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Callie duPerier takes her place among Champions

Special to the Courier

Pictured: Callie duPerier feeds Rare Dillon, the buck skinned horse that helped her win the 2015 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo World Championship Barrel Racing competition. duPerier is the third cowgirl to ride Dillon into national finals competition.

A dedication ceremony hosted by the Bandera County Historical Commission on Tuesday, Dec. 27, honored Callie duPerier by adding her name to the Bandera County Cowboy Champion Monument located the courthouse lawn.
duPerier was crowned WPRA World Champion Barrel Racer at the 2015 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR) in Las Vegas, NV.
The Wrangler National Finals Rodeo is the season-ending championship event for the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) and the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA) and is widely acknowledged to be the world’s premier rodeo. Held every December since 1985 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, the Wrangler NFR is ProRodeo’s richest and most prestigious rodeo and it showcases the very best cowboys, barrel racers and livestock.
According to an article at barrelhousenews.com, “duPerier and her equine partner, Rare Dillon, were rock solid through the ten grueling go rounds to win not only the world title but the lucrative average crown as well. Their cumulative time of 140.41 seconds on ten runs was worth $67,269.23, taking their total 2015 earnings to $303,846.25”.
duPerier is the first cowgirl to be recognized in Bandera County for her World Champion status. Speaker at the event, Raymond V Carter, Jr remarked, “To have your name placed among the best, along with all the other World Champions is an awesome honor. World Champion – big words”.
She takes her place among other champions from Bandera County, Toots Mansfield, Buddy Groff, Ray Wharton, Scooter Fries, Clay Billings, Todd Whitewood, Jimmy Adams and Clint Singleton. “To be the first girl is an amazing thing”, duPerier said. “It means a lot to have a county like this to back you up”.
duPerier gives loving credit to her buck skinned horse, Rare Dillon, “Dillon”, who she affectionately refers to as a “Turd”, because of his hard headed, cantankerous ways. Dillon was not new to the national finals arena. In 2008, he carried Annesa Self, who groomed him and in 2011 and 2012, Carlee Pierce rode him in the finals.
Married in May of 2016 to Kalieb Apffel, Callie now lives in Boerne. She attended high school in Medina. Always a very athletic person, she played every sport in high school and later played college volleyball. She began barrel racing at 13, and like many before her, has paid her dues, possibly more dues than others. She is allergic to horses and hay, which is why she almost always seen wearing long sleeves.
duPerier also won the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association competition in 2010. She admits, however, that one of her best memories was making it to the top four at the Calvary Stampede.
At the unveiling of her name on the monument, then Precinct 3 Commissioner, Andy Wilkerson said, “She’s made a really big accomplishment in her life. I understand she worked very hard for it. She paid her dues beyond everybody else, after all, she’s allergic to horses and hay”.