After attending 26 CPRA rodeos this summer, and winning just over $20,000, Shelby Spielman has qualified for her very first Canadian Finals Rodeo in the number seven position. This year she won the Wainwright Stampede, Bruce Stampede, High Prairie Elks Pro Rodeo, & the La Crete Field of Dreams Rodeo.
Spielman is running her horse Fame N Red Hot aka Hot Donna, who is by Dash Ta Fame and out of Had A Kanita, who is by Docs Rocky Top. A few of their past accomplishments include being the Southwest Region Reserve Champion Barrel Racer, making the college finals in the barrel racing, winning the 2018 $20,000 Runaway Slot Race, and winning The Dinosaur Classic American Qualifier.
What quirks does your horse/horses have?
Donna knows she is my number 1, so I wouldn’t say she has a quirk, but she definitely knows she is special to me. Her disposition is very confident.
Where did you buy/find your horse?
I bought my horse from Jessie Telford. She raised and trained her, my roommate Rainy Robinson actually set it up for me to try Donna. When I tried her, I loped her through the pattern twice and knew she was a perfect fit.
Fun Fact: Jessie qualified for the NFR this year on Donnas full brother Cool Whip, which she also raised and trained. Jessie does a great job making super nice barrel horses.
How would you describe your horses barrel racing style?
Donnas is super honest. When I run her inside she obviously gets a little tighter around her turns and I have to ride a bit more aggressive.
What things do you want people to know about your horse(s)?
Donna has been a huge blessing to me. I feel so lucky every time I get to make a run on her.
Tell me about your 2018 season; the highs and the lows.
The 2018 season is one that I will always remember. I came up to Canada after the College National Finals in Casper, Wyoming. A high for me is that the first rodeo I entered, Wainwright, I won. I think because my summer started off on a good note, I think it gave me the confidence to stay in Canada all summer.
The lows came for me when I kept catching barrels leaving them, at all the big tour rodeos, to win good money. I got super frustrated because I felt like I needed to win everywhere since I started my season later than everyone else.
What was your favourite rodeo this year and why?
My favorite rodeo was Wainwright. The committee worked really hard to have great ground for every barrel racer. I ran in slack on Thursday and when I came back for the short go on Saturday after they had got rain, the ground was still awesome, and that meant a lot to me.
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 like to read books about mental game. I also was lucky enough to have two great traveling partners, Colby Gilbert and Chelsea Moore. They both played a huge part in keeping me motivated and encouraging me throughout both the highs and the lows.
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 things simple. Donna gets alfalfa and coastal hay and Nutrena Pro Force grain. She also gets Zesterra when I am hauling her.
What do you do to condition your horses leading up to the season, and what does your pre CFR routine consist of?
I left Donna in Canada when I came back down to school, so she didn’t have to make the long trip back and forth for Grass Routes Finals and CFR. I was lucky enough to be too able to leave her at Coulee Equine where they have been keeping her in tip top shape for me.
During the CFR, Limitless Equine, will be making the trip to Red Deer with their laser that Donna will get worked on with before every run.
What is the best advice you’ve ever been told regarding life, horses, rodeo or barrel racing?
Keep going even when you feel like quitting, every person experiences the highs and the lows.
Be confident in yourself and your horse.
What has been your most memorable run over the years?
I think my most memorable run would be at the Runaway Slot Race. I was towards the end, and had already ran my horse at 3 rodeos that weekend. I was confident in Donna but never thought I would win the $20,000. That’s the thing about her though, she always proves me wrong.
If you could make a run on any one of the other CFR qualifiers horses which one would you choose and why?
I would like to run Taylor Manning’s horse Matlock. I’m sure I wouldn’t be able to do him justice like she does though. She’s a hand!!
Who is your barrel racing idol?
Linda & Kortni McConnell would have to be my barrel racing idols. They were my biggest mentors when I was younger running barrels. I’m pretty lucky to know them!
What is the one thing you cannot live without on the road?
My mini aussie, Bear.
What are you looking forward to the most as you head to the 2018 Canadian Finals Rodeo?
I can’t wait for the 1st round and my first time to run down that alley.
Thank you to my parents for supporting me in this adventure.
Thank you to Colby Gilbert, and Chelsea Moore for being the best hauling partners all summer, and showing me the ropes of rodeoing in Canada.
Thank you to the Bonnett Family for treating me like one of your own, and giving me a great place to live all summer.
Lastly, thank you to my roommates at school, for taking care of everything while I make the trip back to Canada for the CFR.
*photos submitted by Shelby