By: Tammie Hiatt
Sadie Wolaver may be a new face to the IPRA, but she is far from a stranger to the barrel racing world. The Fayetteville, Tennessee teen got her first taste of barrel racing at the tender age of 4 and hasn’t slowed down since.
“I don’t come from a rodeo family,” said Sadie. “But I do come from a barrel racing family. My dad, Joey and my granddad, Billy Joe Wolaver, were both barrel horse trainers and barrel racers. They have definitely been the biggest influence in my barrel racing career.”
“My dad trains a lot of young horses and gets them ready to be exhibitioned at the rodeos. We also take in some outside horses to tune up. Last month we had four outside horses and five of our own to ride.”
Sadie earned the 2017 Tennessee High School Rodeo Association barrel racing championship and competed at the National High School Rodeo Finals where she finished third out of 186 barrel racers. “Last year I started running at PCA rodeos and SPRAs that were co-approved with the IPRA. I decided to hold off buying my IPRA card until this year so I could compete as a rookie.”
Wolaver currently sits 2nd in the IPRA world standings and is leading the IPRA rookie race. “I hope to be competing at the IFR next January,” said Sadie. “But the rookie title is my main focus for the year. My dad and I love traveling together and are averaging driving about 22 hours each weekend. We’re going to go as much as we can.”
Two years ago Sadie partnered up with a palomino mare named I’m A Sharp Frost. “Her nickname is Princess, and she most definitely is,” laughed Sadie. “She’s Sun Frost bred and is a 10 year old this year.”
“She was a finished horse when I got her, but she hadn’t been to any rodeos. She took to them really well and loves the crowds,” Sadie said. “She runs a lot harder at the rodeos than she does at barrel races.”
“This mare is all heart,” commented Sadie. “No matter the ground or the size of the pattern, she tries her hardest. She runs better in the bigger outdoor pens. She does have a few mare-ish quirks; she kicks in the trailer and can’t be turned out with any other horses. She does live up to her name of Princess.”
“I’m also hauling another mare I bought from Ali Armstrong in Oklahoma. She’s an 11 year old cutting bred mare named Pistol. Her style is opposite of Princess so we’re still figuring each other out, but I really like her.”
Eighteen-year-old Sadie is a high school senior and is also taking college classes. “I am going to get my degree in accounting. I’ve been offered a rodeo scholarship but I’m not interested in college rodeo right now, I want to focus on the IPRA rodeos,” said Sadie. “By getting an accounting degree I will be able to work for myself from home and continue with my rodeo career.”
Visit www.iprarodeo.com for information on membership, rodeo schedule, results, and standings.
*photo credit Kelt94Pictures