Carlee Otero Talks Life and Rodeo Journeys on The Money Barrel Podcast

Few barrel racers have stepped aboard as many iconic horses as Carlee Otero in the past decade, and she shares the wisdom she's gleaned from those athletes on TMB.
Carlee Otero barrel racing on Blingolena
Carlee Otero and Blingolena clocked the fastest time of the Ruby Buckle East 2023. Lexi Smith Media.

Carlee Otero, formerly known as Carlee Pierce, joins The Money Barrel Podcast for an in-depth discussion about her rodeo and barrel racing journey and how it’s evolved throughout her lifetime.

Who is Carlee Otero?

Growing up in a rodeo family, Otero’s parents were deeply involved in the sport, with her father being a bull rider turned bullfighter and rodeo judge, while her mother roped around barrels. Despite her initial focus on other sports like basketball and cheerleading in high school, Carlee’s passion for barrel racing reignited after getting married and having children.

Starting with inexpensive horses in Northwest Oklahoma, Otero gradually worked her way up the ranks, understanding the necessity of dedication and hard work to progress in the sport. Her journey took a significant turn when she acquired Rare Dillion, a remarkable horse that propelled her to her first National Finals Rodeo (NFR) appearance in 2011 and launched her into the national spotlight.

“I knew if I was going to do this and put the time and effort into it, I had to work harder.”

Carlee Otero

Otero’s rodeo career faced challenges in 2013 due to personal issues, leading to the temporary halt of her rodeo pursuits. Despite selling notable horses like Dillion and “Arson,” whom Otero discusses within the epiosde, Otero remained resilient, returning to the NFR in 2014 with a new horse. Through these transitions and three totaled NFR qualifications so far, Otero emphasized the importance of trusting in the journey, making difficult decisions for her family’s well-being and maintaining positive relationships within the rodeo community. Her life continued to evolve as she worked on raising her family, building her real estate business, and eventually going out on the rodeo trail with her tie-down roping husband, Michael and family.

Follow Otero’s journey from start to present on this episode of The Money Barrel below, and watch her on The Replay after her win at The Patriot Las Vegas in December exclusively on Ride TV.

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