How’s this for a story?
- Married to NFR Fan favorite and World Champion Steer Wrestler Byron Walker
- April 23, 2011, her 21 year old son gets killed in a auto accident
- June 2011, her new bay horse Latte, slipped as they were going around the final barrel at a rodeo in Crosby, Texas. Mary broke her pelvis, her hip in three places, two vertebrae and a pair of toes in the fall. Doctors used eight plates and 11 pins to stabilize her hip.
How do you bounce back from such a year like that, at age 53? You get back on the horse (literally) and go win some competitions! Like the Cheyenne Days Rodeo (the one event your husband never could win) and end it by qualifying for your first ever WNFR.
It would be enough just to end it there. Just knowing you are competing with some of the best ladies in the business. Women who make this trek annually and walk away with the buckles.
But that would not be Mary Walker. Nope. she goes and wins the first round of barrel racing at the 2012 Wrangler NFR, with a sweet 13.75 second ride around the clover leaf.
What Was Said:
Gretchen: Gretchen Kirchmann here for the 4theride.com with me is Mary Walker. This is your first finals, your first go around win, talk about that today.
Mary: Walker It was just so exciting when I went up the tunnel and, you know, heard my time and thought, “oh my goodness” and I still had Lindsay Sears and Brittnay Pozzi behind me. Um, they told me to get on the horse and I said no just wait till they run and then I’ll get on. But to be here and my first year, it’s something you dream about your whole life.
Gretchen: So this is your first year competing but your husband has been here for 16 times so talk a little about the role reversal.
Mary: The role reversal has been really funny this year because he’s got to sleep late in the morning while I’ve been into meetings or to banquets. Ah, he got to go shopping today and I didn’t get to go shopping. Usually I was the one who shopped and slept late in the mornings and let him do everything and so this year it’s changed but I think he was a little more nervous than I was today.
Gretchen: So a year ago you were in a wheelchair, came out to the finals for 3 days, you were doing rehab, it’s got to be kind of surreal?
Mary: It is amazing because we laughed when we drove up here because last year I got to park in the handicap parking so it is. It’s a 360 degree turn right here and just to imagine that I’m here talking to everybody and knowing I just won the first round and now I get to go to the South Point and receive my go around buckle, I just can’t imagine it.
Gretchen: Well you have been on stage because you got horse of the year.
Mary: Yes I did
Gretchen: And that was just amazing and so congratulations, good luck, and we hope to see you back here many times this week.
Mary: Thank you, Thank you. I appreciate it so much.
Gretchen: 4theride.com this is Gretchen Kirchmann with Mary Walker