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Wanda’s Little Fireball

National Barrel Horse Association member Wanda Kirby has been blessed with consistency in her horse Docs Country Nick. The dynamic duo won the NBHA Open 4D world championship in 2012 and the senior 3D world title in 2016.

Kirby says her gelding “Fireball” has qualified for the NBHA World Championships every year since he was a 4-year-old.
“I’ve had good horses before him, but nothing like him,” Kirby said. “I’ve been coming ever since the first world show, but 2012 was the first time I’d ever won a championship. I’d gotten back to finals a few times, but—to do it twice on him, that was awesome. I hope to continue doing so as long as me and Fireball can.”

She purchased the now-19-year-old gelding as a 2-year-old and has built him into a trustworthy, consistent mount she says anyone can ride.

“He rarely hits a barrel, all I have to do is sit up and trust him,” Kirby said. “I worked him, trained him, and got him to where I thought he needed to be. He’s a sweet boy; really trustworthy and consistent. I’ve rode him, my granddaughters have rode him, my daughters have rode him, he’s just easy to sit up and ride. He really is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of horse.”

Kirby is a longtime barrel racer and charter member of the NBHA. The Cowpens, South Carolina, resident runs in the South Carolina 01 district. She treasures the opportunity barrel racing brings to spend time with her family.

“I’ve been in NBHA since the very first year. It’s wonderful. I’m just addicted to it!” Kirby said. “We have so many good friends who run with us, and I’ve made friends from all over the country [at the World Show]. People we would never have met before. It’s a family affair—my husband and son used to run, my two daughters run and three granddaughters run. It keeps us all close.”

Article by Blanche Schaefer, photo by James Phifer of