In the Alleyway with Charmayne James and Mary Walker
Following her second consecutive go round win on Friday, Dec. 7 at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, which takes place Dec. 6-15 at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of UNLV in Las Vegas, Nev., Mary Walker met up with GAC barrel racing commentator and 11-time WPRA World champion, Charmayne James, to talk a little strategy. Barrel Horse News was behind the scenes and we share the special exchange between two gracious champions here.
Walker leads the Wrangler NFR aggregate in barrel racing with a total on two runs of 27.55. Stay tuned to Wrangler NFR coverage and see how Mary Walker’s strategy for getting a solid angle to her first barrel works out in round three.
Charmayne James: I’m getting nervous for you, I feel like I’m the mom.
Mary Walker: I can’t believe you would be nervous!
James: I want you to do good! I’m nervous for my girls. I’m excited to see how good you’re doing and how good Latte is working. You are looking great out there! It’s not just about everything else that’s happened to you that you’ve overcome, I mean you’ve had a lot of tragedy, but besides that you don’t look like anything’s happened to you. For whatever it’s worth.
Walker: Well, I appreciate that. That is worth a lot coming from you Charmayne. You’re my hero.
James: I mean for me, going out there and running, the average was in mind, but you have to go out there not thinking about it and just run barrels. You’ve got to do what you do all the time and make your run every night.
Walker: You know that’s what I was thinking about tonight coming down the alley. I did something a little different in the alleyway tonight and I think that’s why he blew by the first barrel a little bit. I think I held him out maybe a little too long.
James: Yeah, you’ve got to get over pretty quick. You’re going struggle with that just because it’s tough here. I mean to me, that was a struggle for me, finding that spot, that right spot in the alleyway.
Walker: I figured it would take about three rounds to really get it figured out, because I’ve done something different last night and tonight, you know, trying to get it right. I’m going to bring him out the in the morning and just work him, just walk and just figure stuff out. His whole deal is he’s got to be right in the alleyway to make it great. That’s where it all starts is in the middle of the alley.
James: That’s right, that’s so important to get the right start, especially here. I’ll be pulling for you.
2012 Wrangler NFR Aggregate Standings in barrel racing:
1. Mary Walker, Ennis, Texas, 27.55 seconds on two runs
2. Brittany Pozzi, Victoria, Texas, 27.86
3. Lee Ann Rust, Stephenville, Texas, 27.90
4. Benette Barrington-Little, Ardmore, Okla., 27.93
5. (tie) Nikki Steffes, Vale, S.D., 28.32
Kaley Bass, Kissimmee, Fla., 28.32
7. Trula Churchill, Valentine, Neb., 28.37
8. Christy Loflin, Franktown, Colo., 28.42
9. Sherry Cervi, Marana, Ariz., 28.45
10. Brenda Mays, Terrebonne, Ore., 28.67
11. Christina Richman, Glendora, Calif., 29.28
12. Kelli Tolbert, Hooper, Utah, 32.69
13. Lindsay Sears, Nanton, Alberta, 32.90
14. Lisa Lockhart, Oelrichs, S.D., 33.36
15. Carlee Pierce, Stephenville, Texas, 48.13