By A Nose timing system is a new device Alan Woodbury has developed for the world of barrel racing, recently partnering with the WPRA.
Article and photos courtesy WPRA
January, 29, 2024 — COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado — With a new year comes new opportunities. The Women’s Professional Rodeo Association board of directors announced its partnership with Alan Woodbury on his latest innovation By A Nose.
By A Nose is a new timing device Woodbury developed for the world of barrel racing, specifically in the professional realm. The term ‘by a nose’ comes from horseracing, where the idea for this new timing device came about. By A Nose was developed, designed and produced from research and data.
Woodbury has closely followed barrel racing and horse racing for over 40 years. He recognized a need for a more accurate barrel racing timing system early on. A few years ago, Woodbury was at the track in Ruidoso, New Mexico, when he met the expert who analyzes film and horses’ noses to determine race winners. Woodbury hired him to travel the country, filming over 700 barrel racing runs at major rodeos. Using state-of-the-art technology, the runs and their times were analyzed to record timer heights and nose heights both starting the run and finishing the run.
From these numbers, Woodbury designed a timer tripod with a standard height and without adjustable legs. This tripod is easy to set up and is always the same height. He was also able to determine the nose height range of horses crossing the eye. From this data, he designed a canister to sit on top of the tripod that uses four eye beams spaced at specific measurements to catch the differing heights of noses on all sizes of horses, running with heads up or heads down.
The WPRA board of directors has been working closely with Woodbury over the past year.
“When Alan called a year ago to come look at the prototype for these timers, I went into that situation not really knowing what to expect,” WPRA vice president Heidi Schmidt said. “It was pretty incredible to come out of that meeting with an extreme sense of excitement. Witnessing something that could revolutionize barrel racing timing and the industry was something the WPRA board needed to see immediately, so we arranged for Alan to present the product to the board at our 2023 spring board meeting in Colorado Springs.”
The team saw the fruits of their labor at the 2023 Montana Circuit Finals Rodeo in Great Falls, where By A Nose timers were used.
“We were excited to put By A Nose timers into action at the Montana Circuit Finals,” Montana Circuit director Dillon McPherson said. “They definitely created a buzz, and everyone from contestants to spectators were interested in learning more about them. They were well received by our circuit members, and we are anxious to get more in the field during the 2024 rodeo season.”
The WPRA board of directors believes the Montana Circuit Finals was just the tip of the iceberg and are excited to use these timers at more events throughout the 2024 rodeo season. Currently there are a few prototype units being used successfully, with 50 more in production that are planned for WPRA distribution. Woodbury hopes that sometime in March there will be 100 more units available to purchase.
This timer was designed with colored lights on the back of the canister to indicate when the timer is on, lined up, ready to time, timing in progress, and back to ready to time. As long as someone is paying attention to the lights and the battery has been charged, it shouldn’t miss a time. In addition, By A Nose timing system has its own Wi-Fi that will transmit times to an app that can be downloaded to a phone. When changes or upgrades are needed with the system, the app will update automatically.
“In the WPRA, hundredths of a second can change lives, and it is the WPRA’s responsibility to provide to its members the most accurate timing system we know of,” Schmidt said. “The WPRA board is very excited to move ahead with By A Nose and help get these game-changing timers in the hands of contractors and other contract personnel.”
The WPRA will share more information as it becomes available, including where By A Nose timers can be ordered, the cost, WPRA plans for implementation at rodeos and more.
Stay tuned to wpra.com for news and updates.