In 2012, horse enthusiast Mary Walker became the oldest woman in the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA) to qualify for the National Finals Rodeo (NFR). She and her bay gelding, Perculatin, nicknamed “Latte,” performed impeccably at the competition, taking home the title of world champions in barrel racing and a new earnings record of one million dollars.
This would be an incredible accomplishment for any 52-year-old – but for Mary, it was a miracle. Not long after losing her only son in a car accident in 2011, Mary was in a terrible riding accident. Latte fell on her, breaking bones and causing her to be wheelchair bound. With time, physical therapy and a great deal of persistence, Mary was able to work her way up to crutches, then to a cane, and finally back into the saddle. Less than a year later, she was the proud title-holder of world champ, and was inducted into the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame in 2013.