Family First in Regina

by Michelle on December 3, 2014

Colby Gilbert and Hallie Anderson with their Mom, Andrea Udal

Colby Gilbert and Hallie Anderson with their Mom, Andrea Udal holding Colby’s Rookie of the Year buckle and Hallie’s Year end buckle

The Canadian Cowboys Association Finals were held in Regina, SK and hosted by the Canadian Western Agribition November 24-29, 2014.       Ladies Barrel Racing Finals Champion Colby Gilbert of Maple Creek, SK came into the finals with over $11,000 won and in 3rd place in the standings.  Because the finals champions are based only on points earned at the finals,  it’s anyone’s game once you’re qualified for the finals.
After tipping a barrel in the first round, Colby didn’t let that bobble knock the wind out of her sails.  She stayed on course and placed (or won) in every round following, to win the championship and be second in the average.   She finished the finals with $4375. more in her pocket to head back to Lethbridge where she is currently studying to be a Nurse.
It was a family affair in Regina as Colby’s sister Hallie Anderson won the Junior Barrel Racing Finals Championship.   Hallie came into the finals as the year end champion and placed first or second in every round to win the average and championship.

I caught up with Colby to answer some questions about what makes her and Shade the dynamic duo they are.

– What is your horse’s registered and barn name?

Click to enlarge pedigree.

Click to enlarge pedigree.

ALG Major Flit Bar aka Shade

-How long have you been running barrels on her?
I bought Shade as a 4 year old and took her to a couple futurities last year as a 5 year old. I then decided to take my CCA card out this year and see how she handled the rodeo atmosphere, she loved it and has matured so much throughout the year.

-What is the training background on this horse?
Lisa Groves raised her and sold her to Kayla Kuntz as a 2 year old. Kayla started her and also started her on barrels prior to me buying her. She is very broke and easy to maneuver, Kayla did an amazing job with Shade!

Photo thanks to lewisimages.  Check out Randy's great photo's at www.lewisimages.ca

Photo thanks to lewisimages. Check out Randy’s great photo’s at www.lewisimages.ca

– How would you describe this horse’s running style?
She has a different style then any other horse I have rode. She’s very straight and snappy on the backside. I’ve never had a horse turn so hard and leave a barrel as hard as Shade does!

-What is it you like best about her?
I love Shade’s personality. Nothing bugs me more then a horse that isn’t motivated to do something. The minute I catch her she is ready to go and accomplish whatever you ask of her. She has so much grit and try that it’s unbelievable. Shade loves the rodeo atmosphere and I think the key to our success has been her first barrel, she nails it every time! She loves her job, which makes my job pretty easy! I just try to hold on and enjoy the ride.

– Which run at the CCA Finals stands out as your favorite and why?
My favourite run from CCA Finals was Thursday Night. I had knocked the first round and had a good solid run placing third the second round so I really had nothing to lose at that point. It was also special for me because my sister, Hallie also won the round that night!
Here’s that run:

-How do you prepare for your runs (warm up etc.)? Did you have to adjust your usual routine at all during the CCA Finals?
I try to keep things as simple as possible, long trotting in a straight line then loping some circles. I reverse arch her a lot during our warm up to keep her soft and listening to me. At CCA Finals it was a very busy atmosphere. I got Shade ready about an hour before the rodeo started and warmed her up before the warm up arena got busy. I feel that helped her to stay calm and focus on me and what I was asking of her.

-What kind of saddle do you use?
I ride in a Larry Coats saddle

-What kind of pad do you use?
I use a 5 star saddle pad

-What kind of bit do you use?
I use a 1:1 chain mouthpiece made by the one and only Dave Elliot! Love his work.

– What kind of products, therapies and/or supplements do you use to maintain your horse throughout the year?

Colby with her sister Hallie Anderson.   Hallie won the Jr. Barrel racing year end and finals aboard the 12 year old mare High Brow Kate

Colby with her sister Hallie Anderson. Hallie won the Jr. Barrel racing year end and finals.

I have used Formula 1 Noni Juice in Shade’s grain all summer as well as at finals to enhance her performance. I also use the Back on Track blankets and boots constantly whether we are hauling down the road or Shade is relaxing before the performance. They are a great asset to have!

-What was your goal and focus heading into the finals?
I went in knowing how tough the barrel racing would be, what a great group of competitors and horses it was! This was Shade’s first finals and I went in just wanting to be solid every run and stay in the average. That goal quickly ended when I knocked a barrel in the first round! But after that I knew I had nothing to lose and I was just wanting to go for go round wins. Shade handled the pressure like an old champ and I am unbelievably proud of her.

-If you were to share a barrel racing tip what would it be?
Don’t over think it! I believe that it’s easy to get in your own head and over train on your horse. I think keeping your horse healthy and most importantly happy are a huge key to success.

-What do you do when your aren’t barrel racing?
I am currently in my second year in the Bachelor of Nursing program in Lethbridge which takes up my entire winter while I’m not rodeoing. My family is also very important to me and they take up a huge portion of my time!

I’d like to send a HUGE thank you to my mom, Andrea Udal! She is the backbone behind the success I have had and my sister and I couldn’t do it without her! Also a huge thanks to our friends and family who came to cheer us on and the overwhelming support my sister and I have had since CCA Finals!

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