By Greg Price
As the calendar year inches its way to 2016, 2015 will certainly be seen as a successful one for local barrel racer Nancy Csabay.
Consistently earning top-five finishes throughout the year, earning nearly $28,000 in the process, Csabay’s dream season concluded in November in Edmonton at the Canadian Finals Rodeo where she earned another $57,000 in prize money. It was Csabay’s sixth trip to the Canadian Finals Rodeo.
She finished in the top four in each of the six rounds including a second-place time of 14.722 in the final day of the event to earn her the 2015 Canadian Barrel Racing Champion title.
“It all goes to (my horse) Wicked. Ninety-five per cent of it is her and five per cent is me staying out of her way and staying on her back,” said Csabay of her extremely successful 2015 barrel racing season with the 11-year-old Wicked. “We raised her and trained her ourselves and we still have her momma here producing foals. If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t be where I am.”
The bond between rider and animal is a unique one in rodeo where both are putting ones trust in each other.
“It’s a love for the both of us and she loves what she does. I love to be the one that rides her. She’s happy and healthy. There’s a lot of factors that contribute to a successful year,” said Csabay of her horse . “It’s keeping her liking what she’s doing. I go in there and make one run at a time where it’s me, my horse and three barrels. I keep my mind clear to act and react as it happens. It’s being in the moment and allow whatever happens to happen.”
Where Csabay has been able to ride horses before she could walk which has filled her with passion for her sport. While 2015 produced a nice chunk of change for Csabay, factoring all the time commitment and travel, no one will be retiring anytime soon on the spoils of the sport compared to other top athletes in other pursuits.
“It’s a passion of mine. Every time I go out for a ride I feel free. It’s something I really love to do, and it shows,” said Csabay.