RODEO: Scott’s barrel racing career has roots in Odessa

Rodeo has been a big part of Katelyn Scott’s life for as long as she could remember.

The Odessa native started competing in the sport at young age with the help of her parents, who made sure their daughter knew the importance of the sport.

“My whole family, we’re very involved with rodeo this entire time,” Scott said.

The experience has been beneficial for Scott as she goes up against some of the top barrel racers in the country on a regular basis.

Before Scott focused on barrel racing, she made a name for herself at Odessa College and Eastern New Mexico University in other events.

With the Wrangler Rodeo Team, Scott made the College National Finals Rodeo in 2010 for breakaway roping and 2011 for goat tying.

When she transferred to Eastern New Mexico in 2013, she qualified for another trip to Casper, Wyo. for goat tying.

Her passion for the sport didn’t die down when she finished her collegiate career.

“I have stayed pretty hooked, it’s what I do,” Scott said. “I wake up and live for rodeo.”

Scott added that she hasn’t quit rodeoing a day in her life.

When Scott was growing up in Odessa, she and her father kept their horses with Jim Watkins, the former coach of the Odessa College rodeo team.

She moved her horses to the college’s arena when she joined the Wranglers’ team, then she went on to settle the horses on a ranch south of Odessa with her husband.

The Scotts didn’t need to make a long trip to compete in one of the toughest events of the summer, driving an hour west down Interstate 20 for the West of the Pecos Rodeo Wednesday at Buck Jackson Arena.

Scott has been competing at the Pecos rodeo since 2016, noting that the size of the arena presents some tough challenges for multiple racers.

To come away with a successful showing, Scott said a horse needs to be zoned in and focused on the barrels.

A lot of the preparation for a race happens a few days before it’s scheduled to take place.

“I like them to be in really good air shape because it’s a really big run and it can be deep,” Scott said. “So I make sure that they’re really fit, when I want a horse fit I make sure to ride them at least five or six days a week.

“I ride about 30 to 45 minutes on each specific horse to make sure that they’re in physical shape to be able to run a big pattern.”

In Wednesday’s barrel racing event, Scott went up against a competitive field that included some of the world’s top racers like Sissy Winn, Emily Beisel and Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi.

Scott’s time of 18.28 saw her finish 21st in the event on the opening night of the rodeo.

Like many athletes in the sport, Scott will try to get in as many rodeos as she can to stay consistent in her routine.

Her schedule isn’t as loaded as it was in 2018 when she went from Reno, Nev. to Pleasant Grove, Utah and Santa Fe, N.M. before making her way down to Pecos.

Scott believes it takes a special horse to compete in so many rodeos in a short amount of time.

She had plans of going to another jackpot Friday to give some younger horses more preparation and experience.

“My deal is making sure I’m staying consistent and building these horses up, getting them seasoned for their next stage of life, which is hopefully rodeo,” Scott said.

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