MINOT, N.D. (KXNET) — Some high-performing horses who are well-loved will be coming to Minot October 14 through 16.

According to a news release, that’s when the best barrel racing horses in the Badlands Circuit, along with their riders, will compete at the Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo.

No matter the horses’ personalities or quirks, their temperament is usually tolerated, because they are extra-competent at their job: barrel racing.

Barrel horses are bred for speed and “ratey-ness:” their ability to turn quickly around barrels.

They can cost upwards of six digits, and if they’re good at their job, it doesn’t matter too much what personality traits they have, good or bad.

They are catered to because of their competence.

Take, for example, Hallie Fulton’s barrel racing horse Boons French Stars, “Rio.”

A seven-year-old gelding, Rio has done so well, he brings his rider, Fulton, into the circuit finals in fifth place.

But Rio is a handful.

“He’s a Dennis the Menace,” Fulton said. “He’s a troublemaker. All of the screens in my trailer are pulled out (by him), and he chews his lead ropes in half. He knows how to untie himself, and he’ll untie his friends, too. So, I went to tying his rope so he couldn’t untie himself, and he went to chewing through his lead rope to get away.”

Barrel racer Nicole Bice, from Killdeer, also has a barrel horse who makes sure his rider knows what he wants.

When Goose, a nine-year-old gelding, gets thirsty while traveling, he lets Bice know from the back of the trailer.

“He paws, and that means he wants you to stop and water him. We carry water in the pickup,” she said, so they can stop and give him a drink.

Goose, whose registered name is Dial A Golden Goose, is “a lover, with a funny little personality,” Bice said.

“I’m definitely his peasant,” she laughed. “He likes certain things,” and she makes sure he has them.

Cowgirls are very conscious of their horses’ likes and dislikes and cater to them to keep them feeling healthy, happy, and able to make winning runs.

Lakken Bice, from Killdeer, enters the circuit finals in 10th place, aboard an eight-year-old mare whose registered name is Nocrimetabe Unleashed, but who goes by Halo.

Halo is “sweet and kind and wants to buddy up to every single horse,” Lakken said. “She has literally zero mare tendencies.”

But Halo can get a little crazy at times, “She’ll get this random wild hair and think she’s scared of everything: the big screen in the arena, a dog, even grass on the ground. Then she gets all snorty and prancy.”

But Halo seems to perform better after she’s had a little outburst.

“I’ve noticed the more naughty and extra energy she has, is usually when she makes her better runs. I try not to get after her. I just try to keep her happy and keep her working.”

For Dickinson barrel racer Nikki Hansen, her horse, Cowboys N Ladies, “Lady,” is very fast, with a big motor and a “big personality. That’s my biggest struggle, to keep that in check and keep her dialed in. She over-tries. Everything she does is in a big way.”

Hansen says how a barrel racer understands her barrel horse is how a mother knows her child.

“It’s from time spent with them,” she said. “It’s amazing how you figure out what your horse likes. The only way to figure it out is to spend time with them.”

The sweetest horse story might be Fonda Melby, from Backus, MN.

When Melby turns the lights off in the barn in the evening, her horse, RF Back for the Cash, “Heatwave” will come to the stall door “and I give him a kiss on the nose,” she said. “He’s a snuggler, and that’s our regular night routine.”

Other Badlands barrel racers and their horse who will compete in Minot are:

  • Cydney Peterson from Minot, on Oh What a Frenchman “Chrome”
  • Kristen Zancanella from Aurora, S.D., on I’m Kinda Famous “Little Bug”
  • Molly Otto from Grand Forks, on Teasin Dat Guy “Chewy”
  • Allison Pauley from Honey Creek, IA, on Dash’s Famous Fortune “Dash”
  • Summer Kosel on Docs Royal Win “Mini”
  • Lisa Lockhart from Oelrichs S.D. on Promise Me Fame Guys “Levee”
  • Jessica Routier from Buffalo S.D. on Fiery Miss West “Missy”

The 2022 Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo will be held at N.D. State Fair Center in Minot October 14-16.

Performances begin at 7 p.m. on Oct. 14 and 15 and at 1 p.m. on Oct. 16

Tickets range in price from $20-$30 for adults and $10-$30 for children. They can be purchased online and at North Country Mercantile (2000 20th Avenue SE) in Minot.

For more information, visit the website or its Facebook and Instagram pages.