In the colourful speed event of rodeo, Barrel Racing, the rider must circle three barrels set in a cloverleaf pattern. The closer she circles the barrel, the better time she makes. The danger is in cutting too close and knocking down a barrel. An extra five seconds is added to the rider’s time for each barrel that falls.
The barrel racer’s time is started when she crosses an electric beam of light and the time is completed when she recrosses the beam after completing the pattern. A fast, well trained horse is the key to winning the barrel racing event. The rider can be disqualified if she and her horse break the pattern.
Times are so close, measured in hundredths of a second, that the horse and riders require great precision to race quickly, yet cleanly.