I never competed anywhere but small time locally, but when I was younger I rode a 15.2 hh Missouri Fox Trotter mare. She was a solid 18 second barrel mare. Everyone would snort and laugh at my gaited mare until they saw her turn the barrels on a dime and bring it home like Secretariat. Lol. Not to mention, I had the smoothest ride out there! LOL
But if I were to be competing serious then I would probably go with a QH. We are big fans of Two Eyed Jack here. All our horses are close decendants of him, but all we use them for are roping horses.