm riding now, I bought him when he was two, and I've trained him and brought him up through the ranks. There's nothing better than to see progress. I love working them, as long as my body lets me.

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I'm on the road not as much as most of the girls. My husband works at his family-owned amusement park - Sandy Lake Amusement Park - so we kind of have to work around the work schedule.

A tough stretch on the road is the Fourth of July run. Last year we had a pretty wild time. My horse fell at the first rodeo I went to, and then we got to Greeley, Colorado, and a flood comes an hour before the performance, so I ran my colt in the mud. We packed up and went to Cody, Wyoming, and leaving Cody, we had trailer troubles. We were on the side of a two-lane road, the brakes were smoking, and I didn't know how we were going to get help out in the middle of nowhere. I found someone open on the Fourth of July, then we headed to Belle Fourche, South Dakota, and we got there with about an hour to spare.

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