At an age where most rodeo champions are long retired, 61-year-old Dona Kay Rule, of Minco, is at the peak of her career.
Not only is Rule defying the odds by still competing into her later years, but she’s beating the competition worldwide.
“I’m currently sitting second in the world for 2020 year,” Rule said.
Rule said she’s earned nearly $100,000 in barrel racing prices this past year, with her horse, Valor.
“I think I’ve always had it. I'm a mother and a grandmother and my husband and I had a business for 30 years, and I just couldn’t leave them behind to do it,” Rule said.
For the first time in years, Rule has time to train and travel, just as the younger competitors do.
“It's a young woman's game, a young man's game as well. You spend a lot of hours driving, a lot of hours riding horses and training, and usually by the time you're in your forties, you're kind of in the twilight of your career. I'm just kind of getting fired up. I figure, I better get on it or get over at my age,” Rule said.
According to Rule, her age has proved advantageous.
“Just a lifetime of dedication, doing it right, learning, understanding your horse,” Rule said.
Valor and Rule are headed to Vegas this weekend for the National Finals Rodeo.
“It'll be 10 days of competition, then we'll see who is the world champion,” Rule said.