Karlee Wesney: Dreaming Big

Karlee Wesney, a local teen from Atascadero gives me a peek inside of her crazy life. When we began the interview, Karlee said just four words that seems to sum it all up, “Horses are my life”. She says she stays pretty busy whether she’s riding her own horses, riding other people’s horses, giving lessons, or barrel racing on the weekends. Today, Wesney is a highly competitive barrel racer that currently holds her junior pro card. She has five horses and Riding is something that has become a regular part of her every day life. But she hasn’t always been the fearless competitor that she is now.

Horses are my life.

Karlee Wesney

From the young age of eight, Wesney has been riding. She started off her first year riding English to practice proper balance. After that, she was ready to start barrel racing competitively. She said, “When I was younger the speed of barrel racing scared me. But luckily my first barrel horse, Dezzi,  really took care of me and let me go my own speed.” Clearly, she has overcome the fear and the nerves that come with racing.

She told me; “Some of my favorite accomplishments are winning at Spurr Ranch in a race with 160 riders, the 1D NBHA (National Barrel Horse Association) 16 Open year end saddle, 2X NBHA youth 1D year end saddle and buckle, 3rd in the ACBRA (American Computer Barrel Racing Association) open year end, top 20 in WCBRA (West Coast Barrel Racing Association), coming in 3rd in the 1D at Las Vegas NBHA Super show youth and #1 in CA for WPRA Junior year end.” [Please note, the first place standing for the WPRA Jr. year end are awaiting verification as there has been sources siting Caitlyn Wood in the first place spot.] Karlee definitely stays busy as she travels for her competitions, but she stays modest through her success.

Karlee Wesney

With all the competition, it’s easy to get overly confident. Karlee says, “Barrel racing has really taught me that one minute you can be on top of the world and then the next minute you’re humbled. But that should never define who you are as a person. It should only be about two things: you and your horse. Not who did better than you that race or who spent more money than you did to get where they are. It should be about the love you have for the sport thats always keeping you on your toes.” I think that what she has to say can apply to all sports. Wesney demonstrates sportsmanship, that’s something a lot of great athletes tend to lack. Karlee says that she hopes to do this her whole life. She hopes to enter the pro circuit when she is 18 while getting her nursing degree. After that Karlee says it’s her dream to make it to the NFR.

It should only be about two things: you and your horse.

As long as she never loses her drive, passion, and positive attitude; I have no doubt in my mind she can accomplish whatever she sets her mind to. Keep up all the hard work Karlee!

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16 years old, currently a junior at Paso Robles High School. I'm active in FFA through showing livestock, public speaking, and leadership.

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