Abigale Barks is proud to be a rodeo cowgirl, but she’s just as proud of being a Lady Panther for Starks (La.) High School. The […]
Written by:< Back to Articles
Barrie Smith has been winning all of her life. Growing up in Gilbert, Arizona, Barrie began winning buckles and saddles at an early age. In high school and college, Barrie competed in Goat Tying, Barrel Racing, Breakaway and Team Roping. She was the National Goat Tying Champion for three years (74-76) in high school. She attended Central Arizona College and won the NIRA Women’s All-Around titles in ‘78 and ‘79, as well as a Goat Tying Championship in ‘78.
Barrie has continued to win everything from Barrel Futurities to every major All Girl Roping in the country including the Windy Ryon and the Wildfire Ranch ropings. She has been crowned the USTRC Cruel Girl Champion header – twice. If pressed, you might get her to talk about her wins, but not likely. Barrie is friendly, happy and overly modest.
“I don’t dwell on my what I’ve won,” says Barrie. “It’s fun today, and then it’s history. The best is when I win with my husband.”
But win she does, and everyone wants her as a partner. She’s cool, calm, consistent and usually riding one of the best horses in the building. She is the perfect example of hard work plus positive attitude equals success.
Barrie recognizes the positive influence of having been surrounded by good ropers. Her husband, Brad Smith, won a world championship in 1978. Her brother-in-law is Clay O’Brien Cooper, 7-Time World Champion, and her brother is Bret Beach, 3-Time NFR Qualifier (twice heading, once heeling).
Barrie and Brad own and operate two ranches. Their ranch just south of Stephenville, Texas is 640 acres, and they also have a 100+ acre ranch in Beulah, Colorado. Both ranches produce hay, keeping the couple busy in addition to their construction company.
The Smiths have two children, a son, Sterling, who qualified for his first National Finals Rodeo in 2013 in the Tie Down. Their daughter, Shelby, has almost completed her Marketing degree at Tarleton University.
Though it’s a busy life, Barrie enjoys riding every day and working cows when needed. She loves to train and is a good hand with a horse, a fact that is obvious when she competes.
“I love riding good horses. Obviously I don’t want to be the first to get on a young horse anymore. But I do love riding young horses and getting them started.”
A perfect example is the 12-year old sorrel Turtle Powell rode at the 2013 National Finals helping him earn over $70,000. Dashin Otoe was raised by the Smiths and mostly ridden by Barrie and Shelby at rodeos and jackpots before being sold to Powell.
Over the years Barrie has hauled many kids, including her own, to Junior rodeos and events. She continues to help youngsters and occasionally gives lessons.
How much do you practice?
Usually every day.
Do you make your own horses?
Who were your roping (rodeo) heroes?
II was around good ropers all the time: my husband, Clay Cooper, my brother Bret Beach.
Who do you respect most in the world?
There are a lot of people I respect for various things.
Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
If you had a day off what would you like to do?
Go to the movies.
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Driven, Happy, Friendly
What makes you happy?
What makes you angry?
Losing and people who brag.
If you were given 1 million dollars, how would you spend it?
We would probably buy a ranch.
What is your worst quality – your best?
Worst is I’m too particular. Best quality is being dependable.