A rodeo can be compared to an iceberg; many times all someone truly sees is just the tip. Many of these athletes will travel hundreds of thousands of miles just to compete. Professional Barrel Racer Brittany Fellows says, “I went through one truck in one year. So I’ve put over a hundred thousand miles on it in a year."
Cowboys and cowgirls will also spend thousands of dollars just to get to a venue where they can ride. "It's thousands a week. It takes a lot to get down the road between diesel, vet bills, feed, everything, it's a lot," Fellows said. Professional Bull Rider Rory Maier agrees. "It definitely gets expensive. You definitely have to be winning and be on top of your game at all times or it gets tough out here."
Adding pressure to an already high-stress job, Professional Barrel Racer Randi Timmons says, "Some people make money at every rodeo just to keep going. Some people have the money to do it. I mean you can go into it and say I have to win money here or I don't have enough money to enter the next rodeo. It can go both ways"
Although, for some not all of their expenses come out of pocket; many of these riders get some help. "We promote their product, but they help us out in so many ways. Honestly, a lot of us probably couldn't do it without our sponsors. It's tough," Timmons said.
However, in the end, it’s all worth it. "I mean the bond we have with our horses and the other cowboys and cowgirls. It's, I would never regret it a day in my life," Timmons said, while Maier agrees." There's definitely no other feeling like there is when you make a good ride and you step off and the crowd is going wild and you know it's a feeling that's unreplaceable with anything else."