Barrel Racing and Flat Racing: Bloodlines Collide

Barrel Racing and Flat Racing: Bloodlines Collide Photo by © AQHA

The two speed sports see plenty of crossover in the breeding shed.

It’s easy to say that barrel racing and flat racing are similar in that the fastest horse wins. On the other hand, the two segments of the industry can sometimes seem worlds apart. In recent years, however, those two distinct worlds have come closer, as barrel racers seek to add more speed to their bloodlines, and racehorse breeders and stallion owners seek new revenue streams.

Not only are barrel racers making an impact on the sale industry, they are also having an impact on the breeding industry. Jud Little, who has operated Jud Little Ranch for more than 40 years, has long been an advocate of bringing racehorse blood into barrel racing. And he’s not alone.

“The competition in barrel racing is so fierce now,” says Mary Ellen Hickman, CEO of Future Fortunes Inc., a stallion incentive program for barrel horses. “Maybe the dam is more of a working-bred horse, but they go to a racehorse sire to get some more speed in there.”

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