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In Between Runs with Katelyn McLeod

 




Amber Moore

The 2016 Reserve World Champion, Amber Moore and CP Dark Moon, set the Thomas & Mack on fire in December of 2016 and is sitting right where she needs to be for making her second trip in 2017. Amber is the jockey of CP Dark Moon, Paige, who showed us all how much she loved the little yellow pen in Vegas but that isn't her only favorite, the team has placed in many different set ups and her most recent win was Lynden Washington for a total of $1,376. Right before Amber's short go run at Caldwell Idaho, she was able to catch up with us and answer a few questions.

Hometown
Keizer, OR

Horses you travel with
CP Dark Moon--Paige, Junos Royal Flush--Jen, and a couple youngsters whose only duty is to babysit Paige

Greatest accomplishment?
Qualifying for the 2016 WNFR, tying the arena record in Thomas & Mack, and breaking the all-time money earning record at the WNFR.

Favorite rodeo and why?
I have to say the Calgary Stampede even though I've only been there once, with this being my first year. The whole experience is simply amazing from the time you get there to watching the Chuckwagon races to running in front of that huge crowd it's just an amazing experience from start to finish. But I also really enjoy small Hometown rodeos.

How do you prepare for the different arenas?
I try to get there early enough and I go in on foot and walk the arena and kind of get a feel of how the pattern is set up

What are your thoughts before you go in the arena?
I try not to overthink the process and go in there and remind myself, "It's just three barrels, let Paige do her job and stay out of the way."

How do you decide which horse to run at different rodeos?
Paige is always my first choice on any type of ground, in any type of setup. Jen did get the call in Livingston, Montana. It was the end of the Fourth of July run and Paige was just tired.

What is the hardest thing about rodeoing?
Being away from home and having to play catch-up on work when I do come home.

Favorite place to eat on the road?
Not too particular, but I do like sit down restaurants and to eat out of my trailer quite a bit.

Least favorite place to eat?
Anything fast food

What buckle do you wear?
I wear the first Buckle I won at the 2016 WNFR, which would be the fifth round buckle.

What helps to motivate you during the tough times of rodeo?
I remind myself that there's always another rodeo and there's always another day. I feel extremely blessed to be able to be out on the road doing what I enjoy with a horse that loves her job.

What was your goal for this year when you hit the road?
When I went out this year and left in January my goal was to go out and get to go and enjoy those rodeos that were always on my bucket list that I had qualified for San Antonio, Houston, Calgary and just enjoy the ride and see what came along with it and hopefully it was a trip back to Vegas in December 2017.

Explain what it was like to win lynden, WA?
Running at Lynden Rodeo is always special for me. It's not my hometown but all the people there are like my second family that I've grown up with, so going there and winning it was extra special for me and all of them.

Explain what your first NFR was like, and will you change anything for your second NFR?
My first year at the NFR was beyond expectations Paige absolutely loved the Thomas and Mack and went in there and showed me and the world what she was made of. I don't think there's much to change from last year just go in enjoy the ride and see what the 10 days unfold like.

I want to thank my husband, my daughter, my family, and all those who jump in last minute and help me drive. I couldn't do it without all of their help going down the road.

In the WPRA World Standings the top 6 cowgirls all have won over $100,000 for the 2017 year. Amber falls right at #5 with $111,309.03 and competing at 41 rodeos (as of 8/14). With the short round at Caldwell Idaho on the night of August 19th, the money Amber has won this far is bound to increase. We wish you the best the rest of the summer and can't wait to watch how 10 days in Vegas unfolds for you.


Ari-Anna Elise Flynn

Moses Lake Washington was won by the one and only, Ari-Anna Flynn. She comes from a family of NFR qualifiers: Denny Flynn, a 10-time qualifier in the bull riding, and Lynn Flynn in the barrels. Ari-Anna has had a very competitive year staying right in the mix of the top 20 cowgirls and this win from Moses Lake will sure help! Here are a few questions from Ari-Anna right after this exciting victory.

Hometown:
Charleston, Arkansas

Horses you travel with?
Toby and Hollywood. They are full brothers that I have trained myself. Hollywood has been in and out of the trailer this year, so Toby is who I have won most everything on.

Greatest accomplishment
Winning the Texas Circuit Finals and getting to run at the Ram National Circuit Finals in Kissimmee, FL this year! Also staying in the top 20 in the world standings this year so far. That is one of my goals.

Favorite rodeo and why?
My favorite rodeo would have to be Austin, TX. I love the rodeo and so does Toby. He loves that arena and did amazing there this year!

How do you prepare for the different arenas?
I try to always ask people that I know have been there how the ground was, how big it is, and how far off the fence the barrels are. I try to always look up videos of the arenas so I can kind of prepare myself and my horses for them. If I need to be freeing them up or rating them down. I don't use the same bit a lot so seeing what the arena is like and where the barrels will be sat can help me figure out what bit to run my horses in!

What are your thoughts before you go in the arena?
Always before I run I say my prayer and ask God to watch over me and my horse as well as everyone else competing. I tell him I know he has a plan for me and my horses and that I have faith in that plan. I try to just think about one barrel at a time and to do my job right.

How do you decide which horse to run at different rodeos?
Normally I would use Toby for the smaller arena and Hollywood for the bigger ones. This year I haven't been able to have Hollywood with me as much as I like, so Toby has had to step up and be the big man. He wasn't used to running in such big outdoor pens and we had some trouble at the beginning of the summer but I believe we are getting it figured out and we are ready to finish out this year!

What is the hardest thing about rodeoing?
The ups and down of it. There are alway going to be more downs than ups and you have to learn how to handle that pressure and work through it. It's a learning experience. Keep positive people around you and you will find it becomes much easier.

Favorite place to eat on the road
Sit down meal wise always a Hibachi/sushi place!! I pretty much always have time for some sushi!! Fast food wise Freddy's or Toco Johns (thanks Emily Miller for that one) lol if you can find them!

Least favorite place to eat
Anyone who knows me well knows I don't really have a least favorite place to eat! Lol I can always pretty much find something I like. [I really enjoy food]

What buckle do you wear?
I wear my Texas circuit finals buckle. I have this thing where I set a goal to win something bigger than the buckle I have on and every time I accomplish that and win something bigger I switch out my buckles.

What helps to motivate you during the tough times of rodeo?
My dad and my mom. They are my go-to people when I'm feeling down! I also listen to a lot of motivational speakers and listen to books. I have quotes all over I read all the time. Also having positive friends and people in your life to talk to helps so much. Mostly though I know that God's plan is much bigger than mine and it's not always going to go like I want it to. I'm going to learn from the highs and lows in life and grow into a better person from them. I have a very big understanding of that. Any time I feel down I remind myself if I work hard for what I want and use the talents God has blessed me with and follow him it will all work out how it's supposed to. I firmly believe that.

What was your goal for this year when you hit the road?
My goal this year is to make it to the NFR. I've had that one since the first rodeo of this 2017 year. I changed a lot of things I was doing in my life and in rodeo, and I set my goal and having been pushing for it ever since.

Explain what it was like to win Moses Lake, WA?
For me it was a huge weight off my shoulders. I have been struggling with Toby in these big outdoor pens. Last night I did a few things differently and trusted him more than I have all summer. Running out and hearing my time I had the biggest smile on my face, bigger than any one I've had this year!!

I would like to thank my mom and dad for supporting me and being behind me no matter what, in every decision I've made this year. Also I would like to thank my sponsors. OENutra for introducing me to the best products out there. My horses have never felt so great or ran so hard, even being on the road almost 80% of the time this year. Bayou West Saddle Pads for keeping my horses saddled with the best pads around. They conform to my horses and stay in place for every run! My horses love them and help make every saddle fit better! Charlie 1 Horse Hats for always making me look good in the best hats! Whether it's my felts or straws, they always keep me looking and feeling good in them! They are the most comfortable hats I've worn!! FastNForward Stirrups for helping me keep my feet in my stirrups and ride better! I was always losing my stirrups until I got a hold of these. Now I can count on my feet staying in and I don't have to worry about rubber bands! Reborn Gear for always keeping me looking good in their ball caps and apparel!! LazySBeads for keeping my horses looking their best in their fully-beaded headstalls and breast collars. As well as me in my belt!!

Ari-Anna knows what it's like being in the winners circle. From high school, college, and now professional rodeo she has always set the bar high and accomplished many goals. In her freshman and senior years at Southeastern Oklahoma State University she qualified for the CNFR and won the region her senior year. Ari-Anna is currently sitting 17th in the WPRA World Standings with $58,233.96 and competing at 67 rodeos. We wish her the best the remainder of the year. Finish strong!


Jana Pierce Bean

This 3 time NFR qualifier is no stranger to the winners circle and Kalispell Montana was the next rodeo with her name on the top of the leaderboard. With Jana fighting for a top 15 position she will continually tell you how thankful and blessed she is to live the rodeo life. After her big win at Kalispell we were able to catch up with her.

Hometown: Ft. Hancock, TX

Horses you travel with:
Chick (Dashing Klee), Freedom (Dash Ta Freedom), Frosty (sign of frost), and Girlfriend (Its Complicated)

Greatest accomplishment:
Well, I think you're wanting something about rodeo but I feel like my Son, Jim Breck,and Breck are my biggest blessing. As far as rodeo, qualifying for the NFR 3x has been pretty amazing!

Favorite rodeo and why:
San Antonio bc I love their buckles and appreciate the way they take care of their contestants!

How do you prepare for the different arenas? I try to just react to each set up when I get there but if I don't know the arena then I will usually look up some runs on you tube to try to see the set up.

What are you thoughts before you go in the arena?
I try to just stay positive and I quote Jeremiah 29:11 and Philippians 4:13 to myself as I go down the alley.

How do you decide which horse to run at different rodeos?
I usually will run Chick if there's more than $5000 added but if the set up doesn't work for him then I will pick a different horse.

What is the hardest thing about rodeoing?
Staying away from family and home!

Favorite place to eat on the road?
Taco Bell

Least favorite place to eat?
Convenience store!

What buckle do you wear?
My first go round buckle from 2015 or the buckle from Coeur d 'Alene Idaho where chick set the arena record last year.

What helps to motivate you during the tough times of rodeo?
I have to sometimes stop and remember that I do this because I love running barrels and remember that it is my passion rather than a job! And I'm very blessed to make a living doing my passion!

What was your goal for this year when you hit the road?
Make the NFR!

Explain what it was like to win Kalispell, MT?
It was a very important win because I have been struggling this year to get things turned around and my horse is finally healthy and feels like himself again! I also made a promise to my mom that I would make the finals and that was the last thing I got to say her to before her passing so I have a pretty big promise to fill!

I would really like to thank my husband Breck Bean and son Jim Breck Bean for their endless support and love! Couldn't do it without them! I also want to thank all my family and friends who offer their prayers and support through this journey! My sponsors have been unbelievably supportive and I feel very blessed to have them! Classic Equine, oxygen, Purina, equiresp, PHT, Bloomer Trailers, Resistol, double J, Mirage Las Vegas, Horseware and nickelbar designs. Thank you to all of them!

Jana is hanging tough at number 20 in the WPRA World Standings with $54,974.56 and competing at 68 rodeos. Good luck the rest of the year Jana, finish strong! #barrelhorseworldnews


Tillar Murray

Tillar came off the big win at Helldorado days in Las Vegas, Nevada and went right to studying for finals. Tillar is finishing her sophomore year at the University of Texas where she is planning to graduate with a degree in Liberal Arts honor program, business honors, and management information systems. Here are a few questions to get to know Tillar Murray.

Hometown:
Fort Worth, Texas

Horses you travel with:
Royal Star Commander ("Commander")
Dirty Dan Stinson (“Dirty Dan”)
Lil Gracie’s Dude (“Tic Tac”)
JL Fourtafame (“Munchie”)

Greatest accomplishment:
Probably winning Cheyenne Frontier Days

Favorite rodeo and why:
My favorite rodeo is probably the Fort Worth rodeo. Even though I have never had much success there, I love getting to be home and getting to compete 5 miles away from my house. That is hard to beat!

How do you prepare for the different arenas:
I try not to really overthink the different arenas. I just try to treat each rodeo arena the same and just ride my horse the best I can. I just remember it is three barrels regardless. Whether a big or small pattern, indoors and outdoors, close or far from the walls, I still try to go to the same points around the barrel and so it really doesn’t change what I at least aim to do!

What are your thoughts before you go in the arena:
My trainer, Ed Wright, always used to tell me, “It’s just another practice run.” I remember when he told me that before high school rodeo state and thinking he was so wrong because it felt like so much bigger than that. However, over the years, I have started to see how just how accurate he was by saying that!

What is the hardest thing about rodeoing:
I think the hardest thing about rodeoing is being so far from home. Although it makes a huge difference knowing friends along the way and places to stay, it can be stressful when things go poorly on the road. We work really hard to keep the horses happy on the road but it is hard to replace being home.

Favorite place to eat on the road:
I’m such a foodie and keep a list of my favorite restaurants in the various cities we go to. However, I always Yelp restaurants on the road and love trying new local restaurants.

Least favorite place to eat on the road:
Almost any type of fast-food restaurant - with the exception of Whataburger.

What buckle do you wear:
I still wear my high school rodeo belt buckle from Texas State freshman year. I’m mostly just too lazy to change it.

What was like it to win Helldorado Days on the Las Vegas strip:
This is my first year to make the “Spring run” of California and Nevada runs so it was my first year to run at Helldorado Days. I loved competing there! We could actually see the rodeo arena from our hotel room right down the strip. It is so fun to be in Las Vegas as it is and even more exciting to get to compete right on the strip! I hope to get to again next year!

I could fill a whole page of people to thank. However, first and foremost, I am very grateful to Lynn Hastings and Mark Bugni for trusting me with this special horse, Dirty Dan. Secondly, I am of course so thankful for my parents, whom make this all possible. Also, many thanks to Martha Wright and Casey Doebbler Hammons. I really could not be competing and attending school if it were not for them. They keep my horses while I am in school and do so much to help keep my horses in top condition. There are many others - Josey Groves, Erin Ricotti, John and Sara Prosser, and many, many more, whom help with the horses. I am so grateful for all of them! Also, a big thank you to sponsors Oxygen and Myristol Pro for giving my horses the extra edge to keep them competing their best!

Tillar is sitting #9 in the WPRA World Standings with $40,320.05 and only competing to 28 rodeos. We wish you the best this year!


Tracy Nowlin

Your 2017 Guymon Pioneer Days Rodeo champion took some time to visit with us after her awesome win In Guymon where she pocketed a little over $5,000. Tracy started off the 2017 rodeo year with success with winning the average at the Prairie circuit finals which continued on to the Ram National Circuit Finals in Kissimmee where she won the first round. Here are a few questions to get to know Tracy!

Hometown: Nowata, OK

What horses do you travel with?
DJG Madison and her barn name is Dolly jo

What is your greatest accomplishment?
My son Tyler Nowlin. Then it would be that I've been to IPRA finals 14 times, the first time when i was 13. I have been to the Prairie Circuit finals 7 times and winning the average this year was dream come true and also winning the first round at the D Ram Finals.

What's your favorite rodeo and why?
Pretty Prairie, KS I have won it on 2 different horses and was first buckle I won in wpra.

How do you prepare for different arenas?
I just look at the set up see how to run at first barrel.

What thoughts are going through your head before going in the alley?
To just try to do my 3 step going into the barrel and not get in her way.

What is the hardest thing about rodeoing?
Is being gone from home.

Favorite place to eat on the road?
I really don't have one just where ever my mom or ty wants to eat

Least favorite place? no fish

What buckle do you wear?
I wear 2 different buckles; my brothers IPRA World Champion 1988, he won it on pacman I loved that horse and a lucky dog barrel racing buckle that I won last year for the average.

What was it like to win Guymon?
The win at guyman was cool because I won the all around at jr rodeo when i was 11 and I haven't been again until this weekend and that was my first saddle i won so made it cool that i won it this year. And my son has always had to been in school so we couldn't go.

I would like to thank my family and Rosie Bradley, and Rachel Ganzkow for pht products.

Tracy is currently sitting 23rd in the WPRA world standings with $21,257.25 won and only competing at 13 rodeos. We wish you the best at the upcoming rodeos!


Nicole Laurence

After having such a successful weekend, I was able to catch up with Nicole Laurence before she headed off to Guymon, Oklahoma. Nicole is a beautiful wife, mom, and horse trainer at Star N Barrel horses who had a very good weekend at some tough Texas rodeos! Nicole started the weekend off by placed very consistent at Corpus Christi, Texas winning second in the first go, second go, AND the average, then there was Lufkin, Texas where she grabbed a sixth place check, and finally moving on to Athens, Texas where she took the "W" for the second year in a row. Here is a few questions to get to know Nicole Laurence.

Hometown
Cresson, Texas

Horses you travel with
Bully's Little Dash (Buster)
Moon Dancin Rebel (Roby)
Famous Bond (Pistol)

Greatest accomplishment
My little family
My daughter Grace my husband Chase??

Favorite rodeo and why
Pendleton, Oregon for the big run on the grass
Nampa, Idaho for the nice setup plug ins, grass, and stalls and nearby waterpark

How do you prepare for the different arenas
I have a process for this lol
I watch videos of the setups, make a game plan and usually slow work at home or anywhere day before and think about my adjustments for that run. Then when i get to the the rodeo I go look at the arena and visualize. Then I get ready with headphones on so I stay relaxed. I don't do much talking to anyone before I run. I like quiet??

What are you thoughts before you go in the arena
None! I clear my mind completely and just run and let my body take over and trust my muscle memory and reactions.

How do you decide which horse to run at different rodeos
I usually decide based on the setup and number of rodeos coming up. I know these horses very well and try to set them up where it's best for them. This was learned by trial and error over the last few years ??

What is the hardest thing about rodeoing
DRIVING
Since my wreck this has been my greatest challenge in returning to the rodeos

Favorite place to eat on the road
Steakhouse
Starbucks

Least favorite place to eat on the road
Fast food of any kind

What buckle do you wear
Mineral Wells pro rodeo buckle from 2016

What was it like to win Athens
Really fun! I have a cut on my leg from skimming the first barrel. We don't normally get that close, so I knew it would be hard to outrun. Buster loves that place??

People you would like to thank
My husband Chase, daughter Grace
My mom and dad Jeff and Teresa Deason for always pushing me
Jay, Toni, and Megan Meadows
MVP for the outstanding supplements
Gastroplex paste and pellets and Exceed 6 Way
Texas Oxygen and Rosie Bradley
For the great pre race pastes Rush, Triple Threat, and Race X
Charlie Buchanan at Brazos Valley Equine

Nicole collectively won a little over $6,000 for the weekend and has great momentum headed into another rodeo filled weekend! Nicole is currently 46th in the WPRA World Standings with $11,013.87 and only competing at 21 rodeos. We wish you the best this year! #barrelhorseworldnews


Loni Lester

When it comes to Loni Lester she is an All-Around hand! Loni has been very competitive in the College rodeos, Amateur rodeos, and the PRCA rodeos. Loni is a Jr this year at Sam Houston State University where she will be graduating in May of 2018 with a degree in Animal Science with a minor in Equine Nutrition. Loni was recently named the 2017 Southern Region barrel racing champion, the All-Around champion, and helped the Women's team to win the Southern Region and make a trip to college finals. She has also qualified for the College Finals in the Breakaway roping as well. The next week after finishing her college rodeo year, Loni was at the top of the leaderboard at the Lufkin, Texas PRCA rodeo. Here are a few questions to get to know the lady with the fast horses.

Hometown: Gonzales texas!!

What horses do you travel with?
Depends on the destination or what kind of rodeo for my horse power or ground situation, arena.. etc As of now I haul my main roping horse Boss, unless I use one of Blanes calf horses( we like to share horses) or my backup Biscuit.

What is your greatest accomplishment?
My greatest accomplishment is hard because I have been blessed in so many ways! I have qualified for several CPRA and UPRA finals. In high school I was the Texas state champion all around cowgirl and goat tier, qualified for college nationals in the breakaway 2016, this year NIRA southern region all around cowgirl and champion barrel racer, won some pro rodeos in 2016 and 2017. And I hope to keep going!!

What is your favorite rodeo?
hmhm that is hard! When I went up north for the first time last summer in 2016, to season my good mare and for my experience it was a blast!! I loved the Sheridan, Wy perf, Spanish fork, Utah was awesome, Estes park, Colorado was beautiful! There were so many amazing rodeos I cannot wait to go back out again next year when I finish school!

How do you prepare for the different arenas?
My preparation for different arenas all depends on the horse I am riding! Ivory and my other mare Aggie are pretty good and consistent more consistent in indoor pens and better on hard slippery ground. Champagne is a little harder to get by 3 runs on in an indoor pen or a building but!!!!! we are getting better! (Example lufkin haha)

Champagne is so much fun in wide open arenas with no fences or walls. She is the hardest running horse I have ever jumped on. Every time I get in the saddle I know she's going to give me 100%. It just depends the day, and how she ran in the last run, to decide how I am going to tune her. Was she free or tight? Has she been pulling on me and needs to be backed off the bit? She definitely keeps me on my toes.

I will usually prepare at the house or find some barrels and just get her stopping at her rate point, loping circles to keep her hips underneath her and shoulders up. A general reminder to listen to me, because she wakes up everyday thinking she is a princess! Haha!! Sometimes you have to remind her she is not right all the time! In the indoors, she gets super ratey, she is so sensitive that every little body position, hand gesture or leg pressure, she pays attention too! Sometimes it's really nice especially in outdoors when she can be going so hard, wide open one direction and I can just ease her back where we need to be, but sometimes it's a pain because I almost have to try to ride perfect every time because she is listening to every move I make!! She is such an athlete!!

What thoughts are going rough your head before going in the alley?
I really have to focus in the alleyway that "this is not what's the most important in life" . I can get so competitive and so upset after a bad run that I forget this is not what we were put on earth for! It's to glorify God! Our identity is found in Jesus's Christ !! Many people talk of finding their identity in Christ, and yet still find their worth and value from what they do. I’m the first one to admit guilt.The fact is that none of that changes our identity. Once we have been adopted, we receive His spirit on the inside of us. We begin to take on the characteristics of our Father. Once we discover our identity, it’s simply a matter of walking in it. When we remove the fear of performance as the determining factor of our value and acceptance, we can receive the grace available to walk in the Spirit. My boyfriend,Blane, is prolly the best person for me especially after a bad run when he meets me in the alley, "This is all for fun, some people would love to do the things we do everyday, but cannot" or "his most common quote is "what happens in the arena does not determine our joy in life and if you do wanna throw a fit or have a bad attitude that's the devil trying to get inside your head".

How do you decide which horses to run at different rodeos?
Like I said earlier I decide what horse to run at different setups. Champagne is my fastest right now so I usually stick to her at the pro rodeos, if it is harder slicker ground I run one of my backups just because I know they will stand up better. Champagne still tries almost too hard that she turns so hard and drops so hard that sometimes believes every ground type will hold her!

What is the hardest thing about rodeoing?
The hardest thing about rodeoing would have to be time away from family. My family is very big on time spent together, because It is so important in life. They will always be there for you, support you and forgive you.

What is your Favorite place to eat on the road?
That's another hard one, I am not a picky eater but I do get tired of gas station store food for last minute decisions at late night driving. I seriously need to start cooking more on the road!

What buckle do you wear?
The buckle I wear currently is "Hampton Memorial breakaway roping" where I won 5k that was a very cool experience, and you do not get that opportunity a lot to rope for that amount of money.

What was it like to win Lufkin, Tx?
It was awesome to win Lufkin PRCA . Just A REMINDER that my mare is capable with competing with the best of the best made my day!! Also, gave me a boost of confidence that we CAN keep the barrels up in indoor pens!

How are you preparing for the CNFR?
To prepare for the CNFR will just consist of the normal exercise program and practice roping sessions before I leave. I will probably get Blane to tune on boss, maybe make some tie down runs on him to get him snappy. I will enter some amateur rodeos to get some competition roping runs in to stay on my game. In the barrels, I have a lot of Texas circuit rodeos I need to try to enter before I leave for the college finals because I will be missing some when I am in Casper.

I would love to thank my parents because without their support I wouldn't be where I am today. I would like to thank my College rodeo Coach and his family for supporting me through rodeo and life. I would like to thank all my sponsors one being Dr. Honas And Cameron Stout at Texas Equine in Bryan, Texas for supporting me and keeping my horses on their A game. Silver lining Herb products for keeping my horses overall healthy. Purina feeds for keeping me stocked with the best feed on the market, Justin boots for keeping my feet comfortable, Charlie One Horse hats for keeping me supplied through the winter and summer with cowboy hats, Bayou West saddle pads for keeping my horses backs feeling great, Oxygen Products for keeping my horses stomachs healthy and drinking on the road after a run good, and Crossfit Equine in Madisonville, Texas for keeping my horses in great shape.

We can't wait to keep up with Loni's upcoming adventures and we wish her the best! #barrelhorseworldnews


Stevi Hillman

In between her recent win at Red Bluff and the rodeo in Clovis, Stevi Hillman took a second to answer a few questions! When Stevi stepped on the scene she created some major waves in the rodeo world winning some of the toughest rodeos: Reno, Casper, Pendleton, and the All American Finals just to name a few. The part time x-ray technician qualified for her first NFR in 2016 and finished 6th overall.

Hometown: Ordway CO

What horses do you travel with:
At this moment-
*Cuatro Fame 'Truck' 10 yr old gelding
*MCMImASharpGuy 'Sharpie' 5 yr old gelding
This summer will be those 2, plus-
*Morning Traffic 'Martini' 6 yr old mare
*Luv My Fame 'Layla' 5 yr old mare

What is your greatest accomplishment:
-Gosh Reno was neat but I'll have to say Pendleton was just an incredible experience, so blessed to say I've won that one.

-What is your favorite rodeo and why:
-I'd say Salinas is one, well first off it's an awesome rodeo but also because you have rodeo, fresh fruit/nuts and ocean all right there in one place, I love that!

How do you prepare for the different arenas:
-Mentally Ill watch videos before I go, and then I'll do exactly what my horse needs. I'll get there early if I need to and ride them in the arena. Or if it's a funky different pattern and you can't get in there, set up something similar so your horse can feel it. Whatever you can do to increase your odds to succeed.

What are you thoughts before you go in the arena:
-Usually 'kick by' lol but I just tell myself, 'let's see how fast we can be.' So my focus is on me and my horse, that's all I have control over at that moment.

How do you decide which horse to run at different rodeos:
-it's hard having more than one good one, but I try to plan ahead and get a game plan. For example, if I know one doesn't do well in deep ground then I run the other, or small pattern vs big, etc. Once again, you've got to know your horse.

What is the hardest thing about rodeoing:
I'd say staying healthy. It's so easy to get run down out here, eat junk and not get as much sleep. So it's important for me to make sure I get my jog in, Keep healthy food in the trailer and Im still learning to sleep when I can lol

What's your favorite place to eat on the road:
Any really good Thai restaurant, I love curry!

What's your least favorite place to eat on the road:
Lordy I will not eat at a Taco Bell or McDonald's

What buckle do you wear: Pendleton ?

What was it like to win red bluff:
-It was nice to get back to the big outdoors, I think 'Truck' agrees lol I knew what I had to be in my second run and it felt impossible to run that....but I kept reminding myself 'Nothing is impossible with God.' So I gave it all we had. And He never ceases to amaze.

It was also a special win on that day because a year ago that Sunday my grandmother passed away, so that win was for her.

Blessed to have these incredible athletes in the trailer and do what I love.

I would like to thank my whole team, I am beyond blessed with some amazing people... Jason and Melissa Mouton, Matt and Bendi Dunn, Cody and Michelle Darling, Ceri Artzer, Carrie Reed, Morgan Anderson, Ty Hillman and huge thank you to all my sponsors, Shiloh Saddlery, Hay-Rite, Nutrena, 5-Star Pads, Rock And Roll Denim, EquiPulmin, Flair Strips, Team PHT, Flexi Neb, Outlaw Equine, and MVP

The 2012 reserve rookie of the year is holding a solid spot in the 2017 world standings at 5th with $49,308.71 and only competeing in 26 rodeos. We wish you the best, Stevi, and can't wait to watch how this year unfolds for you. #barrelhorseworldnews


Emily Miller

Emily Miller

I was able to catch up with Emily Miller right after her win in Lubbock, Texas and before her departure to Florida for her second trip to the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo. Emily has been very successful in her barrel racing career, even named multiple times in college rodeo as an All-Around cowgirl. She has qualified for the College National Finals in Casper, Wyoming 4 years in a row. In 2011 she was named the CNFR Rookie of the year and qualified in the barrels, in 2012 she qualified in barrels, goat tying, and breakaway roping, 2013 in the barrel racing and in her last year of the College Finals (2014) she qualified in both the barrels and the goat tying. Here are a few questions to get the know the very talented Emily Miller.

Hometown: Ingalls, KS.

What horses do you travel with?
Pipewrench(namgis d 35), Foxy (namgis d 56), Jet (qui jet), Benny (money is n firewater), and West coast (westcoastturnaround )

What is your greatest accomplishment?
Winning the 2016 prairie circuit year end championship..Mary made me work for that one all the way to the end!

Favorite rodeo and why?
I don't think I can pick one.. any committee that goes the extra mile for contestants and for our barrel horses is a favorite in my book.

How do you prepare for the different arenas?
I research the size, ground type, and gate entrance to start with. From there, I decide which horse I think is best suited for that set up and go with it!

What are you thoughts before you go in the arena?
Smooth is fast. Another good quote my dad always told me is, "to finish first, first you must finish." Often times, if I have one difficult spot in a pattern and I got by it, I'd forget to keep riding and make a mistake on the next barrel. So that reminds me to finish my run before celebrating!

What is the hardest thing about rodeoing?
The wear and tear you, your horse, and your rig go through. Most people don't understand the norm of the road includes: sleepless nights, blown tires, broken down vehicles, sore horses, a ton of extra expenses and emotional stress.

Favorite place to eat on the road ?
Since I work during the week, I'm not usually gone for an extended period, therefore I will meal prep! Eggs and oatmeal for breakfast, chicken and baked sweet potato for a bigger meal, then I snack on quest bars or guacamole. If I'm up north, I can't hardly drive by a Taco Johns though!!

Least favorite place to eat on the road?
Runza. Never again.

What buckle do you wear?
FSCC 2012 barrel racing champion. I won it on my young gelding okey dokey Doyle, and we lost him very unexpectedly a few months after that championship. He taught me so much about believing in myself and my horse, as a team.

Who would you like to thank?
My parents. They didn't grow up around horses but they've influenced me more than anyone. They've taught me to enjoy life, but also to be realistic and take care of business. Without them, I wouldn't be able to do what I love.

The Registered Dental Hygienist is currently sitting top 60 in the WPRA World Standings with $7,226.86 and has competed at only 9 rodeos ( as of March 29th). We wish you the best of luck in Kissimmee this week!


Nellie Miller

Nellie Miller

I was able to catch up with Nellie Miller, in between runs at Rodeo Houston, and ask her a few questions!

Hometown: Cottonwood, CA

What horses are you traveling with?
I am traveling with rafter w Minnie Reba aka sister. I chose to bring her by herself because I feel like she hauls better alone and is focused on me instead of another horse.

What is your greatest accomplishment?
My greatest accomplishment was making the nfr in 2010. It was my goal from the time I was a little girl and to fulfill something that is so difficult and challenging and to have so many ups and downs along the way, that when you finally make it happen it is just the best feeling in the world.

What is your favorite rodeo and why?
There are so many to choose from but my favorite rodeo is salinas, ca. I grew up going to this rodeo with my family and my dad won the team roping in 1980 and I was able to win it last year so it is very sentimental for us because we have so many years of good memories there. Not only that, but the weather is beautiful and you get to stay longer than you normally would anywhere else and the hospitality is great so it's like a vacation while you are still on the road.

How do you prepare for different arenas?
I prepare different for each arena. It really helps if i have been there before because i already have a feel for it. I really focus on the entry into the arena and my approach for the first barrel because it sets up the whole run. If I am able to watch a few girls go it helps me get a feel for what the set up is and how the ground is and I ride my horse according to each different condition.

What thoughts go through your head before you enter the alley?
I try to keep things positive and I just try to focus on what I have planned for my run. Sometimes it's hard to push down negative thoughts but I try to plan for things to go the right way instead of being scared that something bad will happen.

What is the hardest thing about rodeoing?
The hardest thing about rodeoing is trying to balance everything. There are so many factors like making sure your horse is feeling my good, taking care my family on the road, making sure everything is taken care of at home, managing the truck and trailer etc. there is a lot of management and I definitely could not do it without a team.

What is your favorite place to eat on the road?
I love to eat so I really am not too picky but it seems like a treat when we get to have a Cracker Barrel breakfast. It tastes like home on the road??

What place do you try to avoid eating at while on the road?
I definitely try to avoid truck stop fast food. I try to avoid fast food in general but truck stop fast food tastes extra bad!! ??

There are sooooo many people that help me. My sponsors wrangler, professional choice, oxygen, total equine. And I could not do it without a strong support team, my entire family helping in every single aspect and friends that are there for me whenever I need to ask a favor. It all matters and it all makes such a difference in my success.

Nellie will be running barrels in the finals at Rodeo Houston on Saturday March 25th and has pocketed a little over $5000 through the qualifying brackets. The California cowgirl is currently sitting 9th in the WPRA world standings with $19,579.37. We wish you the best of luck!


 

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