Team Cavender’s Natalie Peacock

by Lea Leggitt

“Work with me, Blue Bell,” Natalie says. Their hearts begin to race as they jet out into the arena. They make their way around three barrels, and the duo returns home, stopping the clock. It all came together. Natalie Peacock becomes the 2023 Alabama High School Rodeo Association champion barrel racer.
Natalie didn’t start her barrel racing career until four short years ago. She was raised around horses and as a young girl participated in hunter-jumper and horse showing. As time went on she watched many barrel racing athletes on TV compete and the desire began to grow within Natalie. She decided to step back from her horse showing and jumping competitions to pursue a more fast-paced sport of barrel racing.
Her parents decided to get her a pony to run on. They wanted to make sure it wasn’t a phase.
“We didn’t buy her a cookie-cutter horse,” said Kimberly Peacock, Natalie’s mother. “She had to earn it.” When Natalie proved she was in it for the long haul, her parents brought Blue Bell into their lives.
Natalie trained Blue Bell from the day she arrived at her house. They have become one, and she describes her as her heart horse. “It’s the connection with her that makes that pattern perfect.” Blue Bell is a dapple grey mare who loves her job. Natalie shares that one of her special quirks is always running with her tail in the air. When the duo is warming, up Natalie mentioned she likes to find the quietest place with some natural sounds to relax and connect with her horse. She will always eye down the pattern to give herself the best chance to bring home a win.
Blue Bell is a name you rarely hear at rodeos and barrel races. “I wanted to have a name that was different that you didn’t hear all the time. Blue Bell’s name is one in a million, and the nickname I gave her is Bluelulu when she’s being silly, or I call her Bluelulu, short for Blue Bell.”
Natalie and Blue Bell have traveled all across the country together, from WPRA, high school, andto open rodeos from Alabama to Florida. Natalie said out of all the places they have competed her favorite arena is Andalusia, Alabama. She explained her choice because that is always where she will remember winning her state barrel racing title.
When you see Natalie run, she is always wearing a helmet. Her biggest idol is Fallon Taylor, who also is found sporting the helmet. Natalie’s mother had a severe head injury while running barrels when she was younger and has always ensured Natalie has a helmet. Natalie’s mother likes that she admires Fallon. “It’s the safety that Fallon promotes,” said Kimberly.
Although horses are Natalie’s life day in and day out, when she isn’t busy with school or rodeo, she can be found bedazzling tack sets. She also finds time to be with friends and spend some time at the beach 30 minutes from her home in Ardisal, Alabama.
Natalie is excited for the next step in her life and rodeo career. She hopes to become a vet tech while also competing in the WPRA, PRA and the PRCA. When Natalie joined Team Cavender’s, the good news came when she needed it the most. Her grandmother had recently passed away. Natalie was very sad and mourning her loss. It was then that she received the call, informing her that she made the team. The news renewed her excitement and helped her get that energy back in time for the National High School Finals. “I am so thankful to be a part of this amazing team.” said Natalie.

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