AMELIA VENEZIANO, Walla Walla Union-Bulletin
WALLA WALLA - Nicole Aichele's heart sank when she watched friend and rival Courtney Frazier's barrel race Memorial Day weekend in Pasco. Frazier beat the TRAC arena record, spinning through in 16.691. Aichele, the last rider up, knew she'd have to make it fast. "I knew she broke the arena record, and she was really fast," Aichele said. "I knew it'd have to be all or nothing, and I thought, ‘I'd better go for it.'" So Aichele leaned forward and whispered in Blondie, her Palomino mare's, ear.
"Blondie loves attention. She's really spoiled," Aichele said. "I told her if she ran a ‘16,' I'd ride in the trailer with her back to Walla Walla."