22 Minute Interview – Ashley Whyland, PRCA/WPRA and IPRA Barrel Racer

Ashley Whyland & Luther

Ashley Whyland & Luther ©Puhl's Photography

Our first 22 Minute Interview participant is Ashley Whyland.  Ashley is a professional barrel racer who has rodeoed with the PRCA, WPRA, and IPRA.  Currently she is taking time off to work with her new horse, Atticus, to get a nice solid foundation on him.  When they decide it’s time to compete, we look for them to tear up the circuits!  You can learn more about Ashley at her website http://ashleywhyland.com or by visiting On The Rodeo Road.

  1. What goes through your mind 5 runs before it’s your turn… kinda like last thoughts before whip’n’ride.
  2. I’m always thinking about a perfect run. I make sure I’m thinking about WHAT I need to do right, not what I don’t need to do. I feel it’s best to ride off from reaction and intuition.

  3. What do you consider your most important run (where/when/etc) and why is it important?
  4. Hodge Arena. Versailles, KY. 2004. Luther made two of the most beautiful runs there. And it was important because I could never get his butt to run in there!

  5. What was your most underrated moment?
  6. I think that has to be any rodeo that you make a beautiful run on tacky/muddy ground and the next night it dries up and everyone is a second faster. But that’s rodeo!

  7. What was your most overrated moment?
  8. Oh honey, nothing about me is overrated.

  9. Who is your biggest competition and are they friend or foe?
  10. The Great Lakes circuit has lots of tough competitors, so I couldn’t just name a few. These girls travel MANY miles to make it to a rodeo. Their horses have to be tough and they have to be tough!

  11. Like Pete Rose, have you ever gambled on the sport? (LOL)
  12. My boyfriend barrel races at the jackpots with me and we make bets every run on who is going to win. Now who do you think wins?

  13. What are your expectations for the upcoming year?
  14. I have a really nice colt by Bully Bullion out of a Jet of Honor mare. I’m really excited about him. He’s a lot of fun to ride and be around and I’m just starting to run him. My plans are to get him good and seasoned this year and go from there.

  15. Who is your hero?
  16. Get out your tissues… my grandma. She has breast cancer at 72 years old! I know I take life for granted a lot and her going through that has made me realize you have to live each day like you will never live a tomorrow!

  17. What is the one talent you’d most like to have?
  18. I would love to someday make custom tack!

  19. What was the moment when you realized you were competitive at a higher level?
  20. I began to get very consistent with my horse. Every trip out was the same and we were cashing checks. I knew he could stand up on anything. I started going to local rodeos, then I bought my permit and got a check at my first pro rodeo!

  21. What’s playing right now on your radio/ipod?
  22. Cross Canadian Ragweed!

  23. Any advice for “little folks” on how toget sponsors?
  24. Companies wantto sponsor someone who knows the business, is good at the business and can represent the business in a positive way. You have to have a resume and believe in yourself. Being sponsored by someone is not all about getting their check and using their products, you have to HELP them by promoting their products too!

  25. What was the most fun you’ve had rodeoing?
  26. I love seeing different towns and cities. So the most fun is when you’re able to get there a day before or allow a day after and go see the sights. Eat at a different restaurant, not a chain they have in every city.

  27. Name a few things you do to keep your equine athletes in pristine condition (ie: aquatred, supplements, etc).
  28. Everyone horse is different, so it just depends on the horse. But I use PHT magnetics on all of my horses. I was fortunate to be sponsored by Total Health Enhancement while I was rodeoing. Luther thrived off from these products. I also made sure his legs were wrapped every night after a run.

  29. What one piece of advice did your parents give you?
  30. My parents made me work for everything. I saved every penny of my own money to buy Luther, my first rodeo horse. I think them doing that has made me a better person. I appreciate everything that I own, because I have worked for it myself.

  31. How would your best friend describe your personality?
  32. I think I’m the person that my friends come to for positive advice. I’m compassionate, but I will tell you how I feel too.

  33. Bikinis or Thongs?
  34. So I guess you want to know this so that you know if I’m DYING to pull my underwear out of my butt on the way home from the 3rd barrel?

  35. What is your diet like? (Whatachicken or sushi?)
  36. I go in healthy spurts. But I’m a sweets LOVER. Anything dairy. If I were lactose intolerant, I would rather die!

  37. Where do you draw your inspiration and what keeps you going?
  38. If you have ever been flying down the alleyway and they call your time and the crowd roars, there is nothing like it. That is what keeps me going!

  39. Do you recommend any books/videos?
  40. I’m all about a horse that is fancy broke. I suggest any Larry Trocha videos. Larry is a cutting horse trainer and he teaches total softness in horses. I think barrel racers sometimes lose sight of what a broke horse really is. Matter of fact, I jumped on a cutting horse and loped him around a set the first day he ever saw the pattern. They’re just that broke.

  41. Who’s the one person you would call if you needed rodeo advice?
  42. If I need to know how to enter a certain rodeo, what the ground is like, etc, I call Annie Peterson. She’s qualified for the circuit finals 6 times, so she knows what each and every pen is like. I think it’s very important to find a person that lives close to you that has been there and done that to call on for things like this. Knowing the pens, how to enter and what will suit your horse is half of the run!

  43. Do you have any special routines you do before your run?
  44. I think it’s very important to walk your horse up the alleyway at any new place or if they’ve changed the pattern. You can look at the pattern from the side view, but the angle can look totally different from the alleyway. Other than a typical warm up, I always make sure my horses are stopping good and using their hind end and giving their face to me.