By Lillian Landreth
Summer Kosel and her horse Apollo made their first-ever tracks at the 2022 Cheyenne Frontier Days and wrote history while they were at it, breaking a 26-year-old barrel racing record with a swift time of 17.02.
This surpasses the arena record of 17.03 set in 1996, previously held by world champion barrel racer and Cheyenne Frontier Days Hall of Famer, Kristie Peterson, and her horse Bozo.
A wife and mother to four children, Summer hails from Glenham, South Dakota. Several friends, including fellow barrel racer Kailee Webb, convinced Summer that she had to experience the Daddy of ‘Em All this season. Summer and her eight-year-old gelding (registered as FireWaterFrenchFame) set the record during the qualifying round on July 22. She and Apollo, who has been running barrels for just two years, advanced to the semifinals after posting a time of 18.00 in the sixth performance and won the first semifinal round with a time of 17.34. A tipped barrel took them out of the running for the championship, but the duo won more than $12,000 in two of their runs at the 126th Cheyenne Frontier Days, and plan to return another year.
“I always say that ‘The horse is prepared for the day of battle, but victory belongs to the Lord.’” says Summer, quoting Proverbs 21:31 in an interview with Cheyenne Frontier Days. “Most days I’m amazed myself when I come out!” She is currently sitting in the top 30 of the world barrel racing standings and eighth in the WPRA Badlands Circuit.
About the Author
Lillian Landreth is a freelance writer and editor. She particularly enjoys writing about rodeo and the extraordinary people and animals who make the lifestyle fascinating. The author of more than 1,000 stories, her writing has appeared in the Rodeo News; The Ketchpen, published by the Rodeo Historical Society and National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum; and local newspapers. She is also working on her first novel. When she’s not writing, Lily enjoys riding with the Snake River Stampeders night light drill team, coaching the EhCapa Bareback Riders, a PRCA specialty act, and teaching horseback riding lessons. She makes her home in Southwest Idaho with her entrepreneurial husband, their dog, horse, and cows.