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TAYLOR DES BARRES WILLIAMS – BARREL RACER EXTRAORDINAIRE

by Fiona Lane July 17, 2023

TAYLOR DES BARRES WILLIAMS – BARREL RACER EXTRAORDINAIRE

Hippo Sponsored Rider Taylor might be from New Zealand, but she’s a cowgirl through and through. We talked to her about her love of barrel racing, how she finds life on the rodeo circuit and how her mount Rodney never lets her get away with hiding the carrots.

Tell us about your horse.

“My number one guy is registered to the name Bar Smoke but at home we just call him Rodney. Rodney and I learnt to Barrel Race together, gaining confidence from one another, each season we have progressed as a team, and it has been super rewarding. Rodney has a huge character and a facial expression for every mood. His favourite treats would have to be carrots - he can sniff them from a mile away and will even attempt to get them out of my pockets before I have a chance to give them to him!” 

What’s your favourite discipline to compete in, and why?

“My favourite discipline is definitely barrel racing, I love the competitiveness and atmosphere of the events - the cowboys and cowgirls are all so encouraging and always willing to help you and your horse, and the crowd is awesome. Riding into the arena for each barrel race is always exciting and the energy your horse brings to the arena is such an adrenaline rush.” 

What achievement in your riding career are you most proud of?

“Rodney and I placed throughout the 2022/2023 Rodeo Season. This was our second rodeo season together. But my favourite achievement so far – and the one I am most proud of – is taking the win in the Barrel race at Far North Rodeo 2023 with a time of 16.8 seconds.”

Which Hippo Health remedies do you use the most?

Sol Plus is my absolute favourite Hippo Health product. I cannot recommend it enough to anyone with a horse that gets sunburnt. It is absolute magic. My Horse hates any creams being applied to his nose and the nose shade is just not enough, he still manages to get burnt. After I added Sol Plus to his feed, his nose started to recover and was safe without any creams, just his nose shade on. It's amazing stuff!”

“Through the Spring and Summer months the Grass Allergy remedy has been extremely helpful reducing the itch and reaction my young horses have had through the change of seasons. As the wet weather has continued on into winter I have been using the Hippo Health Mud and Rain remedy which has been extremely useful to keep the Mud fever at bay. The horses all love these remedies, so it is super easy to just give them all two pumps into their mouth and call it a day.”

“I love for my rodeo horses to have long lush manes and tails and by simply adding a cap full of the Manes and Tails remedy to their water troughs once a week my horses have a gorgeous long mane, full tail and shiny coat - just what every cowgirl wants!”

What’s next for you?

“In the coming season I plan on travelling to more rodeos throughout the North and South Island. Rodney and I will be working towards competing in an additional event this Rodeo season - Breakaway Roping. I also aim to start travelling my young horse Zeus to a few local Jackpots and Rodeos so that should be lots of fun!”

How old were you when you started riding?

“I started riding when I was 8 or 9. My Dad is my “horsey parent” who taught me how to ride. I started as an English rider attending pony club and gymkhanas, ODE etc.. when I was little. At the age of 20 my neighbour encouraged me to try barrel racing and I haven’t looked back since.”

Aside from horse riding, what else do you like to do?

“I like to be outside whether it is working on the farm or taking my dog Honey for walks and a swim at the lake. I love to travel with friends and family, going out for food and on a rainy day I will quite happily curl up in a blanket and binge watch a series on Netflix.” 

What’s your favourite food?

“I love dessert. I have a major sweet tooth - my favourite would have to be warmed chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream.”

What is your kryptonite?

“My biggest challenge as a rider is overthinking - sometimes I need to have a little more confidence in myself and my abilities and have more fun.” 

Follow Taylor’s journey onInstagram. 

Read about other Hippo Sponsored Riders



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