A Little About Merrill...
Merrill is originally from New Orleans, Louisiana and is currently living in Ruston, Louisiana where she graduated from Louisiana Tech University. Merrill started barrel racing in the 7th grade at a summer camp in Arkansas. They had a camp competition that included barrel racing. One trip and she was hooked for life.
Today, Merrill has a ranch which includes 3 stallions and she breeds and raises colts for barrel racing. She has always loved horses and liked the idea of a timed event where you were not dependant on a judge. She always thought the judged events were sometimes unfair and the electric eye is the best judge she knows. Barrel racing also gave her confidence and made her feel good about herself.
Her first National Championship was won in 2000. She wasn't even going to go because it was such a long drive to Montgomery, Alabama and her friend Micah Goins talked her into going. She didn't think Mr Ed would do very well and just didn't feel up for it. Micah went and helped her to keep a positive attitude, and Mr Ed got better and better with every run. There were 997 horses when it started, but Mr. Ed was the one who took the title!
Merrill has won her 10th NBHA National Championship in Jackson, MS this year!
Merrill has a little advice to those thinking of joining the sport:
"Get a good horse and learn the right way from the start...It is easier to learn good habits than to break bad ones."