Tami Semas—professional barrel racer, saddle designer, and wife and mother of two—found her niche in the horse industry in high school, and dug deep into […]
Featured Athlete: Brooke Klinger
Written by: Ruth Nicolaus< Back to Articles
Don’t mess with Brooke Klinger. She’ll take you down.
The 5 Star Equine Products team member has a first degree black belt in karate.
But her true love is barrel racing.
Growing up in Andover, New Jersey, she did trail rides and participated in English and jumping as well as riding a bit of western pleasure. But when she was twelve years old, she saw the barrel racing at the local fair.
It fit her to a “T”. “I like to go fast,” she said. “I loved racing on the trails.”
So, a trainer, Jim Tenhoeve, taught her. She got a faster horse, and began running barrels.
She uses 5 Star Equine products, with two of them her favorites. The saddle pads are wonderful, she said. “I’ve had (other brands of) saddle pads that after a few uses, get really stiff. The 5 Stars are flexible and stay soft. I like how they’re contoured so they fit flatly on the horse’s back. There are no gaps or spaces.” They’ve helped her horses. “They’re never sore.”
She just recently started using the boots for her horses and those are now her favorites. “I love them a lot. They’re not bulky and they don’t let sand in, which is very nice.”
She loves it that she can customize colors for the saddle pads and boots, and she loves the saddle pads. “I have six of them now,” she said. “I just keep adding. I have an obsession with them.”
A 2019 high school graduate, Brooke works for her parents in their three enterprises: her dad’s electrical company, their real estate rental business, and with her dad as he teaches karate lessons. Her dad is the Sensei and she teaches the younger levels while she continues her instruction in the art.
Brooke also gives riding and barrel racing lessons, which she loves. She travels to people’s houses, or students can come to her farm and ride one of her gentler horses. It’s one of her favorite jobs. “I like teaching people what I know and seeing them accomplish things. I like it when they work harder towards their goals, and when I know I was the one able to help them.”
She got her WPRA permit in 2019 and filled it within a few months. This year, she hopes to work towards the title of Rookie of the Year for the First Frontier Circuit.
The family has five horses: King, her first horse; Dancer, her primary barrel and pole horse; Sunny, another barrel horse; Charlie, a five-year-old she acquired last year, and her newest horse, Brownie.
In her spare time, she loves to hunt for pheasant and deer, and she combats the stereotype that New Jersey is full of nothing but cities. “There are a lot of country people here,” she said. “People don’t really know that. They think New Jersey is nothing but city, but where I am, it’s all farmland.”
She is the daughter of Scott and Jackie Klinger.