A Champion Barrel Racer, Sabra O'Quinn, one of many women in hot pursuit of the Southeastern Championship year-end title, is currently in the lead and looking to win the 2008 championship. Next week end, Octc. 3-4 , the Williston Horeseman's Club member will be running in the PRCA Rodeo at the Williston Horseman's Park Arena as she tries to extend her lead in this title race.
This lady has both the mental and physical talent to reach the championship level in many arenas of competition, having the resume to back this statement up. She is not only a competitor, but a winner at everything to which she dedicates herself. Her equestrian career began in earnest at the age of five, when she got her first horse, a racing drop out. With a little help, she trained him as a speed show game horse. Sabra grew up in Ocala, Florida at her grandfather's thoroughbred horse farm. Against her parent's wishes, she wanted to give up the athletics and become a race horse jockey. Grandpa said he would give her a chance. He had lots of young racehorses in training. At first he gave her the easy colts to exercise. Once she got the hang of it, grandpa changed tacts. Now he made her ride the tough ones. The buckers, the runaways, the mischievous colts with too much energy. Yeah.! She got dumped, runaway with, and bounced around. Grandpa's plan worked, the "wanna be jockey" decided she did not "wanna be."
Sabra always loved sports, and throughout her school years participated in various athletics. She competed in the Junior Olympics in Fencing (with the foil) and played varsity basketball in high school. However, horses were her real passion in life. Sabra's first year in high school rodeo she won the state championship in goat tying and was the Rookie of the Year. During an illustrious high school career, she twice won the Florida State Championship in barrel racing, twice was All-Around Champion Cowgirl, and once won the state Pole Bending Championship.
Sabra qualified for the National Finals High School Rodeo all four years of her high school career, making it to the final round in at least one event during all four years. She was a member of the 1985 Florida Team which won the National Championship, and leading her team to victory, earned the All Around Champion Cowgirl title for herself, becoming the only girl from Florida to ever win this prestigious title.
The list of titles and championships has gone on over the years. One statistic worthy of mention is that she has qualified for the Southeastern Pro Rodeo Circuit Finals nine times on five different horses. (Only the top twelve in an event qualify). Currently, three of the top twelve horses in the S.E. Circuit standings were trained by Sabra O'Quinn. The best of riders can not win if they are not well mounted, and Sabra has had the good fortune to ride good, and even some great horses over these years. Bar None Cranford was her traveling companion for many years, followed by P'nut, and currently, Wonder's Oro.
After deciding that higher education was not her calling in life, Sabra began to look for an occupation. Having grown up on a Thoroughbred farm in Marion County, and knowing her love for horses, and realizing that her knowledge and experience in life was all related to the equine industry, she chose to open a horse trailer dealership in Ocala.
During the late eighties, Sabra took a break from the rodeo world, and for several years competed very successfully in the cutting horse arenas from the Southeast to Texas. She was usually riding a strong, fast, and unusually tall by, cutting horse standards, half Thoroughbred named Bar Whim aka "The Fiddler". This horse was one of the all time great equine athletes, and he and Sabra were capable of winning any cutting in the land. Sabra became known for blowing bubble gum bubbles while riding through a run which would have most riders hanging on for their lives. Because of their success, Sabra decided to name her business in honor of The Fiddler. Thus, Fiddler's Trailers came to be.
Since 1996, Sabra has dedicated most of her time to managing Fiddler's Trailers. She has worked very hard to develop her business skills over these years, and her business has grown and become well established as a result. However, the pressures and responsibilities of the business world left less time for the rodeo circuit. It was once again time for change. Sabra began to concentrate on training horses for the barrel futurities, something which she always wanted to do, and which did not require constant travel. She has been in the final rounds of all of the major barrel futurities in the nation. She has been very successful training and riding horses sired by Frenchman's Guy and Wonder Otoe in particular. In 2006, she hauled to South Dakota for the 5 State Breeders Futurity, winning both the futurity championship and reserve championship aboard Frenchman's Guy offspring. In 2007, she hauled out to the west coast, winning the barrel race at the Cow Palace P.R.C.A. Rodeo, in San Francisco, Calif., and setting a new arena record aboard Wonder's Oro.
Sabra is truly a modern day woman, dividing her time between her business, her family, and her passion for competing on and training barrel horses. To her, horses have never been a diversion, but a very serious venture. She somehow finds time to help friends with their horses, and especially enjoys working with young barrel racers. Sabra tries to pass on some of the secrets of her success to the kids who will be the stars of the future. Things like dedication, practice, mental preparation, caring for the horse, and of course the finer points of horsemanship and competition. She was not born a champion. Her goals have been achieved through hard work, determination, and a positive attitude. In Sabra's mind, there aren't many things that she can't do if she really wants to.
October 3 and 4 are the dates of the 14th annual Williston P.R.C.A. Rodeo and Barbecue. The Williston Horseman's Association is proud to have Duggan's Equipment Sales as a major sponsor. The rodeo starts at 8:00 PM both nights. Barbecue plates will be sold at 6 p.m. Tickets are $12 at the gate and $10 in advance. Kids under 12 are $7 at the gate and $5 in advance. Advance tickets are for sale at Kloverleaf Tack in Williston, Chiefland Farm Supply in Chiefland, and both Wishful Thinking Western Worlds in Ocala and Gainesville, Dugan Equipment Sales in Ocala and Tack Shack of Ocala. Pizza from Hungry Howies will be on sale at the park, also.
The Williston Horseman's Arena is 11/2 miles south of Williston off U.S. Hwy.41 on Well Built Road. Gates open at 6 p.m. Come to the rodeo and see Sabra first hand, but expect her to be in and out of the arena quick. That's how the winners do it.
See ya at the Rodeo.