Anybody who has spent much time around Patty Ralls knows she’s a one-of-a-kind woman. Her bubbly personality and token smile are unforgettable, but some may not realize just how tough the cowgirl really is. On her way to her first National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Snaffle Bit Futurity in six years, she suffered a head injury riding Diamondz And Gold, but she never missed a beat.
“I was going down the fence on him and circling a cow, and he slipped circling and fell on me,” Ralls explained of the accident, which happened in the middle of the summer. “When he scrambled getting up, he kicked me in the head and I had a big laceration on my head.”
While most would need help out of the arena and expect to be rushed to the hospital, Ralls said she wasn’t about to go sit around in an emergency room. Instead, she dusted herself off and turned to a veterinarian for help.
“I didn’t have time for hospital bills; I had entry fees to pay,” she said with a laugh. “I had them staple my head up in the barn alley. It took six or eight staples.”
With resolve like that, it is no surprise that Ralls’ first trip back to the reined cow horse show pen was a successful one. In August, she piloted Diamondz And Gold (Wimpys Little Step x HA Ruby N Diamonds x Shining Spark) to the Southwest Reined Cow Horse Association Rode To Reno Futurity Non-Pro and Intermediate Non-Pro championships. And she is continuing that momentum at the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity.
After the Futurity Non-Pro preliminaries in Reno, Nevada, Ralls and her gelding qualified for the Intermediate Non-Pro finals and missed the Non-Pro finals by just a half-point after accumulating a 628 composite score (212 herd/211 rein/205 cow). The duo will show again on Sept. 30, and while they hope to take home another title, that isn’t Ralls’ main concern.
“I just want to have a good time and enjoy my horse,” she said. “I’m enjoying the ride.”