Headed to both the Canadian Finals Rodeo and the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo this year, is Jennifer Epps Sharp. In Red Deer she will start off in eighth position with $18,929 won. She will be bringing KR Famous Tequilla aka Tequilla (by DTF out of a Chicks Beduino mare) and Ladies Money Ta Fame aka Maggie (by Brother Is [DTF] out of a Please Send Money [Dual Pep] mare). Jennifer won the Medicine Hat Stampede, and also broke the arena record at the Calgary Stampede on Day Two, Pool B with a 16.960.
Jennifer started barrel racing when she was about 8, coming from a family who never owned horses. Luckily a friend down the road barrel raced and introduced the family to play days, which would lead Sharp to win her first saddle at nine years old. From there she went on and joined little associations and then started High School Rodeo. She made Nationals in pole bending for three years and also won State two years. Jennifers parents never went out and purchased a finished horse; everything she rode she had trained herself.
“I’m very thankful for that now I feel like it’s helped me become the rider I am.” she says.
What quirks does your horse/horses have & what is their style?
Tequilla is a stallion so sometimes he can be more of a handful. He loves running in small pens but can also clock very well in outdoor pens
Where did you purchase/find your horse?
Tequilla came from Holly Calfee where she purchased him from Becky Canada and Mark Taylor.
What would you say is your horses weakness?
The ladies! Ha!
Did you ever almost give up with your main mount?
No. Tequilla has always been easy! He actually still runs in the same O-ring we started him in.
With all the miles made, varying ground conditions, and expenses, what kept the CFR dream alive for you this year? Tell us about the highs and the lows.
This was my first year to go to Canada. I’m born and raised in south Texas so I literally almost froze to death the month of June! I absolutely loved everything about the Canadian rodeos and so did Tequilla. He pulled a check at almost every rodeo I ran him at. So I felt like he deserved a chance at the finals.
What do you do to keep a sharp mental edge in the game of rodeo? How do you stay motivated throughout the season?
My husband Robbie Sharp, without him by my side pushing me and reminding me I deserve to be out there.
What does your feed program look like, keeping your horses in peak condition going down the road and even in the off season?
Nutrena feeds are the best my horses looked outstanding all summer! Tequilla being a stud it’s easy for him to drop weight and not look good but with the Safechoice Senior I think he gained weight.
What do you do to condition your horses leading up to the season, and what does your pre CFR routine consist of?
Right now we are letting him rest some but my husband also will be roping off him a lot just to keep him fit and ready.
What is an exercise you include in your routine to keep your horses working how you like them to that may help someone else?
Not a lot of barrel work unless they need it. Like I said above, Tequilla will be roped off more than going around the barrels.
What is the best advice you’ve ever been told regarding life, horses, rodeo or barrel racing?
Never give up!
What has been your most memorable run over the years, can be most embarrassing or run of your life?
Breaking the arena record at Calgary just so Hailey could out run me being the next runner! Still placing 2nd behind Hailey and Sister is just amazing!
What is your favourite barrel racing bloodline, and what do you look for in a prospect?
I’m very partial to the Dash Ta Fame line, but in all honesty anything that has heart!
What is the one thing you cannot live without on the road?
My dog, Fergie! She goes everywhere with me.
If you could make a run on any one of the other CFR qualifiers horses which one would you choose and why?
I love Justines horse Blondy! Reminds me of my Commander.
Who is your barrel racing idol?
Sherry Cervi, she’s just amazing.
What would you be doing if you were not barrel racing/rodeoing?
I’m sure something with horses, I just love being around them.
Favourite podcast to listen to on the road?
Jennifer would like to thank her sponsors, Nutrena Feed, K&N Equine Solutions, Oxygen, PHT Products, & Lamp Veterinary Services.
*photo submitted by Jennifer