While Regan Henning and Story Tellen Flower stole the show for the local barrel racing community at the Congress, Regan wasn’t the only local to help put the national barrel racing community on notice that the Northeast is a force to be reckoned with. Local youth had a strong showing across the board, and Monroeville, Pennsylvania’s Caitlin Marchese was a big part of that. Below, she tells The Barrel Racing Blog about her week at the Congress and about how her horse, Array of Echo, helped her run to her fourth Top Ten finish there.
What horse did you place on, and in what classes?
I placed fifth in Youth Pole Bending 14-18 and ninth in Novice Youth Barrel Racing 14-18 on Echo (Array of Echo (Sonecho Bar X Fancy Dancin Duck)).
How many times have you placed before at the Congress?
I have placed four times at the Congress.
What does your horse like about that pen?
She LOVES running from the chute into the Coliseum. I think she also likes to hear people cheer for us.
Do you ever worry about the ground there?
No, I usually don’t worry about the ground there. Both of my horses have handled it great the past few years.
What do you do to get ready for the Congress?
I usually take a month off of active racing and stay home and work on the fundamentals of barrel racing and pole bending. I really take time to make sure my horses and I are doing things as correctly as we can before we go to Congress.
Who helps you get ready?
Terri Willey has helped me a lot over the past few year,s and Ross Carnahan showed me the right way to attack the pole pattern.
Do you have any rituals/routines before each barrel race?
After I warm my horses up and I’m almost up to run I usually go stand by myself and get a game plan together.
What supplements does your horse get?
Both of my horses get Healthy Coat.
Do you get up in the middle of the night to ride in the Coliseum before you run?
No, I guess I’m kind of superstitious about it because the last time I did that I did horrible. Plus it’s usually chaotic in there and does more harm than good for my horses.
With the Congress costing so much, and with it paying so little, why do you run there?
I think it’s so much fun to compete there and I think it’s really cool that I get to compete with some of the top horses and riders in the country.
What does placing at the Congress mean to you?
It gives me a sense of validation because all of my hard work and sacrifice pays off at one of the biggest shows in the country and against some of the best horses and riders in the country. I feel very lucky that I was able to well and place in barrels and poles.
Check out Caitlin’s run from the Youth Pole Bending 14-18 below!