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Still in the saddle at age 88

Eloise Barry has given up barrel racing, but still rides weekly

by: Photo By Susan Matheny - Eloise Barry on her horse

Featured several years ago in The Pioneer as the "Racing Grandma," who was in her 70s and doing barrel racing, Eloise Barry of Madras is still in the saddle.
   Now age 88, Eloise said, "I ride at Ron Hanson's feed lot two times a week. We ride a couple of hours through the pens and if there are any sick cattle, we bring them in. I enjoy riding over there. It's keeping me going."
   She said she quit doing competitive barrel racing five years ago, only because her new horse "Kid," a dun-colored, 8-year-old quarter horse, doesn't like the sport.
   "I sold my barrel mare four years ago. I was still competing heavy when I was 80," she noted.
   Eloise also enjoys riding out on the marginal grasslands, and last year went alone to Summit Prairie for a ride.
   "My friends say not to ride alone, but I can't find anybody to ride with when I want to ride. I've rode the marginal for 55 years," she explained.
   When an old friend in Pennsylvania heard she was still riding at her age, he insisted she dress up in her finest Western garb, have a photo taken and send him a copy to show off to everyone. "He thinks I'm a real cowgirl," she chuckled.
   "I hope to be able to ride 'til I'm 90. If I can do that, I figure I've done pretty well," Eloise said, saddling up for a ride.