Born in 1959 and now residing in Ennis, Texas, Mary Walker has been a lifelong horsewoman. She began barrel racing as a youngster and joined the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association in 1983. Along the way, she overcame tragedy and severe injury to win championship status.
In 2011, Mary and her world-champion, steer-wrestler husband, Byron Walker, lost their son, Reagan, in a fatal car accident. Only a few months later, Mary was severely injured in a horse-fall that required a half-year of painful healing and rehabilitation. Nevertheless, at age 53, she returned to competition, and she and her steed, Perculatin Latte (2012 AQHA/WPRA Barrel Horse of the Year), captured the world barrel-racing championship in 2012 at the National Finals Rodeo.
For her remarkable courage and fortitude, and for her demonstrated inspiration to women both in and beyond the rodeo arena, Mary Walker received the Tad Lucas Memorial Award in 2013.