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WPRA

On The Record

Tiany Schuster WNFR 2017

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.

Photo from Tiany**




On The Record

Stevi Hillman WNFR 2017

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.

Photos submitted by Stevi*




On The Record

Nellie Miller WNFR 2017

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.

Photos submitted by Nellie*




On The Record

Amber Moore WNFR 2017

In 2016 Amber Moore went to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in 15th position, and left as the Reserve World Champion. The pair tied the area record, and placed in eight of ten rounds.This year Moore is headed to Vegas in fourth position after bringing home $120,806.42 after 52 rodeos, with CP Dark Moon aka. Paige who is by Darkelly and out of an On A High mare.

What was your favourite rodeo this year and why?
San Antonio . Paige did very well, she won all 6 rounds and ended up the highest money earner in the history of the San Antonio Stock Show. It was also a honor to win the last rodeo that Hadley Barrett announced and knowing how much he loved Paige.

What has been the best advice you’ve been given regarding barrel racing or rodeo?
To never over think the process, never put your horse in a situation that you lose there trust, and to remember it’s just one run at a time.

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 have been surrounded by many mentors growing up and those are the ones I would go back to if I had to start over again.




With all the miles made, what kept the WNFR dream alive for you?
Having fun and enjoying the ride along the way.

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?
I remind myself it’s just another run. It’s just the same three barrels I have gone around a million times. I just have to let Paige go out and do her job and stay out of her way.

Under your program, what do you do when a horse feels off to you? Who/what therapies do you include in your program?
At the first sign of any injury, I am on the phone with my vet. I use a variety of different therapies, acuscope, myopulse, message, and laser therapy.

When shopping, what areas of conformation turn you off? What points of conformation do your prospects absolutely must have?
A big heart, willing attitude, and a kind eye is just as important to me as conformation.

What would you like to see be done in the industry to better rodeo as a sport?
That more rodeo committees would take the time to assure their ground is safe for all contestants.

Photo submitted by Amber*




On The Record

Kimmie Wall WNFR 2017

This year Kimmie Wall of Roosevelt, UT had to miss July and August, the busiest times in rodeo as her mare TKW Bully’s Famous Fox aka Foxy wasn’t well. The pair came back in September and won Pendleton to secure a spot at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, with $76,294.14 after 64 rodeos.

What was your favourite rodeo this year and why?
Pendleton because it is so unique. And of course Foxy loves it!!

What has been the best advice you’ve been given regarding barrel racing or rodeo?
Rodeo Smarter not Harder

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 love the way Neil and Barbara Merrill train. They have put out multiple winners. I could only dream of being half the trainers they are.

Other than running down the alley, what do you most look forward to in Vegas during the NFR?
It is always so much fun to get to meet up with fans. A lot of the time during the year we don’t have time for that. So it is very refreshing.




With all the miles made, what kept the WNFR dream alive for you?
I think the faith my friends and family have in me and my horses.

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?
I don’t allow negativity- at all. I don’t let those thoughts come into my head because eventually negativity will take over.
I just remind myself it is the same 3 barrels in my practice pen as at that rodeo. I just stay calm.

Under your program, what do you do when a horse feels off to you? Who/what therapies do you include in your program?
My rule of thumb is a horse has to do something wrong 3 times before I start looking into it. Even they can have bad days. A horse just doesn’t stop running barrels or quit doing its job. So I usually start with my vet.

Calgary Stampede

When shopping, what areas of conformation turn you off? What points of conformation do your prospects absolutely must have?
I think my horses have to have good legs and feet. You don’t have legs and feet you don’t have a horse.

What would you like to see be done in the industry to better rodeo as a sport?
I would just like to see there be more communication and more education when it comes to ground and what we as barrel racers need. Most committees try really hard some are just don’t know what we need versus what the bull rider or roper may need.

Kimmie would like to thank her sponsors for their support. Cactus Saddlery, Cactus Gear , Dynamic Edge, Purina, Ranchdress’n , Platinum Performance, Charlie One Horse , Benefit, Arenas, and Dr. Ben Espy.




On The Record

Kassie Mowry WNFR 2017

The number five barrel racer didn’t look at her calendar and think “I’m going to make a run for the WNFR in 2017.”

Kassie Mowry of Dublin, Texas has been training futurity horses and earlier in the season she chose to enter San Angelo to get out of “trainer mode.” Mowry and Girls Dig Fame placed 10th out of 200. She then went to the Diamonds and Dirt slot race winning $75,000. Back to San Angelo for the perf on Junior aka Firewatermakemehappy, where they won second in the round and qualified for the short go.

She then went to Louisiana for a futurity, and was to get on a plane back for the San Angelo short, but the plane was overbooked. A good samaritan stepped up, gave her his seat, and she went on to win $12,000 and a berth at Rodeo Houston.

Mowry then went on to win Houston and took home $60,000. She ended up running at just 25 rodeos in 2017 and earned $115,162.25. In Vegas this December, she will be running Firewater Make Me Happy (by Firewaterontherocks out of a Deep Note Jr mare)

What are your main mounts quirks?
I would not describe him as quirky. He just has a tendency to look around and is easily distracted.

What was your favourite rodeo this year and why?
I enjoyed the Calgary experience even though we did not perform as well as we hoped.

What is the best piece of advice you could give regarding barrel racing?
I believe it is imperative that you have to be willing to continuing learning no matter what level you are it. I also think knowing your horse and having him in top physical condition is critical.




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 think it is best to take little bit of information from everyone and develop your own style.

We all know that being competitive takes mental strength. What do you do to keep a sharp mental edge in the game of rodeo and at the futurities? Do you do anything before a run to keep your nerves in check?
I just try and focus on that specific run and block out the last one or the next one. I also try and stay to myself and concentrate on what I want to do.

Under your program, what do you do when a horse feels off to you? Who/what therapies do you include in your program?
I am a big believer in having my horses looked at even when they do not feel off. Brazos Valley Equine is a key component of everything I do.

When shopping, what areas of conformation turn you off? What points of conformation do your prospects absolutely must have?
Headset is a huge deal for me. If I do not like the way a horse is made from the shoulders forward I will pass on it no matter what else I like about it..

What would you like to see be done in the industry to better barrel racing as a sport?
Good ground is almost a given at the futurities but it is not always the case at rodeos and regular barrel races. It is a tragedy to see horses like Sharin Hall’s perish at a world class event trying to please us as riders. Not only is it very sad for anyone in the sport it is a horrible representation of the sport for those outside of it.

This isn’t your first time headed to Vegas, what is your most memorable WNFR moment from the past, and what are you most excited for this time?
My most memorable moment from my last WNFR was actually making it. It was actually all downhill from there. I am excited about an opportunity to redeem myself and compete with the best rodeo horses going.




On The Record

Hailey Kinsel WNFR 2017

After what has been a dream season,  the young and talented Hailey Kinsel of Cotulla, Texas is WNFR bound after winning $98,706.87 with a rodeo count of 71.

In 2017 Kinsel won a National College title, won the Day’s of ’47 rodeo AND won RFD-TV’s The American! WOW!

“Each were so unique and meaningful for myself and my family. These wins are blessings and have confirmed just how exceptional Sister is.” she said of her success on her mare Sister (DM Sissy Hayday by PC Frenchmans Hayday out of a Royal Shake Em mare). Her other horse TJ (Thunder Stones, by Sticks and Stones, out of a Pines Easter Jet mare) will be making the trek to Vegas this December.

What are your main mounts quirks?
Sister has a big personality and is very expressive about what she wants. TJ is a big sweetheart but is deathly afraid of flags and wagons.

What was your favourite rodeo this year and why?
The ones I did well at for sure! But I really love Denver, Fort Worth, and Spanish Fork

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 look to those who have been in the business a long time and had success on many levels. Sherry Cervi has always been my favorite to watch. I think I could learn a lot from anybody, but if I had to do it all over again, I would still choose my Mom. She has made me who I am as a horsewoman and a human being.




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?
I exercise my mental game daily. I compete better if I live in a constant state of mental practice and preparation, not just “getting ready” on race day. With that said, I have various things I do on race day to bring myself to the level of calm focus that I like.

Under your program, what do you do when a horse feels off to you? Who/what therapies do you include in your program?
I get to know their “normals” very well so that I know exactly when something is not normal. My mom and I will brainstorm, and then I go to my vet, Dr. David Dutton. I rely on him and his expertise and knowledge of our horses as well, and follow his advice closely for treatment.

When shopping, what areas of conformation turn you off? What points of conformation do your prospects absolutely must have?
Soundness. In the end, they have to be sound and built to work. I can appreciate almost any “stylistic” conformation as long as they are sound.

What would you like to see be done in the industry to better barrel racing as a sport?
Improvement in ground conditions. Safety should always come first.

What are you most excited for, heading into the WNFR?
Running down the alley that I dreamed about my whole life!

Photos submitted by Hailey*




On The Record

Kathy Grimes WNFR 2017

Veterinarian Kathy Grimes of Medical Lake, WA pocketed $111,785.38 after just 45 rodeos this year, and is off to take on the Thomas and Mack this December as your number six cowgirl. She will be bringing KG Justiceweexpected- Issy- 10 year old mare by Judge Cash out of Do It For Beau and KG Blazin Nine-Oh- Ruby-7 yr old mare by Blazin Jetolena out of Do It For Beau.

What are your main mounts quirks?
Issy sees a gate and likes to go- we tend to avoid side gate entries if possible!

What was your favourite rodeo this year and why?
It was my first time at Houston and I was amazed at how well they treated the contestants!

What has been the best advice you’ve been given regarding barrel racing or rodeo?
Just keep going!




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?
There are lots of great trainers to chose from these days! With technology/social media there is lots of great info available!

With all the miles made, what kept the WNFR dream alive for you?
We had a great winter winning 80K by the end of Houston so I didn’t have to haul too hard over the summer which was really nice!

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?
Mental toughness is definitely something I have to work on- everything is easy when you are winning but the hard part is keeping a positive attitude when things aren’t going your way. I have confidence in my horses and I try not to be the weak link!

As a veterinarian, what therapies do you include in your program to keep your horses feeling and competing at their very best?
Balanced nutrition and exercise! Adequan for joint support and a flexineb for respiratory support.

When shopping, what areas of conformation turn you off? What points of confirmation do your prospects absolutely must have?
Good balance is important for soundness and I like a narrow angle in the hip- increases their speed.

What would you like to see be done in the industry to better rodeo as a sport?
Improve safety measures in the arena- whether it be the ground or gate/alleyway area.

Kathy would like to thank her sponsors LMFFeeds, Best Ever Pads, and Nine-Oh Barrel Horses.

Photos submitted by Kathy*




On The Record

Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi WNFR 2017

The number ten cowgirl is no stranger to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi of Victoria, Texas raked in $92,929.57 after 95 rodeos in the 2017 season. She will be packing Steele Magnolias (By Magnolia Bar Jet, out of a Roan Bar Eighty mare), Freckles ta Fame (By Dash Ta Fame, out of a Frenchmans Guy mare), and Ima Super Fly Guy (By Frenchmans Guy, out of a Streakin Six mare) with her to Las Vegas this December.

What are your main mounts quirks?
Steeley is very stand offish and she is all business. She doesn’t really care if other horses are around and she can be hard to catch if she doesn’t want to be caught.

What was your favorite rodeo this year and why?
I would have to say that my favorite rodeo was Prescott this year because I won so much there.

What is the best piece of advice you could give regarding barrel racing?
My best advice would be to always seek advice. You never stop learning and you can learn something from everyone. I also think that you need to get a game plan and stick with it. Its hard to be a winner without constancy.




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 was starting out I would try to work for some one instead of going to clinics. I would want to get first hand experience day in and day out. There is so much involved with training horses and rodeo that you cant learn it all in clinic.

We all know that being competitive takes mental strength. What do you do to keep a sharp mental edge in the game of rodeo and at the futurities? Do you do anything before a run to keep your nerves in check?
I don’t really have a pre run routine but I am very organized and prepared when I show up to an event and I think that gives me confidence and a mental edge.

Under your program, what do you do when a horse feels off to you? Who/what therapies do you include in your program?
I immediately call Dr. Marty Tanner and we come up with a game plan. I always try to find the problem before I go any further with riding or training so I don’t create an even bigger problem. I like to use a lot magnets and ice when it comes to taking care of legs.

When shopping, what areas of conformation turn you off? What points of conformation do your prospects absolutely must have?
I don’t really shop because we have about 15 babies born every year on the place. I just ride what I don’t sell and I have seen a lot of horses that have been overlooked because of conformation issues that have gone on to do amazing things.

What would you like to see be done in the industry to better barrel racing as a sport?
I think every barrel racers dream would be to see the ground improved at the rodeos. It has gotten a lot better over the years and committees are really trying but they have a hard time keeping it consistent through out the rodeo.

This isn’t your first time headed to Vegas, what is your most memorable WNFR moment from the past, and what are you most excited for this time?
I think the 2009 NFR was the best for me. Duke was amazing for 10 rounds and we left with a gold buckle and lots of money. I am super excited to be back and just going to enjoy every moment.

Photo from Pozzis Facebook**




On The Record

Tillar Murray WNFR 2017

Headed to the National Finals Rodeo in the number twelve position is Tillar Murray, hailing from Fort Worth, Texas, after 91 rodeos and $86,019.79 won. She will be bringing three sorrels with her; Dirty Dan Stinson (“Dirty Dan” by Eddie Stinson out of a Easy Lano mare, 6 years old), Lil Gracie’s Dude (“Tic Tac” by Smart Lil Crimson out of a Buster Welch mare, 17 years old), and Royal Star Commander (“Commander” by AR Star and a Royal Go Go mare, 9 years old) with her to Vegas.

What are your main mounts quirks?
All three have pretty different styles. Although Dirty Dan tends to be really ratey, he has only competed in a handful of small arenas and tends to be a little freer running when he runs consecutively in the same pen. Commander is pretty unpredictable and can be really spooky so the Thomas and Mack may be a little overwhelming for him, but he is so fast that he makes up for his mistakes. Tic Tac is by far my most consistent horse and the one I have known for the longest. I have had Tic Tac since middle school so I have had many experiences running him in all types of pens and different set ups.

What was your favorite rodeo this year and why?
Helldorado Days in Las Vegas – it was my first rodeo win of the season and one of my very first rodeos to compete in on Dirty Dan. It was after that win I really knew he was special.

What has been the best advice you’ve been given regarding barrel racing or rodeo?
Every person goes through difficult and losing times. It is not how quickly you get through the hard times but what you learn from the hard times. Keep working hard in the down times and prepare yourself to do your best when the opportunities arise and the good times come around.




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 have trained with the Wright family for over 10 years now. There is nobody else that I would rather train with. I thought the world of Ed Wright and think the same of Martha Wright. I love how Martha puts so much focus on horsemanship and always puts the horses first. Martha never pushes a horse too fast or takes a chance of jeopardizing the horse’s long term well being, which is so important to me and I have come to fully appreciate. I feel so fortunate to have had the Wright family alongside me every step of the way for so many years.

With all the miles made, what kept the WNFR dream alive for you?
The little, stubborn, persistent kid in me that has been dreaming about running down the Thomas & Mack for as long as I can remember.

Photo by Allison Ballinger

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?
Ed Wright always used to tell me it’s just you and the horse and nothing anyone else says or does matters. It was such a simple statement I didn’t really fully understand when he said it and probably still do not fully practice. However, each time before I go in I just try to think of it as another practice run. Each run I just focus on helping my horse and preparing him for the next run. I’ve found that when I make each run more about my horse and less about me, it takes the pressure off of trying to win.

Under your program, what do you do when a horse feels off to you? Who/what therapies do you include in your program? 
If I am on the road, I start by using my equivibe blanket, icing their legs, and lasering them. If they still do not feel their best, I take them to our vet or chiropractor, depending on the issue.

When shopping, what areas of conformation turn you off? What points of confirmation do your prospects absolutely must have?
Honestly, I just ask Martha Wright. I do not know near enough about conformation to make a judgment I would trust.

Photos submitted by Tillar*




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