Karissa Gipple had one goal for 2012. To become the rookie of the year in barrel racing. "I just said why not, kind of try and push myself, and see if I can make that goal happen or not."
The 20 year old Merrill native has been barrel racing since she was ten but only started competing professionally this year. Gipple says that the first few rodeos were nerve racking and intimidating.
Gipple gives much of the credit of her success to her horse, Yo Down. "He really helped me become a better rider, and he's brought me to a lot of different places and has helped me achieve a lot of my goals."
Including racing at the great lakes circuit finals in Louisville earlier this month. Gipple's mother, Sandy, has been by her side during the entire journey, driving her daughter for hours between rodeos. She says she could feel her heart pounding watching Karissa Gipple compete at such a high level.
After earning rookie of the year honors, and making it to the circuit finals, Gipple knows she's lucky. "There's a lot of girls that have been running, that I know of you know for a couple of years and they've never made it yet, so to make it my first year was a big accomplishment for me, and I'm just happy I can say at least I made it one time and if I never make it again, oh well."
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