17 February, 2023
Beetle beats the barrels
It’s not a sport that we would all be familiar with, but 11-year-old Chloe ‘Beetle’ Harris is brilliant at barrel-racing.
Chloe recently finished-up in the top 10
for her under 11s age group in the elite
event - involving rider and horse completing
a circuit around stationary barrels in the
fastest possible time, at the ABCRA national
finals held last month.
riders from all over the country, the St Joey’s
student has been travelling each weekend
to accumulate enough points for the
Australian Bushmen’s Campdraft and Rodeo
“Adults compete for money, kids compete for points,” Mum, Karen Harris said.
“On average, there is about 18–20 kids in her age group, so you really have to go pretty hard and go to every single rodeo every single weekend.”
With her goal in mind, Beetle Harris
was determined to make it to the finals.
Her mother is very grateful to St Joseph’s
for being so understanding of Beetle
being out of school on occasions to compete.
“There was a time where I said,
‘now Mrs Schier, I know you think I’m
crazy missing all this school but I am
actually chasing something’,” laughed
Chloe and her horse Gator-raid, accumulated
enough places and points, placing
regularly in the top five, to make it to
Only the top 15 competitors
are invited to compete in the finals event,
held in Tamworth over three days.
“It wasn’t necessarily to get a buckle
or anything for winning it, but just to get
to the finals for my first time,” she said.
“It was pretty exciting that I got there.
I was really nervous before every run, but
then when I got out there it was so much
fun. When I came out I was like ‘I want
to go again!’”
Mrs Harris was beyond proud of her
daughters’ efforts, and how far she has
come from the beginning of the season.
“With riders from Queensland and
Western Australia it was a great experience
and tough competition which saw
Beetle and her horse grow in confidence
over the three days to place sixth in the
final run,” Mrs Harris said.
Since she was 18-months-old, Beetle
has been barrel-racing alongside her
“Technically she was still in the
womb, because I barrel raced when I was
pregnant with her!” Mrs Harris said.
With her big brother a bull rider, dad
a team roper, and mum always barrelracing,
Beetle was brought up in the
rodeo scene, and continues her love for it
“I really like barrel racing, but I’m
starting to try and do a little bit of breakaway
because I just got a new horse
that’s really good at it,” she said.
Beetle’s next goal is barrel racing and breakaway all rounder in the southern zone — in a few years’ time. Taking a much-needed slow season next year, she’s looking forward to working on her skills in preparation