The 2012 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo was really all about one person. 53 year old Mary Walker. Who went from a wheelchair to the winners circle in one year.
What Was Said
Gretchen Kirchmann: Gretchen Kirchmann here for 4theride.com and The Rodeo Round Up. Wow what an emotional week. Mary Walker is our World Champion Barrel Racer. You started off 1 – 2 – 3 and you’re ending up with a brand new truck. How does it feel and has it even sunk in?
Mary Walker: You know I kind of knew last night that I had a really good shot of winning the world. It…it…no I don’t think it has sunk in yet. I was very emotional back in the back and just can’t imagine. And to win the truck, a barrel racer to win the truck, that’s just amazing so I’m so excited.
Gretchen: And we talked earlier about how you had to put $14,000 into your vehicle and now you’ve got a brand new truck to drive. When do you think you will break it in?
Mary: Hopefully, as soon as I get it.
Gretchen: And do you have the keys? Will you drive it back or will you have to bring a driver out?
Mary: You know… do I get to take it home with me? Oh yes! We have plenty of drivers. We brought eight people out here, and all their luggage, so surely one of them would love to drive it back.
Gretchen: So when the announcers announced you, they mentioned how you were in a wheelchair last time and this year you’re driving the truck out of the arena. Just talk about, I don’t even know if you can put it into words.
Mary: There are no words. I’m just so thankful and just so grateful for everybody who’s been through this with me and has helped me through the emotional times and the good and the bad times. I’m just so thankful to be here.
Gretchen: And we know that you have a guardian angel, Reagon, up in heaven. Talk to us just a moment about the Reagon Foundation. How people can find out more information about your son.
Mary: We have a Reagon Walker Foundation and actually this year we did calendars. The top 15 barrel racers and rookies did calendars and so the calendars are for sale for $20 and the proceeds go to Reagon’s Foundation. And so, hopefully, we can get it built up pretty good and give rodeo kids scholarships to go to college.
Gretchen: Fabulous. Now I have to ask, do you have someone who is building you a new trophy cases at home with all this loot to go back with?
Mary: Well no, there is nobody building anything but I sure will start as soon as I get home.
Gretchen: Congratulations, World Champion Barrel Racer, Mary Walker. This is Gretchen Kirchmann and you’re watching 4theride.com.