HONEYVILLE – By Ellen Cook – November 11, 2020
Meka Farr loves horses. She always has. They were part of childhood and are now a vital part of her family life. They bring her joy; they keep her busy and they take her on championship rides.
Meka Farr is a barrel racer, a winning barrel racer. Her skill at working the cloverleaf pattern at area rodeos earned her a first-place finish at the Wilderness Circuit Finals held Nov 6-7 at the Wasatch County Event Center in Heber City. It also helped her secure a spot in the lineup of the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo, to be held in Kissimmee, Florida, next March.
But 2020 was not the easiest year for this cowgirl.
“This has been a crazy year with COVID,” Meka said. “A lot of rodeos were cancelled.”
In fact, she only competed at a dozen rodeos within the Wilderness Circuit (Utah, Idaho and Nevada), compared to her usual 30 or 35 annually. The lack of events made it even more important to do well at each competition and do well she did. The top 12 money winners of the season were eligible to run at the year-end event and Meka went into the barrel racing finals at the top of the leader board.
During the two-day, three-round battle, she continued her winning ways. Aboard her horse, D. D. Dee Cee, better known as Woody, she stormed into the arena, finishing with a time of 15.40, to take the first round on Friday night.
Saturday afternoon found her in third place, with a time of 15.76. The final round gave her a similar placement with a time of 15.58. The three scores helped her win the average and solidified her as the top money winner.
And not to be left out of the picture, Woody earned the title of Horse of the Year for the circuit.
It is a title well-deserved, according to Meka.
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“I love that horse,” she freely admits. “Without him I couldn’t do this. He has taken me places I never even dreamed of going. I’m just thankful I get to be his person!”
Meka picked up Woody, who is now 11, at a horse sale when he was just a yearling.
“I trained him myself,” she said. “As a four-year-old he was showing great potential, so I started entering him in futurities, events for young horses. He did really well with placing and winning money so when he was six years old, I started taking him to rodeos.”
Meka said there is a really active barrel racing community within the state and on a year not plagued by viruses a barrel racer can compete as much as she wants.
“You can barrel race between two and four times a week, just within a four-hour drive,” she said.
But being good at the sport involves much more that sitting in the saddle, racing in circles at top speed and avoiding barrels. According to Meka, it is a seven-day-a-week job.
A good horse requires a lot of work, from feed to exercise, and Meka makes sure, not only Woody, but the rest of her herd get the attention they need.
Take, for instance, Shorty, a 19-year-old Meka uses as Woody’s “emotional support trailer friend” and “good backup horse.” Then add a five-year-old in training who is “trying to find herself within the pattern.,” or a three-year-old who “is just getting started.” They all require a slice of her time and Meka is happy to give it because of what she gets back from them.
She does not do it alone, however.
“I have a really big support system,” she said. “The family usually comes along, and we get to be together. I have help with my kids when we leave them. It’s not just family but amazing friends who come and take care of the herd at home, great neighbors who have done a ton for us.”
She is looking forward to hauling her horse to Florida next March, if COVID doesn’t change those plans. It will be the third time she has competed at the national level and she hopes the saying, “third time is the charm” holds true and she comes home with another title.
Despite the outcome, with a great horse, supportive family and “awesome” friends and neighbors, Meka said she has already won.