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Cultivating Camaraderie

As all barrel racers know, friends in the horse community are never too far away to lend a helping hand. Barry Capps can surely attest to that. He has been involved with the National Barrel Horse Association since its early years, siting camaraderie as his favorite aspect.

“The camaraderie is wonderful at the championships, but it starts at the district level. The people are super friendly,” said Capps, who competes in South Carolina District 01. “I think NBHA had been started about two years when I started barrel racing. When I got my horse and had it for about a year, someone told me about it and I started running around trees. I enjoyed it quite a bit; it was totally different from my work and I was out in the fresh air.”

In 2016, the year Capps won the Senior 5D World Championship, his rig broke down in Macon, Georgia, en route to the World Show in Perry, Georgia. After a phone call to his South Carolina District 01 contacts, Capps’ friends met him on the side of the road to help, unloading and transporting horses to the show grounds within 45 minutes.

“We spent six hours on the side of the road waiting on a tow, not for the horses because we made a phone call to the district and had some friends get there in 45 minutes hooked up and ready to go, but we were still waiting on a wrecker to come get the truck and take it to a dealership to be repaired,” Capps recalled. “When we got [to the fairgrounds], we had no vehicle to get us around all week. There was another girl there, Shelby, whom we’ve known years and years through NBHA, and she drove us back and forth to the hotel, went to lunch, dinners, everything, and had an absolutely wonderful time and she ended up being the reserve champion in the Senior 4D that year. It just turned into a wonderful weekend.”

Though Capps lives in Hendersonville, North Carolina, he chooses to compete in South Carolina because it’s more easily accessible. He also enjoys riding against the tough competition in SC 01, such as the Green family.

“The competition is tough, so it makes you a better rider if you’re racing better competition. The people down there are super friendly, and the roads are better from where I live in North Carolina than it is to compete in the closest district to me. That’s why I switched, and I really enjoy [SC 01],” Capps said. “There’s others from North Carolina who followed me down to that district, because they knew I was having such a good time. Not that we want to move everybody out of North Carolina, but it is a very good district. It’s extremely fair, the payouts are right…we’ve had very few problems and everyone seems to get along really well in that district.”

Capps loves to barrel race but admits he doesn’t have as much time to train as he would like—he stays busy as the owner Barry Capps Marine Service selling and repairing boats. Thankfully, he has a good stick to rely on—TDF Revenues Maniac.

“He’s been a good horse—he was born and raised on my little farm with my sire and dam. I’ve probably got 12 buckles and 4 saddles between ‘Maniac’ and my other horse,” Capps said. “My biggest thing is I don’t have a lot of time to train. For the past six or seven years, it’s terrible to say, but he does not get rode at all except when I go to a race. I get off him, pick him up to go to a race, run him, get off him and turn him back out until the next race.”

Capps credits his wife for her help and support with the horses, both in and out of the arena.

“My wife has been very instrumental. She takes care of the horses when I’m busy working with my business. She has been very instrumental in pushing me and taking care of the horses,” Capps said. “She deserves as much credit, if not way more than I do, for what she does. Without her, I wouldn’t be down here.”

Article by Blanche Schaefer, photo by James Phifer of Rodeobum.com