After competing in the CPRA for three years, Kyle Whiteside is headed to her very first Canadian Finals Rodeo. The Longview, Alberta cowgirls passion is barrel racing and training horses. At just 18 years of age, one could say, shes living the dream.
Whiteside will be running Isle Be Right On aka Hooey, who she purchased from her aunt, and her sisters horse Irish Gold Rush aka Rancho.
After competing in 40 CPRA rodeos, and pocketing $16,272, Kylie is coming to the finals in tenth position.
What quirks does your horse have? Well Hooey doesn’t know what a walk is, its always gotta be anything faster than a walk, and hes got some weird kinda belly roll when he gets excited.
How would you describe your horses barrel racing style? He is a push style horse. I really have to make sure I keep him moving forward.
What things do you want people to know about your horse? He is not very big but he has the biggest heart with so much try. He definitely has his own mind on how things should be done.
What was your favorite rodeo this year and why? My favourite would be Armstrong, BC. Everything is so upbeat and it has a great atmosphere!
We all know that being competitive take serious mental strength. What do you do to keep a sharp mental edge in the game of rodeo? I keep looking ahead to the next run and I don’t look back at the bad ones.
How do you stay motivated throughout the season? Well, I love it so it makes it a lot easier to want to keep going, and when it gets tough, I keep looking at the goal I have in mind.
What does your feed program look like, keeping your horses in peak condition going down the road and even in the off-season? I like to feed a pretty good amount of alfalfa, cubes and hay. Some supplements and performance grain.
What do you do to condition your horses leading up to this season and what does your pre-CFR routine consist of? Lots of long trotting across the field and a very small amount of barrel work.
What is the best advice you’ve ever been told regarding life, horses, rodeo or barrel racing? Live your dreams, never quit and always try your best.
What has been your most memorable run over the years? Winning the short round at Strathmore!
If you could make a run on any one of the other CFR qualifiers Horses which one will you choose and why? Taylor Mannings horse, Matlock. He looks powerful and fun!
What is the one thing you cannot live without on the road? My little dog Cola.
What are you looking forward to the most as you head to the 2018 Canadian Finals Rodeo? The atmosphere of the Canadian Finals Rodeo.
Coming to Red Deer in tenth position, after 38 CPRA rodeos and pocketing $14,864, is Diane Skocdopole. She will be bringing Sonic aka. JG Hectors Pizzazz by RNJ Heckofafrenchman out of RNJ Abigail, and Kaye aka. Known To Be Wild CS by Known For Dash (Dashing Kleat) and is out of a Page Oh Bobby mare. Kaye is owned by Stacey Ruzicka.
What things do you want people to know about your horse(s)? That she’s a pretty outstanding rope horse (head,heel, tie down) too! Sonic even has CPRA earnings in the heading!
What quirks does your horse/horses have? Sonic is hard to catch, hates men, and if you scratch her back she’ll scratch yours.
Where did you buy/find your horse? I bought Sonic as a 2yr old sight unseen from a friend in Nebraska. We were buying a rope horse from them and I told them to throw a colt in too. That was Sonic! She was very wild when I got her!
How would you describe your horses barrel racing style? She’s extreme! It’s all or none. She drives into her turn with speed, you have to hang on!
What was your favourite rodeo this year and why? This year my favourite rodeo was the Calgary Stampede! Although I didn’t have the most prosperous rodeo there, it was an experience like no other and I won’t soon forget it!! Learnt more about rodeo from that one rodeo than I could imagine! Everything about it was amazing!
We all know that being competitive takes serious mental strength.What do you do to keep a sharp mental edge in the game of rodeo? How do you stay motivated throughout the season? I listen to podcasts and books while I’m driving about competition. I talk to competitors in other events, they can unknowingly offer great advice if you listen. And my husband is a great resource from his years experience rodeoing. This year was a lot more trying for me on the mental side as I faced a few extra challenges. But I believed in my horses and had faith that if it was meant to be we’d find a way.
What does your feed program look like, keeping your horses in peak condition going down the road and even in the off season? I like to keep my feed program as simple as possible. Hay, fresh water and Hoffman’s Elite (I’ve been a Hoffman’s girl forever) I add a couple supplements or herbs in for different horses depending on their issues but generally just keep it simple.
What do you do to condition your horses, and to keep them in their best shape through out the season? I ride our pastures and river hills for my exercise program. I usually back up a hill at the end of my ride for an extra workout. Usually don’t do too much barrel work when I’m rodeoing lots.
What is the best advice you’ve ever been told regarding life, horses, rodeo or barrel racing? I love the quote “ you must make your goal about improvement not winning”. Seems to be my best advice.
What has been your most memorable run over the years, can be embarrassing or run of your life? Most memorable run had to be my run at Camrose in 2017, I won the rodeo and won enough to buy my full CPRA card which is such a hurdle to attain. Also, that run felt so smooth and fun! Also, my first run at CFR last year. We won the round and it was one of those runs where I was just hanging on for dear life! Usually the fast ones feel like that for Sonic and I. Those two runs have been my most memorable.
If you could make a run on any one of the other CFR qualifiers horses which one would you choose and why? Well of course I’d have to say Ripp! Gosh that horse is so dang cool!!
What is the one thing you cannot live without on the road? Sirius radio and my phone!
What are you looking forward to the most as you head to the 2018 Canadian Finals Rodeo? Getting to run Sonic in her element (indoors) that always excites me!! I’m really looking forward to the new facility for CFR as well. It’s going to be great!!
Thank you to my sponsors Horse Hydrator Canada, CorVet services, Woodys Custom Saddles, Hidez Canada and Zesterra. I couldn’t do what I do without these great companies, each one plays an integral part in my success!!
CFR 45 will be the first Canadian Finals Rodeo that 16 year old Justine Elliot has qualified for, and likely will not be her last.
The grade eleven student has been around horses her entire life; her father is cow horse trainer, Jody Elliot. No stranger to the winners circle, she won Provincials three years in a row in the Alberta High School Rodeo Association, was the season leader for the Wildrose Rodeo Association and Lakeland Rodeo Association in both the 2016 and 2017 seasons, and placed third at the National High School Finals Rodeo in her grade nine and grade ten seasons.
Justine will be bringing her famous bay mare Blondy aka Blondys Starlight, who is by Von Starlight and is out of a Small Town Baker mare. They found Blondy at the Canadian Supreme horse sale in Red Deer. She has no running bloodlines, all cow horse bred, and was shown as a working cowhorse her three year old year. During her four year old year she was run at the Canadian barrel horse futurities.
If you’ve been watching Justine over the years, you knew it was only a matter of time until we could call her a Canadian Finals Rodeo qualifier. This year they won $14,167 after chasing 35 CPRA rodeos. The duo won Dawson Creek and Jasper Pro Rodeos and placed second at Armstrong.
What kind of quirks does your horse have?
Her quirks are she gets pretty excited at the gate, she’s kind of cranky as well.
How would you describe your horses style? Her style is more push and you gotta help her but she’s pretty easy.
What was your favourite rodeo this year and why? Armstrong was my favorite rodeo because of the atmosphere.
We all know that being competitive takes serious mental strength.What do you do to keep a sharp mental edge in the game of rodeo? How do you stay motivated throughout the season? I just don’t let a bad run get to my head, I just move onto the next one and try to fix what happened in the last run. Just always think it’ll get better when you’re in a low spot.
Photo by Sean Mascaluk, Pro Sports Photography
What was it like being on the bubble this year? What were your emotions and how did you handle them? I thought to myself CFR wasn’t on the line and just made the runs I needed to have.
What does your feed & exercise program look like, keeping your horses in peak condition going down the road and even in the off season? I feed Blondy the Hoffmans Elite Ration, Recovery EQ, and grain. I long trot her three times a week to keep her lungs ready to run. I also use Back On Track to keep her feeling good.
What has been your most memorable run over the years? My most memorable run would be when Blondy ran a 17.0 as a 5 year old in Ponoka.
If you could make a run on any one of the other CFR qualifiers horses which one would you choose and why? I would run Taylor Mannings horse Matlock or Carman Pozzobons horse Ripp, because they both have really cool styles.
Who is your barrel racing idol? My barrel racing idol is Sherry Cervi because she can get on any horse and make it work.
What are you looking forward to the most as you head to the 2018 Canadian Finals Rodeo? I’m looking forward to the experience of being able to run at the first CFR in Red Deer.
Coming to us in the number 12 position is the Holden, Alberta barrel racer, Rene LeClercq. This year she placed second at Dawson Creek, was the Brooks Pro Rodeo Champion, placed second at the Finning Pro Tour Finals and was The Glow Slot Race Champion.
LeClercq felt the heat late in the season as she rode out the bubble waiting for Grass Roots to be over to clinch her third Canadian Finals Rodeo qualification.
This year she will be running Flit, aka “Flirt For a Diamond” who is by Chicado Book (Docs Paradise) and out of Molly Parton, a Quixote Doc mare. Flit was born and raised on their family farm and trained by Rene. She is also packing Razzle aka “Special N Tiny” who is by All Star Special, as her back up horse.
What quirks does your horse have? Flit is super quiet and laid back, but she doesn’t like drinking from buckets with a halter on, ha!
How would you describe your horses barrel racing style? Flit has a push style, with a rollback barrel turn. You really have to push her deep and keep that momentum.
What do you want people to know or remember about your horse? Flit’s mom was the first horse I learnt to ride on and run/compete on barrels, so it’s pretty special that Flit is who I’m running now.
What was your favourite rodeo this year and why? Lacrete, it’s a fun rodeo to go to. The committee really looks after everyone, and the ground is always great there.
We all know that being competitive takes serious mental strength.What do you do to keep a sharp mental edge in the game of rodeo? How do you stay motivated throughout the season? I feel that the key to keeping sharp and motivated is to keep reminding myself that I started this for the fun and joy of riding my horses. And that good or bad, you have to hit the reset button after every run.
What was it like being on the bubble this year? What were your emotions and how did you handle them? It was definitely an interesting feeling, although I’ve always been confident in my ability to perform under pressure. I just had to keep pushing and accept that when everything was tallied, no matter where I finished I had done my best. Plus I enjoyed the adrenaline rush and high intensity of the pressure.
What does your feed program look like, keeping your horses in peak condition going down the road and even in the off season? It is definitely critical to keep my horses in top performing condition, and then carry them through the offseason. I use a range of products, including Hoffman’s Elite/pro fat/mineral, Destress, Excel EQ and Sharpedge.
What is the best advice you’ve ever been told regarding life, horses, rodeo or barrel racing? Best advice is a quote. Never a failure, always a lesson.
What has been your most memorable run over the years? Jasper 2013, my very first pro rodeo win. It was on Flirt, the mare I lost in 2017.
If you could make a run on any one of the other CFR qualifiers horses which one would you choose and why? Ripp of Carmen’s, she has so much heart and athletic prowess . That horse is so unique in its abilities.
What is one thing you can’t live without on the road? Candy 😂
What are you looking forward to the most as you head to the 2018 Canadian Finals Rodeo? I’m really looking forward to seeing how the Westerner is going to run the CFR and of course making fast runs on Flit!
Thank you again to all my amazing sponsors. You guys are the reason I can keep going.
Frontier Western Shop
Country Junction Feeds
North Point Outfitters Inc.
Back on Track Canada
SharpEdge Equine Supplements
Excel EQ by Excel Supplements
Excel EQ Alberta at 10 Mile Ranch
HIDEZ Equine Compression Products Canada
Branded By B
Santa Fe Vetinary Services
Elk Island Mechanical Ltd
Ponoka,AB- After 165 runs on Sunday afternoon, Texas gal, Shelby Spielman is cashing in a nice $20,000 cheque after a picture perfect run at the Calnash Ag Events Centre in Ponoka, Alberta.
Spielman and her DTF mare, Fame N Red Hot, aka Hot Donna smoked a 17.032, beating out three time CFR & Calgary Stampede qualifier, Carolynn Knapp who was holding on to first with a 17.095 on her great horse Lynx Java Honor.
Shelby accredits part of her Canadian success to her great friend Colby Gilbert
Shelby and Hot Donna are having a fantastic season running in the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association, currently sitting 12th in the CPRA, but after a win at the Bruce Stampede this weekend with a 17.481, for $1643.36, a fifth place finish at the Bonnyville Pro Rodeo, they will continue to climb up in the standings to secure a spot at the Canadian Finals Rodeo.
Shelby and Hot Donna will continue their hot streak north of the border until they pack up and ship south to Lubbock, Texas where Spielman attends college at Texas Tech.
Check out their $20,000 run here, thanks to Equine TV
Laciee Shock and her crew put on another outstanding weekend this year, which is no surprise as the support she has from the barrel racing community for this event is insurmountable. Saturday Shock hosted an open jackpot where 485 runs were made, and paid $1,316 to win each of the 4 Ds paying out a total of just under $17,000.
The Open jackpot replaced The Breeze 2D Slot, as the slots were not fully paid for this year. Those who paid into the Breeze received a refund on their slot. This year also included a new jackpot called the Splash n Dash, where riders had to grab a solo cup of white wine off of each barrel and consume the wine before the next barrel, which was a RIOT!
Laciee also raised money for the Ponoka Food Bank and for the Ty Pozzobon Foundation this year.
For full results, visit the Leather n Lace.ca Facebook page and to re-watch the event you can check out Equine TV on Facebook as well, where Lipstick and Cowboy Boots has interviews with Knapp, Spielman and with Mellisa Hollingsworth during the event.
Top Five in each D from Rodeogo.com, prizes were given to 10th place
Shelby Spielman – FAME N RED HOT 17.032 $20,000
Carolynn Knapp – LYNX JAVA HONOR 17.095 $10,000
Callahan Crossley – BOGIE BIANKUS 17.316 $2,000
Rylee Shields – FEELING DIRTY 17.347 $2,000
Helen Nowosad – RAISE THE GOLD BAR 17.374
Christine King – CRIMSON MEMORIES 17.733 $20,000
Sierra Booth – PLANTIMPI 17.750 $10,000
Ferrah Fogg – TURNPIKE COUNTY 17.760 $2,000
Frankie Wilson – GINA 17.783 $2,000
Bailee Graham – FLING ME A TOYE 17.828
Charly Rae Reeder – FRENCHMANS GUNNER 18.455 $20,000
Chyanne Maurer – CL FABIO DOT COM 18.477 $10,000
Amber Teed – SHEZA FAMOUS BULLY 18.478 $2,000
Marti Hampton – BLAZIN BUNNY DOC 18.491 $2,000
Laciee Shock – 18.511
Be sure to mark your calendars for the last weekend in July for the 2019 event!
If you have ever had the pleasure of meeting Andrea Udal, you know that being around her is truly a breath of fresh air. Her smile is inviting and she always leaves you feeling better than before, whether it was a minute long interaction, or an hour long audit of a clinic.
The Saskatchewan native began riding when she was just five. She spent many days in the bleachers at her sisters AQHA shows, and eventually went around the ring, only to find that showing was not her cup of tea. Finally when Andrea was 13, she began barrel racing. (lets all take a moment to say, ‘Hallelujah!’)
Photo by SJ Originals
Within the last twelve months there have been numerous sold out U1 Clinics, and for good reason; Andrea is an outstanding horsewoman and has a winning recipe. Over the years, she has chalked up many accomplishments, including but not limited to:
2015 Canadian High Point Futurity winner Streakin Ta Corona
CCA Finals Qualifier (with minimum amount of rodeos)
Pepnics French Gal
-2017 Reserve Canadian High Point Champ
-Glacier Chaser Futurity Champ
-Peace Country Futurity Champ
-SBRA Futurity Champ
-Reserve CBHI Futurity Champ
If you haven’t made it to a U1 clinic just yet, or you have and just can’t get enough, I hope you enjoy this Q&A session between LCB & Andrea Udal.
Q. What are people learning in your clinics, and your advanced clinics?
My clinics are based on teaching your horse to be soft and resistant free. I work on getting good control of your horses back feet and teaching them to have good posture and drive from behind. Teaching people how to run all the buttons on your horse. If I am going to drive a Mercedes I want to know how to run everything not just the brake and the gas petal. Keep a horses mind soft so that they retain what you teach them.
Q. Who else is teaching at the U1 clinics?
I want a U1 clinic to be something that is ongoing and always putting the bar higher. I love the cow horse thing. I love having my horses super light on the front end and broke through the rib cage. I find that the cow horse discipline works great from my horses. I work with Taylor Douglas and Roni Swales to bring their great knowledge of this aspect to my clinics.
Colby is one of the most fierce competitors in the arena. She bring so much to the table in her mind set, how to be prepared in the rodeo setting and helping me to get across the horsemanship and barrel work.
Michelle has been a “game changer” in my life. She had really helped me to be mentally tough. Whether it is in the arena or every day life. Being able to walk into the arena with confidence and appreciation for the sport. I believe a horse is a reflection of you. She has totally helped me to believe in myself which then has filter down into my horses. Horses are such a gift and we need to treasure their energy.
Q. What do you enjoy most about teaching?
I love it. When I started this venture 4 yrs ago I never thought it would be where it is today. Watching horses lick their lips after softening and see girls make a smoking run with tears in their eyes after never gets old. I really truly see a difference when I go to a jackpot and seeing a student working their horse and it is soft and responsive.
Q. What does your successful training program look like?
I want my horses soft and between my lines, in my hands put not pushing. Drawback in the turn stay on their hocks stick and leave with softness through the ribs.
I like my horses to want to run. I don’t make them. Everything I do on my colts I am constantly watching what their ears/atlas is doing. Reward for soft not for resistant.
Photo by SJ Originals
Q. How would you describe your horses style?
I want them to run in confident make sure they stay engaged until they get to the 3/4 turn then stick it and leave. Smooth is fast.
Q. What do you focus on in your time only’s at a futurity/derby?
Soft soft soft. Having my horses super relaxed in the turn. Not a time to train it is a time to reinforce confidence.
Q. During their futurity year, how often are the on the pattern during the week?
I work my horses about 4 times a week. I am a very short and sweet kind of trainer. My rides are generally 20-30 min long. When your not training your untraining.
Q. When do you get your colts started?
I get them started at 2 real training starts at 3.
Q. How broke do you like them to be before starting on the pattern?
I don’t start them on the pattern until they can do all the fundamentals in drills.
Q. What bloodlines do you look for when shopping for a prospect?
I like cow cross with run. I am a dollars and cents kind of person and if I have to put a ton of time in it doesn’t make sense to me.
Q.What confirmation traits do you shy away from, and which draw you in?
I really look at conformation more than bloodlines. I like a really clean neck and throat. Collection is everything to me so that is why I focus on throat latch. Double swirls are something I have been keeping an eye on also.
Q. Are there any up and coming studs you think people should pay more attention to, in Canada or the States?
There are so many.
Q. What is the best advice you’ve ever been given, whether it be barrel racing, rodeo, riding, or life advice?
There are so many things that have played a part:
Doug McRae had told me to stay in the middle and sit quiet. I really focus on that with my colts.
Sharon Camarillo was one who told me I did not use enough outside rein. I argued with her until a couple years ago and the light bulb comes on.
Joyce Loomis was big on cadence. True softness comes with cadence
Michelle Davey, focus on building your tribe be around the people that want to be on your team not critique it.
Honestly teaching clinics has taught me so darn much. I am so thankful everyday.
*Thank you to Andrea for taking the time to do this interview with LCB, and to SJ Originals for these photos.
1. Happiness is NOW. Not worrying about the past or the future; it is living in the moment and enjoying every bit of it.
2. Being single is GREAT. (old on-going news here) If you’ve always had a bf, but are currently single, may I invite you to be single for a year. Take yourself on dates. Enjoy your own company. Love yourself.
3. There is life outside of rodeo and barrel racing. Crazy, I know.
4. What you put out to the world is what you will attract. You manifest your life all day long.
5. If you feel like the world is crashing around you, write a list of things you’re grateful for. Ask your friends what they’re grateful for, or what they’re excited about.
6. If you don’t ask, or take the chance, you will never know.
7. Money isn’t everything. Time is.
8. Friends come and go. People you think would be around forever can drop in a heartbeat. Thats okay. It means you’re growing, and thats what you want to do. Grow. You are who you hang around; specifically the five people you spend the most time with
9. Push your damn self. But also surround yourself with people who will push you too.
10. Karma is real.
11. Promoting what you LOVE instead of bashing what you HATE is so much more satisfying.
12. If you think you sound great singing at 1am around the campfire, check your Snapchat in the morning when you’ve sobered up.. #weinfactarenottheJudds
13. Learn from those you look up to. They might love to take you under their wing and teach you.
14. Say yes to adventures.
15. Talk less. Listen more. People need to be heard, and we often forget to just listen.
16. There is such thing as laughing so hard you puke
17. Waffle mix will look like potato soup when in similar containers at 4am.
18. Always tell people you care about that you love them and enjoy every moment spent with them.
Highlights of 2017
– becoming an Auntie to my best friends beautiful babe, Blayk Jayne
– getting laid off from a job I was at for 6.5 years
– helping with the Ty Pozzbon Foundation
– Longview, Alberta
– Eureka, Montana
– Dominican Republic
– being in the sun every moment possible
– meeting Sherry Cervi at the Calgary Stampede
– seeing Kacey Musgraves in concert with my bestie
– meeting Miranda Lambert
– november project
– making new friends
– hosting my high school reunion with one of my oldest friends
– buying ‘Bobby McGee’ (sweet camper van) with three of my girlfriends
– learning what happiness really is
– staying single
– being asked to be in my best friends wedding
– volunteering at a kids Christmas Party
*seawheeze half marathon*
minimum 2 posts on LCB Monthly
learn to play guitar
make bank off LCB
read two books per month
buy a camera, dabble in photography
learn new skills
best physical and mental health
To Do List
road trips with Bobby McGee (the van)
hike the mountains
go back to Montana
hit up Pendleton in September
take a personal development course
say ‘yes’ more often
drink less alcohol
spend less money
spend more time with friends and loved ones
try new restaurants
read 1-2 books
unfollow unnecessary people on social media
two blog posts minimum
have coffee with a close friend
farmers market/buy local
gym, run or stretch
drink all the water
spread kindness and positivity
By March sixth of this year, Tiany Schuster had won more money than any WPRA barrel racer had in that amount of time. She had won $72,637 after just 22 rodeos; before Houston. In July she won the Calgary Stampede and had set a new arena record. Schuster won money at 62 rodeos of the 95 she entered for a grand total of $250,377.56 and is your number one cowgirl headed to Las Vegas for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
Shuster will be bringing with her Showmance (by First Smart Money, out of a Hold On To The Cash mare), JSYK Im Famous “J.R.” (by Famous JR, out of a Firewater Flit mare), Firen For Jack “Facebook Jack” (by Zanton Firewater, out of a Two Eyed Siemon mare) and Bahama Bully (by Bully Bullion, out of a Tiny’s Gay mare.)
What are your main mounts quirks? Show Mance is a very stoic gentle horse until you get on him… and the he is SHOW PRANCE LOL!!! JSYK is the KING of the place.
What was your favourite rodeo this year and why? I don’t really have a favorite. I love Fort Worth and Calgary Stampede was such a huge win for us, so of course I am a little partial to it.
What has been the best advice you’ve been given regarding barrel racing or rodeo? Benette Little told me once… to just watch where you are going. (Advice given at San Antonio when asked if she had any last minute tips bc I had never ran tbthere before).
If you were just starting out now, who would you train under, what clinics would you be taking? Who do your morals line up with? I would do just as I have done. Clinics with Lynn McKenzie set a good solid foundation for my riding.
With all the miles made, what kept the WNFR dream alive for you? Being out front and trying to stay ahead.
We all know that being competitive takes mental strength. What do you do to keep a sharp mental edge in the game of rodeo? Do you do anything before a run to keep your nerves in check? Naw…. I just think to myself I am at Wal-Mart pushing my cart… looking for chocolate and ice cream.
Under your program, what do you do when a horse feels off to you? Who/what therapies do you include in your program? I rely on top notch performance vets such as Dr Don Lee with Double X Equine, Animal Imaging and Outlaw Equine, and Dr Honnas with Texas Equine.
When shopping, what areas of conformation turn you off? What points of confirmation do your prospects absolutely must have? They have to be pretty bad off for me to go eeeehhhh no thanks. No club feet. Good hip. BIG is my preference on size.
What would you like to see be done in the industry to better rodeo as a sport? Got to do something about the ground. They do in Quebec. They drag before barrels. Why can they not do that here. A sponsorship will pay for the whole 3 mins it takes. Just does not make sense to me.
Headed to her second consecutive Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, in second position is Stevi Hillman of Weatherford, Texas, who won $185,952.39 this year after running at 96 rodeos. She beat her seasonal earnings from last year by $81,310, after running at the exact same amount of rodeos. Hillman is headed to the finals $64,426 behind the number one cowgirl, Tiany Schuster, and is ahead of number three cowgirl Nellie Miller by $55,416.
Stevi will be bringing Cuatro Fame, aka. Truck, a bay gelding who is by Dash Ta Fame and out of a Streakin Six mare, and the five year old sensation, MCM Imasharpguy aka. Sharpie, a grey gelding by A Sharp Frenchman, and out of a Martha Six Moons mare, who has had everyone watching closely all year.
What kind of quirks do your horses have? Sharpie is so funny, he’s super confident in himself and more on the cocky side, and can be a jerk often. People think bc he has the cutest head and big eyes, he’s all cute and sweet lol but little do they know, he can be a handful. Truck is a big puppy dog so that makes him a handful as well. He tends to get in your space too much and doesn’t realize how big he is. They are a lot of work together!
We got to talk about Truck last year, so tell us about Sharpie, how would you describe his style? His style is really challenging to ride. He is so quick on his feet and can go full throttle and stop without warning. You really have to ride the outside stirrup and his neck when running. He gets flat in his ribs often. So I have to really be sharp and on point as his jockey.
Tell us how it feels to have won Cheyenne with the fastest time of the rodeo (17.33) and to hold the new arena record in Fort Worth, but accomplished on Sharpie! Winning Cheyenne was a dream come true, what a rodeo to win and on a 5 year old.. it was an amazing unforgettable moment for sure. To hold the arena record at Fort Worth Stockyards is pretty cool, that rodeo is so old with history and millions of horses run there, so what an honor to now hold that record. He just amazes me!
What was your favorite rodeo this year and why? I would have to say Calgary, because the tradition there is so cool. It is so different and they take such great are of you and treat you wonderful. And because I’ve always wanted to run there.
It’s a toss up with winning Cheyenne also, because Cheyenne, is Cheyenne lol
What has been the best advice you’ve been given regarding barrel racing or rodeo? To remember it’s an endurance race and to focus on one run at a time, and remember that rodeo, and barrel racing do not define who you are, it’s what you do. If you don’t win , you friends and family at home still love you and life still goes on.
If you were just starting out now, who would you train under, what clinics would you be taking? Who do your morals line up with? Ashley Schafer, I just look up to her as a horse woman and an awesome woman of God. I love her training style and her lifestyle, meaning… it’s obvious what’s important to her
If I were just starting out, I would do what I did and ride under as many people as I could to get better at horsemanship, cutters, reiners, etc. I truly believe that helped me more than anything.
With all the miles made, what kept the WNFR dream alive for you? Changing lives… and knowing this is right where God has me for not only one purpose. And having a passion for what I do helps keep it alive for sure.
We all know that being competitive takes mental strength. What do you do to keep a sharp mental edge in the game of rodeo? Do you do anything before a run to keep your nerves in check? Ty has helped me through the years develops my mental strategies, which differ on different horses. But my job as the jockey is to stay focused on what I do have control over. Letting my mind get outside of that can cause stress. I watch and listen to certain videos for me. Being confidence in yourself is key, and confidence not pride.
I don’t get nervous anymore, I’ll get anxious sometimes, just because I’m ready and excited to make a run lol but breathing is important and keeping your mind in check with what your focus is.
Sometimes I just need to laugh and relax and not get too intense.
Under your program, what do you do when a horse feels off to you? Who/what therapies do you include in your program? I never ignore an ‘off’ feeling, it is so very important to know what’s normal and not normal with your horse. Be so I tuned with them, that you know when something isn’t right. I usually go straight to Josh at Outlaw Equine first, obviously depending on what is ‘off’.
When shopping, what areas of conformation turn you off? What points of conformation do your prospects absolutely must have? I personally don’t like a short compact horse, and a short stride. I don’t like one that doesn’t cinch deep. I really like a long underline and one that will reach and stride out. Im big on their eye, gotta have a good eye. And…You can’t measure their heart but that’s probably the #1 thing they have to have, is ‘try’ and a big heart.
What would you like to see be done in the industry to better rodeo as a sport? I love how it feels like a big family. But like any other sport or organization, there are always things that can be improved.
I would love to see ambitious and passionate people about our industry, in the higher seats. Not saying they aren’t, but I pray that for our industry often. People that truly care about it and not just the money.
Hailing from Cottonwood, California is Nellie Miller who won $130,536.75 this year after 47 rodeos, and is your number three barrel racer. She is coming to Las Vegas for her second WNFR with three horses. Rafter W Minnie Reba aka “Sister” the AQHA Barrel Horse of the Year, Famous Scarlett aka “Jewel” (by Dash Ta Fame out of a Royal Go Go mare), and Reba’s Smokey Joe aka “Blue Duck” (by Mr Bar Truckle and out of a Blue Light Ike mare.)
What are your main mounts quirks? She is a very sweet horse but she has some sassy quirks about her. She doesn’t like being brushed off, she falls asleep when I use the nebulizer on her, and she LOVES my husband for some reason which I don’t really think is fair!! Haha
What was your favourite rodeo this year and why? I had a blast at Calgary this year. Normally we don’t really get to stay in one spot for very long and this year in Calgary I had my whole family with me and we got to stay there for 10 days and is was like a vacation for us we really enjoyed that and it helps when you do well at the rodeo also:)
What has been the best advice you’ve been given regarding barrel racing or rodeo? I usually get my barrel racing and rodeo advice from my dad. It would be hard to narrow that down but I have figured out through the years it usually pays off to listen to him because he is most likely right!! (don’t tell him I said so though)
If you were just starting out now, who would you train under, what clinics would you be taking? Who do your morals line up with? If I were just starting out I would focus on just good plain horsemanship and once you have a good foundation of horsemanship barrel racing will come a lot easier. There are a lot of great horse trainers out there and not necessarily barrel trainers that would be good to learn from.
With all the miles made, what kept the WNFR dream alive for you? I was really determined to make this happen this year because I felt like the timing was right for my family and I had the horsepower to make it happen so with every win this season we got closer and closer to our goal and luckily we had a consistent year from beginning to end and we didn’t have too many emotional ups and downs.
We all know that being competitive takes mental strength. What do you do to keep a sharp mental edge in the game of rodeo? Do you do anything before a run to keep your nerves in check? There are things I can control and things I can’t control and so when I am rodeoing I just try to keep doing the things I am in control of and not to worry about the things I can’t control. If I ever get a little nervous I try to go back and think about all of my really great runs or I will even watch videos of those runs just to keep those positive feelings in my head before I go.
Under your program, what do you do when a horse feels off to you? Who or what therapies do you include in your program? I don’t like guessing when it comes to lameness or soreness. This year my vet, Wally Liberman, has been on speed dial which has been a big part of our success because he takes a lot of the guessing out of the equation for me. If I have a problem he and I can usually talk about it over the phone and get a handle on it, if it is serious or if it is a minor issue and then we go from there.
What would you like to see be done in the industry to better rodeo as a sport? I think rodeo has the tendency to do the same things over and over so I would like see people shake things up a bit and try new stuff.
Nellie would like to thank her sponsors, Wangler, Professional’s Chioce, Haleakala, Oxygen, Total Equine, Greeley Hat Works, and Corral Boots.