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Marguerite Happy
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Saugus, CA
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happyrodeo77@ca.rr.com
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The Junior WPRA would like to introduce Hannah Steagal and her horse Jazzy Reed! Hannah has been riding since she was five, and her parents inspired her to start rodeoing. Just a year ago Hannah got her horse Jazzy Reed, a fifteen-year-old mare. She says that Billy Holman is a huge inspiration to her as well as her parents. Hannah wants to be successful in WPRA and the National Finals. Besides WPRA, Hannah also rides in WCBRA, CJHRA and CJCA. Hannah is very interested in becoming a vet, so she would like to go to Cal Poly or UC Davis. Hannah loves rodeo, because it is a way to get out from school, learn resposibility, and meet new friends.

Name: Rachel Primm
Born: Reno, NV
Residence: Reno in the summer and San Luis Obispo during school
Status: Single
Family: Dad: Roger Primm, Mom Debbie Primm, and younger brother Jay
Primm
College: Cal Polytechnic State University SLO, CA


Rachel grew up in Reno and jumped horses at 5 years of age. She always wanted to run barrels, even at a very young age, but her folks said she needed to ride English and have a solid back ground before she could run barrels. After riding English and jumping horses for three years her parents bought her a rope horse and she started running barrels off him. She successfully competed in local jackpots and American West Barrel Races which were very popular. She won the American West State Title three years in row on her horse Pepper. She then started running Lita Scott's old NFR horse Joe. She was never interested in other sports, only Rodeo.

The first time she ever rode a horse at 3 or 4 years of age, she did not have the best experience, but this didn't detour her from her love of horses. She was at a friend's birthday party and the mom was giving rides to the children. Rachel's plan was to ride the longest so she chose to wait until last. Waiting that long made the horse cranky. Looking back she thinks he was fed up with all the kids and he bucked her off. She cried her mother told her, but not because she had been bucked off, because she had dirtied up her pink cowgirl boots she was so proud of. Her mom made her get back on a horse the next week at a neighbor's house and she loved it. She was so excited to ride and wear her clean pink cowgirl boots.


She has had success in high school rodeo and worked barrels, poles, breakaway and headed steers in the team roping. Qualifying for the High School Rodeo Finals in barrels her sophomore year she had a great start. Her junior and senior year she qualified in barrels and poles winning the High School Rodeo Barrel Racing Championship back to back. This had not been accomplished since 1952 and was quite an honor for Rachel.

Rachel and her dad, Roger are very close and he helps her so much with her mental preparation for rodeos. He has a really good eye for horses and she doesn't think she would be where she is without her dad. Roger doesn't really have a horse background, however he raced boats and alcohol dragsters competitively. He is competitive and has a need for speed. She believes she has inherited her competitiveness from her father.


Rachel joined the WPRA as a permit holder when she was 18 and last year was her Rookie Year. She enjoys being a WPRA member and believes that the WPRA keeps us informed. She is very excited about Rodeo Pay and thinks it will make things more convenient for the members. Rachel is a 3rd year college student, studying Business Administration with a major in Entrepreneurship. This major will help her with whatever she decide to do in the future. She would ultimately like to raise her own horses through a breeding program of her own and become a horse trainer. She is especially interested in Proudest Effort, and JB Proud and Famous horses.

I asked Rachel a few questions and here are her answers:

Q: Accomplishments most proud of?
A: I am most proud of winning the first round at Ponoka, Alberta, worth $4,500.00, it was my first WPRA go round win! I was proud to win the WPRA CA Circuit National Rookie Buckle last year. Winning the high school finals, I was proudest the second year because it hadn't been won back to back for so many decades. I won a truck when I was fourteen, it was a one-time deal at the Can Chaser Challenge in Pascoe, WA. This barrel race was a 5-D and they gave trucks to every D winner. I traded it in for something new at 16, after driving it around the ranch a few years.

Q: You ran as Rookie of the year last year and earned more money in the Nation than any other California girl, what was that like?
A: It was an honor to be recognized for that. Most Circuits don't recognize that National Level of winnings, just the Circuit level of winnings.

Q: What were the names of some of your other horses?
A: I have Proud Red Pepper AKA Pepper, he is the horse I won the HS finals and ran Rookie Year on. He broke his pelvis last summer in Canada at a rodeo. When he went through the gate he pushed off and fell breaking both sides of pelvis. He has been through rehab for one year with Pat & Amy Grohl in Oakdale. I hauled him to UC Davis and Washington State and they both advised to put him down. My local vet Dr. Miller said I shouldn't put him down and give him some time. That gave me the hope to save him. At 10 years of age, he is slowly coming back and I can actually ride him at a walk now.
Dashin Julene aka Julene, she is 7 and a really special horse, with a lot of heart and run. I bought her in Feb and we have been nursing her through some injuries. I won a round at Red Bluff and 2nd at Helldorado Days Rodeo in Las Vegas. I also won Hayward on her this year. The night before I came home for Reno she colicked and Shane Miller, DVM operated successfully. Her rehab is coming along really well. 3 more weeks of hand walking and then I can start legging her up again. Joe Dynamite aka Lil Joe is an 8 year old gelding. He is very grumpy, he wants to be the boss and number one…you have to let him know that he is number one. I have struggled getting along with him, but I tied Cow Palace with Jaimie Hinton...I hauled him this summer and seasoned him. My goal was to figure him out and get along with him. I feel really confident on him, we pulled a check at Eugene and Molalla. He is just a bit greener, he looks at the crowds and gets nervous with the noise...he has really started to step up. They are all very different, Pepper is a free runner and you ride him with your body. Julene you don't touch, she runs faster than Pepper but she is ratey, you have to trust her. She blows in there so hard you think you have to take a hold of her and if you do, you may hit a barrel. Joe needs a lot more help, I start checkin him right past the timer before the first barrel and I help him with my hands. He needs more guidance, you have to show him where to go instead of letting him do it himself. I think because he is young and he will grow out of this...I am finding the right bit, he is green.

Q: Who trained your horses?
A: Barbara Neil Merrill trained Pepper, Bo Hill trained Julene, and Mary Jo Camera trained Joe.

Q: Mentors?
A: I look up to my dad and I know he is not a barrel racer, but he has helped me the most. He watches all of my runs either in person or on video and helps fix my mistakes. He just has a great, natural eye to break things down and is able to catch the little things that will shave hundredths of seconds off. I look up to Barbara Merrill, I love her style and the way they train their horses. Her horses are so broke and she is a great teacher who explains things so I can understand.

Q: How did you get started in Pro Rodeo?
A: I think after the high school finals it was the next step. I could either go to college rodeos or Pro and because I had Pepper who I thought was a great horse, I wanted to get my feet wet at the pro level. I am happy I made that decision, I have learned so much and it keeps me goal oriented. I look forward to doing this full time.

Q: What are some of your goals?
A: I would like to qualify for the WNFR after college and I want to start my breeding program raising my own horses.

Q: Do you College Rodeo?
A: I college rodeoed my freshmen year but there was too much going on and I decided just to spend my extra time going to pro rodeos.

Q: What were some of the quirks your horses had?
A: Lil Joe you have to take his bridle off to put it on him...he does NOT like his ears touched. Julene is one of those horses who gets really nervous without another horse, so I bought her a pony we call Spit Fire. Spit Fire goes everywhere with her and she is much better behaved. Pepper is my baby and every time after he runs he gets a cherry pop tart and it has to be exactly that or he won't eat it! He knows when he has a good run and you better have a pop tart for him.

Q: Did you have any certain regiments during rodeo season, when you were on the road?
A: I like to try to ride my horses when I arrive to the arena and I think it is good to ride them and not just run them. I like Game Ready and hosing their legs, when I arrive somewhere after a long trailer ride and after I run.

Q: Tell me about some of the equipment you have used?
A: I love my Larry Coats Saddles and they are the only saddles I use. I use the Merrill Saddle Pads; I use a lot of the Merrill Bits, they have brought me a lot of success. Julene I run in a small snaffle with no chin strap, she is 7 years old and never been run in anything else and she is very light.

Q: What feed do you prefer to feed?
A: I feed half my horses Ultium by Purina. I feed the other half Renew Gold. When I am running them a lot they all get Renew Gold. I feed a mix of alfalfa in the am and pm and they get grass during the day as a filler and to have something in front of them. I feed Take No Prisoners, it is a good all-around supplement by Oxygen. I feed MSM, and I have Joe on Synergy.

Q: Do you have any superstitions?
A: I won't wear yellow. I wear the same belt buckle every single run since I can remember. The buckle is a 1980 Salinas Calf Roping buckle, won by Anson Thurman. He lived with us for a long time and he gave it to me, he was like my grandpa.

Q: Do/Did you have any hauling partners?
A: No hauling partners.

Q: What was your favorite rodeo and why?
A: Favorite rodeo is Cheyenne, the crowd is so enthusiastic and into the rodeo, I love the atmosphere. I also like Spanish Fork because they have great ground and they have the best Hospitality Tent of any rodeo I have been to so far. I like running at Salinas, their track makes it interesting. It is a different sized pattern I enjoy.

Q: What would people be surprised to know about you?
A: Ummmm, I think they might be surprised that I used to jump horses.

Q: What is your goal this year?
A: To qualify for the WNFR after College and to start my own breeding program and raise my own horses.

Q: If you were to give some advice out to some of the younger Junior members, Permit holders and rookies, what would it be?
A: I think that I wished someone would have told me to stay more relaxed, I was so nervous because I was running with the gals I had always looked up to. I overrode my horse and it has taken me awhile to realize that it is just another rodeo, stay relaxed.

Q: How has barrel racing changed?
A: I think the style has changed. The horses style, over the years the horses have gotten snappier. Most horses don't run in there as stiff as they did and they are sharper.

Q: What do you enjoy outside of riding?
A: Not very much. I like to read and I do a lot of reading. I like to go to the lake and hang out, lay on the beach and wake board. My favorite books are the James Patterson books.

Q:If you could pick anyone at all, is there anyone you would be interested in meeting?
A: One person I would like to meet is my late grandmother. I've heard many great stories about her and I wish I could have met such an inspirational woman.

I want to thank Rachel for taking the time out of her busy schedule to give an interview and for sharing her life with our readers. The WPRA CA Circuit is quite proud of this young woman and wishes her the best of luck, hoping to soon watch her at the WNFR. Thank you Rachel for mentoring others at such a young age.



Meet Kayla Foster...

I had a great opportunity to interview my good friend Kayla Foster. Kayla is a beautiful blonde from Shafter, CA. As a 15 year old, Kayla is a sophomore at Shafter High School.

It is no coincidence that Kayla and her great equine partner, Docs Boogie Blue Tie, aka Tie, are such a great team. Kayla and Tie grew up together on her grandmother, Gayle Foster’s ranch. In fact, Kayla and Tie share the same birth year.

Kayla has been Barrel racing for 11 years. Her grandmother is the person to take credit for starting, and teaching Kayla how to run barrels. This is one of the reasons Kayla named her Grandmother as her Idol and greatest inspiration.

Kayla is no stranger to the winner’s circle. She takes pride in the fact that she won three saddles in the year of 2012.

Kayla thinks the Junior WPRA is a great association because her fellow contestants are kind and supportive. As a professional Barrel racer in the WPRA, Kayla aspires to qualify for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Later in life, her goal is to become a veterinarian.

Look out for Kayla, and her great grey steed, Tie, on the barrel racing trail!

Written by: Hannah Steagal



Meet Savannah Osuna...

Savannah Osuna, a 14 year old sophomore at Quartz Hill High School, is an outstanding young competitor in the sport of rodeo. This wonderful young lady participates in many different associations and competes in many different events, as well. Savannah is a member of the Women's Professional Rodeo Association (17&u), the National Barrel Horse Association, the Pacific Coast Barrel Racing Association, and the California High School Rodeo Association District 9. She competes in barrel racing, pole bending, goat tying, break away roping, and team roping as a heeler. Jasper is her pole and barrel horse, Frosty is her rope horse, and Sweet Pea is her goat horse.

Savannah has been riding since she was two years old. Her mother had some friends that were barrel racers and thought it might be a fun thing for her to try out. She competed in Gymkhana for seven years before joining barrel racing groups and the California High School Rodeo Association. When questioned about her favorite aspect of rodeo, Savannah replied with "Learning that you can't always win and you have to stay humble about it". In her future, this bright young lady hopes to attend Cal Poly San Luis Obispo to become a vet because she loves working with animals.



Meet Vicky Benedetti...
I was born in Redwood City,Ca. Raised in Ukiah,Ca. I have been around horses since I could walk. Attended many Jr. Rodeos and then High School rodeos. My mom , Patty Benedetti, and my little sister would load up and haul my horse and I around. Once I graduated High School I then joined the U.S. Navy. I was stationed in San Diego. When stationed there, I had my horse in Imperial Beach. I ran barrels, roped, and did reined cow horse. Now I ride young horses and spend many hours in the practice pen.

Thank you so much for the beautiful pendant. I received my buckle and it is gorgeous. (Sponsored by the WPRA CA Circuit) It is an honor to rope for the WPRA and I cant wait for this year to start. If I qualify this year I hope to be able to go to the finals. Thank you so much for all your hard work.
Sincerely,
Vicky Benedetti


Meet Haley Aquino...

I grew up in Nipomo, California where I attended school all the way thru high school. I then got accepted to Cal Poly State University. In 2010, I graduated from Cal Poly with a major in Dairy Science and a minor in Ag Business. I am currently working at a microbiology lab testing food for different pathogens.

My Family: I have pretty much been riding horses ever since I could walk. My parents David and Sherrie Aquino, both showed horses while I was growing up. But, my dad had to quit due to knee injuries in both his knees. He rode cutting horses and worked for some local trainers while showing at club cuttings. And my mom showed western pleasure as well as reined cow horses. Me and my mom still show together to this day, which is nice because we both help each other in and out of the show pen. My mom Sherrie also does all the training of our horses because she likes to know what's been done with them. My friends all give me a hard time because she gets them pretty broke and then hands them over to me about their 4-5 year old years to finish or go on and show.

My Show History: I started off when I was little competing in junior rodeos and western pleasure shows with my sister Hilary. I soon grew out of the western pleasure and stuck with rodeo because I liked going fast and western pleasure just got be to boring for me. It wasn't until I was about 8 years old that I got to show my first cow horse. Once I did that, I was hooked. I only showed for about two years and then decided to quit and focus more on rodeo. I went on to compete in high school and college rodeo, but never did anything great. I had nice horses, but they were never fast enough. In 2006 my mom let me show a horse she had shown at the Snaffle Bit Futurity named Gus or Smoke N Diamonds. Gus and I went on to win quite a lot together at many of our local shows and we even won a big derby. After a few years of showing Gus I then got ahold of another Snaffle Bit horse my mom had shown named Hannah or Igo Shine N Spark. I've been showing her for three years now and she is following in Gus' foot steps proving to be a great bridle horse. This last year was the first time I showed a futurity horse at the Snaffle Bit. I was pretty proud of myself for starting and training a horse to show there because it takes a lot of time and dedication. I ended up finishing in the top 15 after some bad luck down the fence.

My Horse: It wasn't until the beginning of last year that I got my hands on my current barrel horse Jade or Miss T Starlight. Jade is a seven year old mare by Junior Starlight out of a Colonel Spats mare. We got her as a long yearling from our good friend Katy Murphy, who owns Irish Oaks Ranch. She specializes in breeding cow horses. My mom bought Jade to show at the Snaffle Bit Futurity. She showed her in the Amateur Division at the Snaffle Bit Futurity the following year, but had a little bad luck in the rein work. After that my mom went on to show Jade at the local cuttings and reinings. When my mom got her new prospect for the 2012 Futurity Jade was put to the side, so I decided to start riding her and showing her. Once I found out Jade had some speed to her I decided to put her on the barrel pattern and see what she could do. In no time we were off to some barrel races, but just cruising thru the pattern landing in the 3D and soon worked our way up into the 2D by the end of the year. It wasn't until the first of this year that we finally landed in the 1D, but we were always dead last. Then all of a sudden we won one race then another. I had bought my permit in December with the intension of seeing if she could run with the faster horses. We just attended our first Pro Rodeo in Yuma, Arizona and surprisingly came in third out of about 96 barrel racers. We had a little malfunction with my hat during my run because it kept falling in front of my eyes, so on our way to the third barrel she was basically running on her own because I couldn't see much. After three races we have now filled our permit which I never thought would happen. I can't wait to take her to some more rodeos and see what she can do in other arenas. I really love this little mare because she may not be the biggest one out there, but she gives it all she's got every time. I have to thank my parents, sister and all my friends for the support they have shown me along the way.


Meet Judy Gillum...

Born in Queen Creek, AZ the youngest of three children, Judy grew up surrounded by the famous rodeo horse, Driftwood Ike and his amazing offspring. It's not surprising that she herself is a champion roper and cutter. Married in 1983 to Ozzie Gillum the love of the horses has carriedthem through the ups and downs of life. Their friendship has always lead the way.

WPRA Junior Member in Focus: Mandy Trammell

Junior WPRA would like to introduce Mandy Trammell and her horse DW Special Dancer! It all started twelve years ago when a close family friend inspired her to barrel race. At first, Mandy just rode for fun and she started to learn dressage. Then, her family moved to Bakersfield, and she met her mentor, Jerri Mann. She started learning barrel racing, and instantly she fell in love. Jerri motivated her to join Junior WPRA, and she finally gave it a go three years ago. Mandy says everybody in the pro circuit inspires her, but Mary Walker is her idol. She loves Mary’s story and how she never quit or gave up. Mandy also rides in WCBRA, and we will be wishing her luck this year!

By: WPRA Junior Member, Savannah Osun

WPRA Junior Member in Focus: Alyssa Conklin

Incredibly talented young barrel racer, Alyssa Conklin, just began her second year as a member of the JRWPRA. The 17 year old senior at Valencia High School has been riding horses her entire life. She began her equine life riding English, but had a neighbor who gave barrel lessons. Alyssa’s neighbor had convinced her mother to bring her over and try it out. She says after two lessons she fell in love with the sport and no longer wanted to ride English. She has now been running barrels for 13 years, and is currently running Pacific’s Legacy, whom she calls Casey. The team has been competing together for about a year and half now. Alyssa says her favorite aspect of what she does is meeting new people. But the social aspect of the sport isn’t all; it’s also the dedication that comes with it. “You really have to love what you do”, says Alyssa. When questioned about inspiration Alyssa responded with “I’ve always been taught to do what you love and to not give up. It’s my whole life and I don’t know what I’d do without it.

Polly and her horse Moonie

Polly Reagan Ugland
California Circuit 2012 "True Grit" Award Winner

Name: Polly Reagan Ugland
Born: Cleveland, Ohio
Residence: Paso Robles, CA
Status: Married Rudy Ugland
Children: Paul Reagan
Family: Mom: Elsie Loudat Paul; Dad: Albert Paul; High School: North Hollywood, CA.
College: Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and Oklahoma State University.

Our 2012 WPRA CA Circuit True Grit Award Recipient Polly Reagan Ugland was born in Cleveland, Ohio. Her father was a cine-technician in the motion picture business. His specialty was working on the machines that developed the film for the motion pictures. Al was loving and supportive and they shared a passion for horses. Polly's mother Elsie, worked as a secretary and served as the disciplinarian in the family. Growing up with a love for horses, Polly's folks saw to it that she had English riding lessons from the time she was 5 years old. She competed in Horse Shows for 12 years, incorporating some jumping horse classes and some basic formal Dressage, which she loved.

At 8 years of age Polly was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. They took a kidney and began radiation, which left her body quite crooked. Because no one had previously lived longer than 5 years with this diagnosis, they continued to monitor Polly well into her 20's. Having had 8 abdominal surgeries to boot, she has never thrown in the towel. From the time she had her first surgery she would lay in bed thinking about when she would be able to ride again. This is what gave her hope and faith that she could get through a lifetime of trials. Throughout each and every surgery, it was the horses that sustained her. She relied on the dream of soon riding and competing again. This is what gave her the fortitude to push on, and it still holds true today!

Polly and her horse Pokey, 1963

When she heard about "rodeo" she decided to go watch one, she went to the Newhall Rodeo and that was "it" for her. Already determined to become a Veterinarian, she concluded that Cal Poly SLO would be the natural College of choice for a young woman who aspired to run barrels and study medicine!
She was quickly accepted to Cal Poly SLO and tried out for the Rodeo Team. Delighted she made the team, she successfully worked two events; calf tying and barrel racing. The transition from English to Western was simple. Her dressage experience has lasted her a lifetime, because everything goes back to basic dressage and this has helped her with each horse she has owned.

To help pay her way through college she would get up early and gallop race horses in the summer. There was a race track set up in the fields in Riverside. She loved the speed and was hooked. A handful of trainers kept their horses in the barns there and she was asked to help exercise and condition these colts.

Her idea at the time was to become a vet and train her own race horses. Although she ended up getting her teaching credential and teaching Biology and Physiology for 17 years in Garden Grove, she certainly knew enough to play veterinarian to her own barrel "racing" horses throughout her lifetime. When scouts came to OSU to recruit teachers, they opened up the map and laid it out on the desk. Polly looked at it and picked Garden Grove for one reason...Los Alamitos Race Track was so close in proximity to the school she would be close enough to visit regularly!

Covergirl, Polly Reagan Ugland

Polly married Rocky Reagan, and her son Paul came along. Polly feels that Paul is her greatest achievement in life. His father was a cowboy; however Paul was quickly burnt out after being hauled around to rodeo after rodeo with Polly as she competed. When she asked if he ever wanted to rodeo, he said "Are you nuts? Whatever are you thinking?" He had been to all the rodeos he'd ever needed to go to. He quite frankly had enough of rodeo life traveling with his mother in his early years. Polly raised Paul as a single mom through most of his life. Paul has now taken time off work to help care for Rudy and Polly while they have battled a few health issues. Paul's sense of humor and caring ways can be applauded and Polly has every right to be proud of her handsome son. Paul is quick witted and has been a huge asset in Polly and Rudy's recovery. Paul will return to work as a number one driver with seniority with the Local 399, working in the Motion Picture Business. We would like to wish him a smooth transition as he soon starts back to work.

Rudy and Polly have been married 30 years now and Polly attributes the success of their marriage not only to the love they have for each other, but also to what they have in common; horses. When Polly married Rudy she gained 3 wonderful step daughters that she has enjoyed. Sharon, Penny and Holly have brought much joy to Polly and have also helped both Polly and Rudy through many ups and downs.

Rudy Ugland owned and operated Motion Picture Livestock Rentals for 46 years. The picture business fascinated Polly, and Rudy was a phenomenal horse trainer. Polly had known his family 20 years prior to meeting Rudy. When they finally met, they didn't waste much time.

Polly was a Sierra Circuit Finals Qualifier, 1984

Many people may not know this but Polly helped Rudy train numerous actors and actresses to prepare for many films. They would be sent to Rudy for riding lessons and Polly had the patience of a teacher and had the knowledge to train these thespians in a short time. With one actor, Jean-Claude Van Damme, she tried to relate horses to Karate so that he would not be afraid. One whole summer she had the pleasure of riding with Andy Garcia. Mr. Garcia was a natural and enjoyed this part of preparing for the film. He became quite proficient under Polly's care. She greatly enjoyed riding with Jason Patric while he was preparing for Geronimo, and she was happy to help Mickey Rourke prepare for yet another project. There were many that came and went and Polly helped countless performers look like naturals in the saddle; they were lucky to have her! She joked that she really enjoyed this job, because it meant that you just liked to boss people around and tell people what to do....and you could get away with it!

Rudy would put Polly on all the horses he didn't know..."That was a big hoot", Polly said! Polly would say "Rudy he's going to buck!" and Rudy would say "Just kick em'!", She'd end up flying..."He thought I was superwoman!" Polly shared. Personally, we think you are superwoman Polly!

I asked Polly a few questions and here are her answers:
Q: Accomplishments: Most proud of?
A: Raising my son as a completely single mother and I was able to put his basketball career ahead of my rodeoing. I didn't have to leave him behind, I took him with me to the rodeos when I entered. I put his sports ahead of my wants. I saw some mothers that left their kids behind, at home and I thought that was hard on the kids. Granted I didn't get to travel and try to make the NFR. I stayed local so I could be back to work on Monday. But, I had the best of both worlds.

Q:What were the names of some of your other horses?
A: Pokey, Big Horn, Joe Moon, Moonie, Cricket, Mr. Little Big Shot aka Big Shot, San Tessa aka Tessa, were my favorites that I can remember. There were many, many more!

Q:Who trained your horses?
A. I trained most all of my barrel horses.

Q. Mentors?
A: Marilyn Camarillo

Q: What do you do for a living?
A. Taught school for 17 years - Biology and Physiology in Garden Grove.

Q: How did you get started in Rodeo?
A: I went up to Cal Poly to be on the rodeo team, I really liked the speed events. I college rodeoed and hazed for my first husband, Rocky, at Pro Rodeos and that is when I got my Girls Rodeo Association (prior to the WPRA) card...it happens to be number W-10.

Q. Horses Name that you Currently Have?
A. Still own Mr. Little Big Shot who was ridden by Jana Lee Davis Johnson his futurity year. San Tessa aka Tessa who is being competed on by Pam Wilken. My old horse Cricket...my last two horses are all black with a white spot on their forehead which is bizarre. Rudy's old picture horse Whiskey is still alive, turned out in pasture. He has worked on Geronimo, Old Gringo, Custer, Far and Away, Lonesome Dove to name just a few of his credits.

Q: Describe some of your horses running style:
A: I have had some of every style...I have found they develop their own style. The one thing I am really proud of, is my picture on one of my first horses, the grey one I called Pokey. This looks like a barrel racing photo you would see today, and it was taken in 1972! It is not like a neck rein or cross rein. I think that comes from my back ground in English/Dressage.

Q: What was some of the quirks your horses had?
A: I have had some of the craziest horses there were...Cricket was a bronc, he would buck, he would let me know though, give me some warning. I would hop off and hold the reins and he would buck right there in front of me. At Reno he gave me his warning, I stepped off and he bucked right there on the pavement. Moonie when he would get his teeth floated he would throw himself down like a mule. Moonie ran on the track for 3 years, so he was quick in small pens. In those days they didn't breed barrel horses, so I found a lot of my horses off of the race track. I have always had horses with quirks.

Q: Did you have any certain regiments during rodeo season, when you were on the road?
A: No, not really. Just try to get there!

Q: Tell me about some of the equipment you have used?
A: I have used everything. The same old thing you find yourself going back to, it seems like when you put that equipment in good hands you can make it work.

Q:What feed do you prefer to feed?
A: They are just happy to have feed most of the time. This wasn't the age of technology when I traveled. Keep 'em feeling good, happy and not bored.

Q: Do you have any superstitions?
A: No. When I ride, I think about this though: You are either training or un-training. So I am careful about what I choose to do!

Q: Do/Did you have any hauling partners?
A: Linda & Bobby Adair were always fun to haul with and they took me under their wings. I was able to meet so many great women throughout my life, and I appreciated that. Cookie Scane and Sandy Christensen were two I hauled with and we had so much fun. We would haul in Sandy's leaking camper. I would wake up and water would be leaking on my face. We didn't have the luxuries these girls have now. It was extremely difficult traveling down the road. We would arrive in the middle of the night, try to find a place to put our horse and then either try to find a place for ourselves to sleep or sleep in our truck. You had be a very strong person to rodeo and travel back then.

Q: What was your favorite rodeo and why?
A: The Los Angeles Forum because it was so filled with people and they were so excited. My horse Moonie would run so hard because of the excitement.

Q: What would people be surprised to know about you?
A: I think I have told everything already! I really miss talking about my subjects that I taught for 17 years, I miss debating the topics and miss finding out about the advances in science.

Q: What is your goal this year?
A: I would like to see Pam Wilken who is riding my horse San Tessa aka Tessa win the 2013 California Divisional/Permit Circuit Finals. With Pam riding Tessa I get just as much enjoyment as if I were riding, because I trained Tessa and I can imagine every stride.

Q: If you were to give some advice out to some of the younger Junior members, Permit holders and rookies, what would it be?
A: Find an older mentor to glean from rather than someone at your own level. There is a lot of knowledge in the gals that have been around for awhile. Don't be afraid to ask questions. A couple other pieces of advice: Don't get mad at your horse, it is generally the rider's fault not the horse. Rodeo is a great sport and it is getting bigger, follow your heart, don't give up your dreams.

Q. How has barrel racing changed?
A. When I started, we did not have any information, it was all trial and error. Now there is so much information and so much equipment. None of that was available to us. It's much easier going to a barrel race now days because the rigs are so nice, from the trucks to the Living Quarters horse trailers. There are now facilities that focus on barrel racing and the 4-D races have become so popular and brought a lot of competitors and good horses to the sport. You now have so many events to choose from. We did not have that back then. It is just unbelievable how hard it was to go in my day. It is much easier now. You had to be willing to sacrifice to go down the road.

Q: What do you enjoy outside of riding?
A: I love and absolutely cherish all of the traveling I have had the opportunity to do. I have gone to all of Europe. I particularly enjoyed Italy. One of my favorite things was traveling to so many fun and unusual locations with Rudy. We spent one full year in Scicli together and we have traveled throughout the United States. I like traveling throughout the US equally as much as visiting other countries. I found Australia and Spain delightful. I just love traveling. My bags are packed!

I also love Interior Design. After I married Rudy, I thought I needed a job, because I had always worked so I went to Interior Design school. I designed a beautiful home for us in Castaic; it was quite a project but very rewarding. Rudy was gone on location quite a bit and while he was away I designed a home for us. I learned from that experience not to do it again, however.

I also enjoy gardening quite a lot.

Q:If you could pick anyone at all, is there anyone you would be interested in meeting?
A. I think St. Joan of Arc might be very interesting to meet and spend some time with. I enjoyed reading about her.

I would like to thank my two friends who have always been there for me, Sally Ives and Barbara Bowers. They have kept me glued together and have pulled me through many dark illnesses throughout my life! I also wish to thank Pam Wilken, my Guardian Angel, who has saved my life by donating her kidney to me. Without Pam I may not have been alive today. There is no better friend than that! Rudy has been there for me and he has always been very supportive of my barrel racing. I love him for all that he has done for me.

In concluding, I would like to say that with the limited hauling Polly Reagan Ugland chose, making unselfish sacrifices as a single mother, thinking of the well-being of her son, she was quite successful. I don't doubt that she would have been on the NFR ticket had she chosen to haul harder and farther away from home with the good horses that she had. Polly is the proud survivor of 4 primary cancer sites, including breast cancer. Her first kidney was removed when she was 8 years old and when her second kidney was attacked she was talking to friend Pam Wilken. Polly was sharing with her that she was in complete kidney failure. Pam said "You can have mine!" with no hesitancy. Pam didn't even think that she wouldn't be a match. They both had faith they would match...it took almost a year and they didn't tell anyone what they were up to until they were going in. You have to be really healthy to give a kidney away. Pam passed the test with flying colors and was a match for Polly. So Pam literally saved Polly's life and is her Guardian Angel. God said Polly wasn't finished here on earth...Polly found herself giving other people going through the same illnesses hope. Just by seeing Polly finding the strength to get on her horse and ride, showing so much tenacity, she gave others the courage to carry on. This made Polly feel as if she had achieved great deeds, simply by encouraging others in the similar situations. Thinking back on her teaching days, she also hopes that she gave her students much confidence that they have carried with them throughout their lives.

I want to thank Polly for taking the time to give me an interview and for sharing her life with our readers. The WPRA CA Circuit is quite proud to honor you with our True Grit Award. We are proud that your final runs, even as you were getting weaker, on a standard course averaged 17.7's and faster. I, for one, run to the fence to watch Pam and Tessa run. You three are an amazing team! Thank you for setting such a grand example for so many.




Sue Rogers - 2012 WPRA California Circuit Pioneer Award Winner

Interviewed by: Marguerite Happy

Name: Sue Rogers
Born: New Jersey
Residence: Temecula, CA
Status: Married to Larry Rogers for 48 years
Family: Mom: Helen Tucker Dad: William Tucker
College: Colorado State University

I had the pleasure to interview our 2012 WPRA CA Circuit Pioneer Award recipient Sue Rogers. Sue grew up in New Jersey, daughter of William Tucker an electrical engineer and Helen Tucker a Latin and English teacher. Although her folks didn't have anything to do with horses, she luckily had an aunt that showed hunters and jumpers. Sue showed an interest in horses her entire life. At the young age of 9, she knew she wanted to become a veterinarian. She enjoyed the interaction with animals and she knew she could help them. Sue badgered her folks until they finally told her she could own a horse if she paid for it herself. Her parents never thought they would have to worry about Sue owning a horse. This seemed an impossible dream to her folks. But, determined Pioneer that Sue was, she began mowing lawns for neighbors, and three years later after earning $200.00, she became the proud owner of her first horse. She began cleaning stalls to pay for board, however only for a short period of time. Her parents did not approve as this was "not appropriate" for a young lady! So, her folks stepped in to pay the board bill.

Sue began pleasure riding and competing some in high school. There were not many barrel races offered, no clinics or teachers available so Sue amazingly was self taught.

Sue chose Colorado State University because it had a Veterinary of Medicine Program that she approved of. There were 300 applications with 60 students accepted. Only 2 of those 60 were woman. One woman dropped out during the 6 year course, and so only one woman graduated; Sue Tucker-Rogers! Sue said it was quite difficult at times, however she took to it quickly. In the very beginning she had to work extra hard to prove herself, for instance she had to have perfect grades to be accepted. Many of the men in her class gave her a hard time, although as time went by most treated her as an equal. She kept her horse during her college years, although she was limited in her competition because of her studies.

She met Larry her second year at school. Interestingly enough he had two "token women" in his class as well. Larry and Sue began dating immediately. Upon Sue's graduation they married on December 27th and Sue went to work for local vets while Larry finished his schooling. As soon as Larry graduated they moved to Wyoming to work and pay off student loans. In the 3 years they resided in Wyoming Sue had bought a horse she called Buddy, a Hancock bred gelding. This team won the Wyoming State Barrel Racing Champion 3 Years in a row. They then moved to Colorado for a few years, then onto Norco, California where they settled around 1968. They built the Norco Equine Hospital where Sue and Larry happily worked together. Sue administered medicine to large and small animals while Larry specialized in large animals. Larry branched out and worked at the Los Alamitos Quarter Horse Race Track. This is where they came across some excellent barrel racing prospects, mainly because of their keen eye for horses. They built the well known Norco Ranch Outfitters in Norco and hired others to run it. Norco was one of the most successful western stores of its kind in California.

Sue joined the WPRA around 1969 and she remembers being the "Rookie" and no one knowing who she was. Ridin her first great horse "Buddy", they had entered Long Beach Rodeo and it was pouring down rain. She ran her first go round run during the first performance and was winning the barrel race. She loaded up and went home. After the fact the judge decided one barrel was off the marker and everyone but Sue made a second run that night. The rodeo secretary, Edith Happy, made an executive decision on Sue's behalf to allow Sue to re-run her first go round run during Sunday's afternoon performance and then make her second go round run during Sunday's evening performance. Sue placed at Long Beach, and many of the girls were livid; Sue was not very popular at that rodeo. Sue appreciated Edith's fairness and never forgot that Edith stepped forward and did the "right thing".

I asked Sue a few questions and here are her answers:

What accomplishments are you most proud of?
I don't know. This is how she answered the question, however when I spent some time talking with Sue I found some things that I thought she was quite proud of with good reason:

I am proud of the fact that I won the barrel race at Dale and Heather Gibson's Ranch when they hosted a Parkinson's disease Barrel Race recently, on a horse I trained. Because I suffer from the disease, this was very meaningful to me. Two of my other horses placed and the 3 of us that won money donated money back to this worthy cause. I did keep the buckle however!

I claimed "Haversack" on the racetrack and he was the greatest horse I ever owned. He was a Sierra Circuit Finals qualifier 15 times. He won Horse With The Most Heart. He won the Sierra Circuit Finals 3 years to qualify for the DNCFR, in Pocatello, ID. When I ran him there one trip we pancaked at the first barrel and I was knocked out! We had some bad luck there.

"Desert Sand Storm", was a pretty red roan, a neat little horse given to us off the track. Larry won quite a lot bulldogging on him. One year at the Costa Mesa rodeo Larry first bull dogged off of him They had about two minutes to change saddles before Sue was up in the barrel race on the same horse. This extraordinary horse won both the steer wrestling and the woman's barrel race that year at Costa Mesa!

"Plains Plum" one of my horses went down on the first barrel not too long ago. He got up jumped over me, and went on to finish the pattern without me. Then that darn horse came running up towards me. I sat on my knee watching the whole thing happen. I was pretty proud of that horse!

What were the names of some of your other horses?

I claimed a horse "Bed An Angel" a son of "Bedouin"; off of the track...this was one of the best horses I ever owned. He was so fast and knew he could do it.

"Silver" was another great horse, "Bed Time Dash", was a great futurity and derby horse I had a lot of success with.

Who trained your horses?
I trained my own horses; Larry has just recently started helping me and I couldn't do it without him. I have Parkinson's disease, and my balance is not what it used to be. I feel that I am not as competitive as I used to be; just not as strong. I started going to the 4-D barrel races because the ground is so good. They really take care in grooming it. I am riding a horse by the name of "Brigapork" now. We have won some Senior saddles and placed in the 1-D. We even placed at Norco Rodeo about 5 years ago. I had shoulder surgery about 5 months ago and I'm healing up quite well now. Larry really helps me out a lot. Mentors: Ed Wright, anyone who rides well. I have hosted one or two Ed Wright clinics at my home each year for the past 20 years. Ed is very inspirational and informative.

What do you do for a living?
I was a doctor of veterinary of medicine; however I have been retired from my practice for about 15 years.

How did you get started in Rodeo?
When I was in College I liked it and I wanted to do it; I would go to the Denver Stock Show which was a really big deal in Denver. I worked on a dude ranch during that time and I took one of the horses off the ranch to the Stock Show and entered the Western Horsemanship Class. I must have looked like one of the dudes off the dude ranch; however when it came time to figure eight and show my horse, I made it back to the finals. Out of 120 in the class I placed in the top 20. I watched the barrel race during the Stock Show and decided that is what I wanted to do. I liked the speed!

Horses Name that you currently ride?
Brigapork. How Old: 16 year old gelding. Describe your horses running style:
He is a little horse and he hunts the barrels and turns them nice, I just have to make sure I ride him deep to get him around them. Larry just bought another horse, a Corona Cartel Mare. We have a lot of hope for her!

Does your horse have any unique quirks?
He can be a little cantankerous going into the arena, at times I have to wheel him around and go!

What was your regiment during rodeo season, when you were on the road?
I kept my horses ridden everyday, in shape and on a good feeding program. Larry and I both rodeoed so we would plan our rodeo schedule together. Once in awhile he couldn't go, and I would go with some friends.

Tell me about some of the equipment you have used?
I ride an Ed Wright saddle that I like. It fits my horse and myself right now. I have a number of bridles and just find one that works on the particular horse I am riding at the time. I like a real broke horse to ride and compete on. If you have problems you can go back to the basics and your horse understands what you expect.

What feed do you prefer?
I have had some problems feeding alfalfa just recently. Two of our horses colic'd with stones, so we quit feeding alfalfa. We now feed Timothy Hay and Strategy by Purina. Sometimes we feed Equine Senior depending on the horse of course!

Do you have any superstitions?
You know I really don't. I can't think of any.

Do/Did you have any hauling partners?

Larry, my husband mostly. Belinda Bates, Rosie Webb, Judy Brown.

What is/was your favorite rodeo?
Santa Maria at the old fairgrounds because the ground was good. There were big trees you could camp out. The committee was good to the contestants and they fed us breakfast. Everyone tried to be helpful and they had stalls for our horses. Ramona was another favorite because they had a wonderful committee and good ground. Costa Mesa mainly because I won it on three different horses!

What would people be surprised to know about you?
I have no idea.

Who would you like to meet and talk to? Who do you admire?
I would love to have lunch and talk with Tom Dorrance (but it's too late for that now!). I admire Sherry Cervi and Charmayne James as outstanding barrel racers.

What is your goal this year?
Get myself in good physical shape so that I can compete; I have been working out and going to the gym, I went to PT, now I am doing it my own. If my leg holds out, I am in business.

If you were to give some advice out to some of the younger junior members, permit holders and rookies, what would it be?
Set your goals and do what it takes to complete them.

How has barrel racing changed?
The traffic.

What do you enjoy outside of riding?

Art...I oil paint and I do a lot of pencil drawings. I have drawn Linda Vick, Danyelle Campbell, and I have won some awards...I like to draw horses. I have a website: suerogersart.com Check it out

Summary comments from Sue: I want to make sure that my husband Larry knows how much it means to me that he has been there by my side, helping me during some difficult times. Parkinson's disease is no cake walk and Larry has helped me to continue to live my passion. He helps start all the horses and he hauls me.
Then without my very best friend Belinda Bates, I don't know what I would do. She is the most loyal friend and it is amazing what she does for me. Always there for me; a true friend. Thank you Larry and Belinda!

Thank you,Sue, for the interview and good luck to you! The WPRA California Circuit is proud to Award you with the 2012 WPRA CA Circuit Pioneer Award. We will present this award to you at the 2012 California Circuit Finals on Sunday October 21st after the last performance near the Cantina. We invite all members and friends to come and watch as Sue receives this honor!

Photos: (1) Sue riding her first great rodeo horse "Buddy". (2) Sue riding "Bedtime Dash" (3)Sue riding Haversack ("Sacky"); (4)Sue riding her current horse Brigapork "Crown)


WPRA Featured Member of the Month -
Reiney Hatch

Written by: Marguerite Happy
Photo by: Dan Hubbell

I saw a Facebook message from a gal by the name of Reiney Hatch last year.
She was looking for a Cecil Phillips Saddle to buy and wondered if anyone had one for sale. I had quite a few and thought, I could live without one of mine, so I contacted her and offered her one of mine.

We made a deal and I sent it with a friend to the WPRA California Circuit Co-Sanction/Permit Finals in Bakersfield for Reiney to try. Well... needless to say my saddle came home with my friend and I received a call from Reiney. She thanked me; however she didn't need my saddle. She had won one of her own when she took first place winning the WPRA Co-Sanction/Permit Finals riding her good horse "Sizzle"! Among a group of 24 very tough WPRA Finals contestants, she ran the fast time and won the race by 2/10's of a second! I thought, "Who is this young lady"? She then asked me if I was going to any winter rodeos and might I need a traveling partner- she would love to "buddy up." That is when I realized she was a serious contender!

Name: Reiney Hatch
Born: October 10, 1992
Residence: Ukiah, CA
Status: Single
Family: Mom: Judy Dad: Bruce
College: Mendocino College Business Management: Hoping to run the
family Ranch Vineyards, Interested in: Acupuncture and Massage. Member
of the WPRA since her Rookie Year of 2011.

Accomplishments: Winner of the 2011 WPRA California Co-Sanctioned/Permit Finals, won Tucson, AZ and Rio Rancho to name a few.

Q: What do you do for a living?
A: I substitute teach part time. I also sold a barrel horse that went to China last August. The proceeds from the sale have helped me out financially.

Q: How did you get started in Rodeo?
A: I started riding English when I was around four years old. I decided to try something different when I was around eight or nine and that is when I began my barrel racing and roping career. When I decided to enter my very first barrel race, I didn't have the best of luck. I fell off pretty hard. It hurt, but I didn't start crying until they figured out I had broken a bone and informed me I couldn't ride for the next six weeks! This really made me mad! I was hooked!

Horses Name: Sizzle to the Touch, "Sizzle"

How Old: Nine years old and a gelding

Q: Describe your horses running style:
A: My horse naturally runs by the barrels but comes back fast. I just need to let him work and do his job. I can't really take ahold of him; I need to stay out of his way.
He is not really ratey, but he does his job fairly well on his own and he knows he is a great horse! When I bought him as a four year old off of the track he was track broke just loping the barrel pattern.

Q: Does your horse have any unique quirks?
A: He really likes black licorice, then he will stand and lick the trailer for two hours
straight. I will stretch him with the licorice, because he loves it so much. I have to be careful, because sometimes he will nearly bite my fingers off reaching for the licorice!

Q: What is your regiment during rodeo season?
A: I long trot a lot. I will long trot up to 45 minutes in the vineyards at home and lope 10 to 15 minutes. I will stay off the barrel pattern for the most part and just work him on some drills and little circles. When I get to the rodeos he does not like to warm up around a lot of people, so I try to keep him by himself.

Q: Tell me about some of the equipment you use on "Sizzle"
A: I use a Sherry Cervi long shank twisted wire shank bit, rope nose tie down. I ride a Sherry Cervi / Dale Martin Crown C saddle and a Shiloh / Jerri Mann saddle. I use leg wraps by Professional Choice.

Q:What do you feed "Sizzle"?
A: I feed Morinda Care, Senior Grain, Grass and Alfalfa Hay.

Q: Do you have any superstitions?
A: Yes, I don't like having any money in my pocket when I run. I thought I had all the money out of my pocket at one rodeo and I hit a barrel. When I got back to the trailer and checked my pocket I had a $10.00 bill in my pocket. So, I make sure there is not a penny in any of my pockets!

Q: Do you have any hauling partners?
A: I travel and buddy with Brianna Trepanier who lives in Southern California. Brianna likes to drive!

Q: What is your favorite rodeo so far?
A: Salinas

Q: Why is Salinas your favorite rodeo?
A: Because it is a different pen. I like that it is on the track and that all of the events are going on at the same time. It also has great shopping!

Q: What would people be surprised to know about you?
A: I don't like clowns! But I don't mind rodeo clowns. In pre-school my dad came into my class dressed as a clown and it freaked me out. Ever since then I have not enjoyed clowns, except rodeo clowns.

Q: What is your goal this year?
A: My goal this year is to keep the barrels up and to do the best that I can!

Q: If you could meet anyone who would it be?
A: Lindsey Sears

Q: If you were to give some advice out to some of the younger Junior members, what would it be?
A: Follow your dreams and don't let other people hold you back!

Q: What do you enjoy outside of riding?
A: I enjoy traveling.

Reiney would like to take this opportunity to thank her mom Judy and her father Bruce for all of their support and help. She would also like to give thanks to Cathy Vallegra for her help and support. Cathy has been a mentor to Reiney and she appreciates all of the help she has received along the way.

Thank you, Reiney, for the interview and good luck to you and Sizzle!

I had the opportunity to interview a past GRA World Champion Cowgirl Sammy Thurman Brackenbury. I remember going to my first barrel racing clinic held by Sammy in Santa Cruz, CA and as a kid wondering why this woman was so interested in the breeding of every horse at her clinic? I have since figured that out! I have vivid memories of the clinic, even though I was quite young. I can hear her in my mind to this day; reminding me to "LOOK" for the next barrel and "SWITCH" (hands) at the perfect time. She also drilled in "HO" before the barrel, because you better be running to it with all your heart! Sammy and her daughter Patti Jane Thurman did a marvelous job teaching at those clinics and it was quite impressive even comparing to todays standard.

Polly Reagon Ugland shared with me recently that Sammy was ahead of her time in many ways. Sammy always dressed professionally and pshcologically was "in the game." As you read on, my interview will confirm how ahead of her time Sammy was. Sammy Fancher left home to rodeo and joined the Girl's Rodeo Association in 1959 in order to enter Phoenix Rodeo. She continued to rodeo throughout the northwest and won 23 out of 26 rodeos she entered. The three she didn't place at, she doesn't count placing or winning the first go, because of hit barrels she didn't place on the second go
round run or the average, as Sammy said "Shit happens!"

She qualified for the National Finals Rodeo beginning in 1959 twelve years consecutively. She choose not to go every time because the NFR was so far away and there was not enough money added. She won the World Championship in 1965! A few of the horses she was most proud of were Jeep, Anaconda Kid, Roney, Chas, Tuscon, Demon (one generation from Oklahoma Star, Red Man, Chakero Bill, Joe Moore), Sandy Saddle, Puss, Jack, Skeeter, Scooter, Breezy and her great mare Ugh! Sam states, "It takes a horse with a huge heart to be a winner at this level." She mounted her three daughters Patti Jane Yandell Parker, Jodi Branco, Syd Thurman, step daughter Heather Burton Gibson and friend Diane Hice on her good mare Ugh.
Sam started out roping calves for the Horse Shoe Club in Las Vegas and competed at
amateur rodeos, also entering the wild cow milking & team roping. When her father Sam Fancher entered the team roping at Santa Maria Rodeo his partner didn't make it. Sammy was entered in the Woman's Barrel Race so Sam called the RCA and changed his team roping partner to Sammy. Sam was so concerned about Sammy dallying because she had been tying on at home. He was a mess worried about his girl not being tyed on. Sammy had no trouble transitioning and the rest is history.

Bill Linderman gave her the OK to enter and rope at any RCA Rodeos she wanted. She was one of the first woman to rope at the famed California Rodeo Salinas and placed
2nd in a go round roping against the toughest ropers in the world. Sammy thought she may have been the second woman to rope there and that our own Charlene Jesperson was the first woman entered roping with her father Hoke Evetts.

Helping to re-write the Girls Rodeo Association Rule book known as the GRA, Sammy specifically worked on the timed events as well as the rough stock rules. Miss Rodeo America was held in Las Vegas and Sammy was able to work her charm to form a GRA California Chapter. There were a strong group of woman back then, including Ima Jean Judkins from CA and Wanda Bush from TX that stood strong and united. If it weren't for these trail blazers we wouldn't be running for the amount of money we are blessed to have today.

Florence and Dale Youree were hosting "schools" and that was as close as you could get to a clinic during the 1960's. A good friend of Sammy's, Nelda Carmichael suggested that Sammy host Barrel Racing Clinics, where she would teach students how to be better horsemen and competitors.

Monty Forman was a popular clinician holding three day clinics during this time. Sammy began hosting Barrel Racing Clinics/Schools patterning her schools off of Monty Foreman's. She was the first to hold Barrel Racing Clinics beginning around 1965
through 1975 averaging 1,000 students a year for ten years. Many of these clinics were
held at Jess Todd's and others were throughout the United States and Canada.
When Sammy began competing many barrel racers of that time used the same hand for
the whole pattern. Sammy taught all of her students to use the right hand for their right
hand turn, then explained they should switch their reins to their left hand before making
their left hand turn. She gives credit to her father Sam Fancher for many of her training
techniques. He taught her a calvary move that worked well for the barrel pattern and that was the lead and bear rein. Most competitors were neck reining their horse around the pattern, making for stiff horses. The lead and bear rein move brought that inside nose where it should be, making for smoother turns and faster times.

During this time Sammy designed a saddle explicitly for barrel racing. The saddles went nto mass production and went on sale at Sammy's clinics. They were light weight with an 14" seat, modified little wonder tree and conventional. Another feature Sammy offered was the Monty Foreman "Balanced Ride" feature in her barrel saddles, which Monty Foreman gave her the permission to use his features in her saddles, including the forward hung stirrups and spread out riggin. These saddles were hugely
successful.

Protective Boots were unheard of and barrel racers did not boot their horses up to prevent over reaching injuries. Because one of her great horses "Ugh" was so long in the pastern she would burn herself during runs. Sammy began inventing boots which led to run down boots, skid boot and bell boots that worked wonders for many barrel racers and their equine partner.

Sammy remembers hauling to rodeos in an el camino pulling a two horse Pruitt in her beginning years. She then upgraded to a pick-up and horse trailer, eventually buying a horse van and then a motor home with a pull trailer. They were all pull trailers, there were not many goose neck trailers back then. She would haul the horses and her husband Anson would fly from one rodeo to the next. However she would always beat Anson to the designated rodeo with the horses!

Sammy was involved in the motion picture business and in the late 1950's starred in "Horse of the West" also starring the horse "Bay Lady". It was a story about Henney Penney Peaks a full sister to the late, great "Poker Chip Peak". Dale Smith owned "Poker Chip" related to this great equine athlete.

Everyone remembers how drop dead gorgeous and charming Sammy was....and still is! This attracted the picture business to call her again in the late 1960's. She went on a screen test for "The Professional" however a relative of someone very important nailed that job! They liked her so much they called her back for another screen test for "In Cold Blood" written by Truman Capote, which was a feature film based on a true story. Sammy left the picture business to rodeo until she married a top Hollywood Stuntman/ 2nd Unit Director; Bill Burton. This led Sammy to numerous screen credits: "Comes A Horseman" doubling Jane Fonda, "Walking Tall" doubling Linda Evans, "Misery" doubling Kathy Bates, "Nine To Five" doubling Dolly Parton, and Hooper to name just a few.

Sammy is happily married to Jess Brackenbury from Idaho. Jess is a successful horse trainer and is most well known as a premier Bridle Horse Man. Jess works in the motion picture business, currently working on "The Lone Ranger," and is known as one of the premier cast horse wranglers! Jess is one of the few Riata Ropers left and quite handy with simply any rope you put in his hand.

Currently semi-retired, Sammy picks and chooses the movies she works on as a stuntwoman/actress, however don't be surprised to see her in recent films and television shows.

She has three daughters. Patti Jane Yandell Parker, Jodi Branco and Syd Thurman all successful all around cowgirls themselves., and 3 more stepchildren, Billy, Heather and David Burton. The apple didn't fall far from the tree. I couldn't tell you who enjoys who the most, Sammy or her grandchildren. She has six grandchildren; Sam, Stan, Jessi Lynn, Coda, Roy and Jimmi Sue, and 7 greatgrandchildren; Tadem, Cameron, Kate, Wyatt, Kyli, Brady and Mason. These kids all benefit from Sammy's wit and sense of humor.

Sammy has been nominated by The Rodeo Historical Society of the National Cowboy &
Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City as a 2012 Living Inductee. The general membership will soon vote on the inductees. I encourage each of you to buy a $35.00 membership to this worthy organization and Vote for Sammy Thurman Brackenbury.

Rodeo Hall of Fame inductees are selected by vote from the members of the Rodeo Historical Society. For membership information, call (405) 478-2250 or join online.

Announcing the 2012 Rodeo Hall of Fame Nominees
2012 Living Nominees
Hugh Chambliss-Saddle Bronc Riding, Team Roping
Pete Fredericks-Saddle Bronc Riding, Bareback Riding, Steer Wrestling
Brad Gjermundson-Saddle Bronc Riding, Steer Roping, Team Roping
Jim Houston-Bareback Riding, Steer Wrestling
John McBeth-Saddle Bronc Riding
Dennis Reiners-Saddle Bronc Riding, Bareback Riding, Bull Riding
Bob Robinson-Bull Riding, Saddle Bronc Riding
Sammy Thurman-Barrel Racing, Team Roping, Calf Roping
2012 Deceased Nominees
Ted Ashworth (1926-2009)-Team Roping, Calf Roping
Emma "Pee Wee" Burge (1919-2011)-Ladies' Saddle Bronc Riding, Trick and Fancy Riding
Bob Cullison (1927-2000)-Bareback Riding, Saddle Bronc Riding, Bull Riding
Bill McMacken (1913-1967)-Saddle Bronc Riding, Bareback Riding, Steer Wrestling, Calf Roping
2012 Directors' Choice Inductee
James "Russ" Madison Jr. (1879-1956)-Saddle Bronc Riding

Make plans to attend the induction ceremonies during Rodeo Weekend, September 21-22.

I asked Sammy a few questions when we spoke:
What is the biggest change in Pro Rodeo that you notice now days?
One of the changes I see is that horses don't seem to have bad days because of the
drugs and the modern technology. The biggest change is the money added, especially the profit you can make at the National Finals Rodeo. Another change from when I was going down the road is that it takes a lot of money to rodeo. When I first started running at the World Title I can remember paying 23 cents a gallon in Texas. The average hotel room was twelve dollars and I never paid to stall my
horse overnight. You could make a living if you had a good horse, because you didn't have much overhead. Now days the overhead has skyrocketed.

What was the hardest lesson you learned?
Keeping young horses sound. Now days there are many more products on the market
than when I competed.

What would people be surprised to know about you?
I thought my life was an open book. They know I've been married seven times. I was absolutely the closest of friends with all of my exes and still am a close friend with the one that's still kickin'; and it's perfectly alright with my current husband!

Whose your hero?
Wanda Bush
and Why?
Because Wanda is an outstanding all around hand. In my day and up to today Wanda is one of the best hands going down the road! There have been many others I have admired a few include:
Fe Ann Horton, Charmayne James, Wendy Potter, & Rachael Myllymaki Boyle

Sammy Fancher qualified for NFR 12 Consecutive Years
1959
1960 ended the year in 4th place
1961 ended the year in 2nd place
1962 ended the year in 10th place
1963 ended the year in 7th place
1964 ended the year in 4th place
1965 Won the World Championship
1966 ended the year in 6th place
1967 ended the year in 10th place
1968 ended the year in 7th place
1969 ended the year in 7th place
1970 ended the year in 3rd place

 


Name: Janel Flook
Born: Half Moon Bay, CA 3-3-78
Residence: Bitterwater, CA
Status: married
Family: husband, John, bronc rider, step-daughter, April
Member of the WPRA since: 2004
Accomplishments: 2005 California rookie of the year and circuit finalist

1. What do you do for a living? I own RODEOLOG.COM, a company that makes barrel racing and rough stock rodeo log books. I'm an equine massage therapist on the side and we also raise cattle.

2. What do you enjoy doing outside of riding? I have recently started a program raising straight bred angus breeding bulls, so keeping up to date on the blood lines has become a recent hobby.

3. How did you get started in rodeo? My granddad was a calf roper and I was the only grandkid interested in horses, so he helped me get started. I did high school rodeo when I wasn't showing cattle.

4. What is your horse's name? How old is he or she? I lost my good rodeo horse last year, so I have been seasoning 2 of my other horses, Jesse James Cash, aka Jess, an 8 yr old gelding and Tucker, a 14 yr old gelding.

5. How would you describe his/her style? Jess is a free runner to the first barrel and super ratey at the second and third barrels. Tucker is really ratey overall.

6. Does he/she have any quirks that make them unique? Jess thinks he is a dog. When my husband shoes him, he likes to take his hat off. Tucker is completely opposite, he only likes me.

7. What is your riding regiment during rodeo season? I use both of my horses to do ranch work, so they get a lot of miles everyday. I don't do pattern work on Tucker, but I do slow work with Jess once a week.

8. Do you have any superstitions or quirks when competing? I won't wear a solid yellow shirt (pattern is OK, just not solid :)

9. Do you have any hauling partners? Shannon Shade and my best friend Tona Wright.

10. What is your favorite rodeo to compete at? Salinas, CA. The ground is always really good, I like the different setting running on the track, and the hospitality is great.

11. What is something that people would be surprised to learn about you? That before I got my permit, I was a full time fire fighter.

12. What is your goal for this rodeo season? I have a filly I want to start hauling to WPRA futurities and I would like to season Jess and Tucker and see where that takes me.

Want to learn more about Janel, check out her website www.rodeolog.com

 
Name: Kaitlyn Wiggin
Born: Woodland, CA 4/12/91
Residence: Williams, CA
Status: In Relationship
Family: other, Lisa, father, Jim, brother, Taylor, boyfriend, Matthew
Member of the WPRA since:
2010

1. What do you do for a living? I work for a veterinarian, ride horses and am taking veterinary technician classes.

2. What do you enjoy doing outside of riding? I love shopping. We have 16 horses, so they take up most of my time.

3. How did you get started in rodeo? My family has always been in horses and cattle. I was raised on a cattle ranch and at the age of 10, I decided to become a barrel racer. I competed in junior, high school and amateur rodeo growing up.

4. What is your horse's name? How old is he or she? Chip It Dee Bar, aka Cuervo, a 10 year old gelding, Especial Dark Angel, aka Gracie, a 6 year old mare, Aristos Snip A Dually, aka Beamer, a 5 year old mare and many colts.

5. How would you describe his/her style? Cuervo is a push style horse. He loves his job. Gracie is a free runner and I kind of have to rate her. Beamer is a push style horse.

6. Does he/she have any quirks that make them unique? Cuervo kicks at anything that moves, so he has to stay by himself. Gracie thinks warming up is a game, she likes to crow hop and squeal. Beamer will bounce you to death. She acts like she is the biggest horse on the ranch, even though she is the smallest.

7. What is your riding regiment during rodeo season? I usually ride 5 - 7 horses a day. I do a lot of long trotting and slow work with my colts and may make a run thru the pattern once a week.

8. Do you have any superstitions or quirks when competing? I slap my legs before I go in. My trainer started doing that when I was young and I have done it ever since.

9. Do you have any hauling partners? Allie Hamner

10. What is your favorite rodeo to compete at? Red Bluff, CA. It is close to home and really fun because I know a lot of people there.

11. What is something that people would be surprised to learn about you? My mom made me compete, kicking and screaming, at my first rodeo. I won a buckle that day and have been going ever since.

12. What is your goal for this rodeo season? To win one of the bigger rodeos, go more and get my horses more consistent.

 
Name: Allie Hamner
Born: Williams, CA 7/12/88
Residence: Williams, CA
Status: In Relationship
Family: mom, Barbara, dad, Jim, sister, Kelly
Member of the WPRA since:
2007
(Photo by Gene Hyder)

1. What do you do for a living? My family has a small ranch where we always have a few horses in training, so when I’m home I work for my dad riding or helping out wherever he needs me.

2. What do you enjoy doing outside of riding? I like to go to the movies, spend time with my friends and go shopping.

3. How did you get started in rodeo? Having been raised around horses and cattle I’ve ridden since I was a baby. I started in rodeo when I was little, competing in Junior Rodeo and eventually California Cowboys Professional Rodeo Association.

4. What is your horse’s name? How old is he or she? We raised 2 horses that I compete on. My mare is, Nic a Shay, aka Shay, and my gelding, Badger Nic, aka Flash. They are both 9 years old and by a stallion named Brooksinic Badger.

5. How would you describe his/her style? They are both push style horses and both very ratey.

6. Does he/she have any quirks that make them unique? Flash has a big personality. He gets into everything. His nickname is Dennis, short for Dennis the Menace. He even does a few tricks! Shay is a little more “business” than Flash, but she’s very personable.

7. What is your riding regiment during rodeo season? I try to ride everyday and give my horses the day off after a weekend of competing.

8. Do you have any superstitions or quirks when competing? I don’t wear yellow and I don’t put my hat on the bed.

9. Do you have any hauling partners? When I started going my mom went with me, then I traveled with my friend, Linsay Rosser. Lately, I’ve hauled with Kaci Shaffer, or Kaitlyn Wiggin.

10. What is your favorite rodeo to compete at? There are a few that I really like, but Salinas, CA is my favorite. It has a very cool atmosphere, lots of history, and it’s fun that they run the Barrel Race on the track. The committee works real hard to keep the ground good for us too, and I appreciate that.

11. What is something that people would be surprised to learn about you? That’s a tough one, but I guess it would be that sometimes I like to run my horses with split reins.

12. What is your goal for this rodeo season? I would like to attend as many California rodeos as I can, and qualify for the circuit finals

 
Name: Becca Fullenwider
Born: Springfield, OR 7/28/74
Residence: Escalon, CA
Status: Married
Family: husband, John, son, Hazen, 5 yrs. old and son, Setten, 4yrs. old
Member of the WPRA since:
2003
Accomplishments: Filling my WPRA permit was a big personal accomplishment and learning to travel with family. I have also won several saddles, placed at rodeos such as Oakdale CA, Hayward CA, and Truckee CA.

1. What do you do for a living? I'm a stay at home mom and I run the office side of our excavation business.

2. What do you enjoy doing outside of riding? Camping, wake boarding, riding quads and motorcycles. For the most part, when we are not rodeoing, we are at the lake.

3. How did you get started in rodeo? I started riding at 4 yrs. old. I was on a jumping team and at 9 yrs. old, started showing horses. I wanted something faster though, so in high school I purchased a 4 year old mare with a cutting horse start, trained her for barrels and poles and started competing in high school rodeo. I moved on to college rodeo and added goat tying. After Marlene McRae found my current horse for me, I bought my WPRA permit.

4. What is your horse's name? How old is he or she? Own Your Luck, aka Sporty. He is a 17 yr. old gelding.

5. How would you describe his/her style? He is very ratey, an extremely push style horse.

6. Does he/she have any quirks that make them unique? We sometimes call him Snorty Sporty, because he is not much fun on the ground. He is very spooky. He has developed a cataract in his right eye and as a result, can only see 10 percent on that side, so that makes him even more jumpy.

7. What is your riding regiment during rodeo season? I usually ride 4 days a week. I give 1 or 2 days off depending on how hard our weekend was. I ride 4 miles a day.

8. Do you have any superstitions or quirks when competing? Not really. Luck is just that, some days you got it and others well…. I just try to do my best, and have fun.

9. Do you have any hauling partners? My family, my husband is my wheel man :) A few times I have hauled with RayAnne Currin. She has toddlers also, so its fun to go together.

10. What is your favorite rodeo to compete at? Salinas, CA. My horse loves it there and I like getting to stay for a whole week. My oldest son entered the mutton busting this past year and made it back to the short round. It's really a family affair along with the rodeo.

11. What is something that people would be surprised to learn about you? I sold my dually for a station wagon. Really it's not bad it is an x-type Jaguar station wagon. Also, I was Douglas High School Rodeo Queen.

12. What is your goal for this rodeo season? Just to go to some rodeos. My oldest son is starting T-ball, so my schedule is going to be really full. My husband and my kids come first, so I'll be skipping rodeos for them. I also plan to get a second horse and get him going.

 
Name: Trisha Wirth
Born: Heppner, OR 3-6-67
Residence: Auburn, CA
Status: Married
Family: husband, Damon, sons, Michael, 17 years old, and Spencer 14 years old, and daughter, Savannah, 13 years old
Member of the WPRA since:
1990
Accomplishments: 1985 National High School Breakaway Roping Champion, 1986 Rocky Mountain Region College Breakaway Roping Champion, Oregon High School Champion All Around Cowgirl.

1. What do you do for a living? I'm self employed.

2. What do you enjoy doing outside of riding? I'm a glorified taxi driver :) I'm very involved with my kids and their sports and activities.

3. How did you get started in rodeo? I grew up on big ranch and have rodeoed all of my life. I started at 6 years old in Junior Rodeo, then went on to High School and College rodeo.

4. What is your horse's name? How old is he or she? I have two main horses, Orion Dream Boy, aka Dreamin, is a 14 year old gelding and Fantastic Doc Tari, aka Freedom is a 10 year old gelding.

5. How would you describe his/her style? Dreamin excels in big patterns. He loves Pendleton. Freedom, has a shorter quicker style, so he does well in smaller pens.

6. Does he/she have any quirks that make them unique? Dreamin can do tricks, like how to bow. He thinks he runs the ranch. Freedom is very easy to get along with and wants to please.

7. What is your riding regiment during rodeo season? I ride every day the weather is nice. I also have a futurity colt going so I have alot of riding to do.

8. Do you have any superstitions or quirks when competing? I never set my hat on the bed or wear yellow.

9. Do you have any hauling partners? When I go to amateur rodeos, my son and daughter go too. My son rides saddle broncs and my daughter barrel races too.

10. What is your favorite rodeo to compete at? Pendleton, OR. Its the most unique rodeo in world, especially for barrels, plus my horse likes it there.

11. What is something that people would be surprised to learn about you? I'm addicted to Diet Coke. I tell my husband if that is my only bad habit than he is lucky, but he adds rodeo to the list too :)

12. What is your goal for this rodeo season? My kids are my priority right now, so rodeoing is going to be tough with their schedules. I'm going to go as much as I can.

 
Name: Julie Martindale
Born: Pomona, CA 1/8/69
Residence: Winchester, CA
Status: Married
Family: husband, Allen, daughter, Tarah, 19 yrs. old, son, Bailey, 13 yrs. old
Member of the WPRA since:
1989
Accomplishments: California Circuit Finals qualifier, first California Girl to make it back to the Old Fort days Derby finals, hold arena record at Santa Barbara.

1. What do you do for a living? I break and train barrel horses and give riding lessons.

2. What do you enjoy doing outside of riding? Spending time with my family and friends. My son plays Football and my daughter is quite the Artist. I love going to the beach, but I don't have much free time.

3. Name something that most people don't know about you? I used to run games. In fact, I've held the Speed Ball record since 1983.

4. How did you get started in rodeo? My mom was a GRA member. I had a pony before I was born. I started out doing lead-line and equitation, then eventually moved on to barrel racing. I have run barrels for years and worked for some wonderful people. I felt like I had a excellent mare, so I started entering rodeos again a few years ago.

5. What has been your greatest accomplishment? Besides my wonderful family, qualifying for the California Circuit Finals., being the first California girl to make it to the Old Fort Day derby finals, holding the Santa Barbara arena record and getting sponsored by Professional Choice.

6. Do you have any superstitions or quirks when competing? I don't really. I won't wear yellow in the arena. I just try to stay positive. There is enough that can go wrong without setting yourself up for it.

7. What is your favorite rodeo to compete at? Salinas, CA. Its like a 3 ring circus. There is always something going on. I also like Ramona, CA, since I have done well there.

8. Do you have any hauling partners? Who? Melanie Miller and her dog Frankie. He's our little mascot.

9. What is your favorite rodeo memory? I used to ride for Lee and Vera Birch. I remember one weekend I rode 2 different horses at 2 different rodeos and won them both.

10. What is your horse's name? How old is he or she? Captain Fly Girl, aka Nickie. She is a 10 year old mare that I got from David Burch. I started training her when she was two.

11. How would you describe his/her style? She is a hard running mare. I have always said barrel racing is just a controlled run away.

12. Does he/she have any quirks that make them a unique partner? She doesn't like her ears touched. She acts like she is 10 going on 2. I always say it's a good thing I love her, because I'm not sure anyone else would :)

13. What is your riding regiment during rodeo season? I ride six days a week.. I mix things up with trail rides and drills.

14. What is your goal for this rodeo season? To make the Circuit Finals and end up in the top 5. I also hope to help my clients get to their goals

 
Name: Lynn Green
Born: Vallejo, CA, 2-2-68
Residence: Lincoln, CA
Status: Married
Family: husband, Rick, son, Brandon age 11, son, Colby age 9 and step-daughter, Danielle, age 22
Member of the WPRA since: 2008

Accomplishments: Member of NIRA Champion Women's Rodeo Team at Cal Poly, NIRA West Coast champion goat tyer, and California Permit Circuit Finals qualifier in 2008 and 2009.
1. What do you do for a living? Medical device sales representative.

2. What do you enjoy doing outside of riding? I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. My sons play sports, so we attend a lot of baseball and football games. My son Brandon started junior rodeos this summer, so I've been roping with him.

3. Name something that most people don't know about you? They don't know I'm a professional career woman. They always see me in boots and jeans, but I go to work everyday in a suit and heels. Also, most people don't know that I was California High School Rodeo Queen.

4. How did you get started in rodeo? I started riding when I was 5. My parents bought my sister and I a pony named Jughead. He was the meanest pony in the world! I went on to compete in junior rodeo, high school rodeo and college rodeo at Cal Poly, SLO. At that time I only roped and tied goats. I just started barrel racing in 2002 ,when I purchased my first barrel horse prospect.

5. What has been your greatest accomplishment? Along with being a member of the NIRA Champion Women's Rodeo Team from Cal Poly SLO, I'm proud to have filled my WPRA permit with the little time I am able to dedicate to riding. When my kids are less dependent, I am looking forward to taking it to the next level.

6. Do you have any superstitions or quirks when competing? I don't typically believe in that kind of thing, but as kid I was always told not to put your hat on the bed, and today I still hold to it. I won't let my family do it either.

7. What is your favorite rodeo to compete at? Auburn, CA. It's my hometown rodeo. I love the welcoming attitude of the committee and rodeo is run really well.

8. Do you have any hauling partners? Who? I go by myself right now because I usually have my boys in tow. I buddy with Kim Correa a lot, because Hanna (my mare) has stagefright at times. Gina Graham and Stacy Freitas were super helpful when I was just getting started in the WPRA.

9. What is your favorite rodeo memory? Folsom, CA this summer. I was one of the first girls out and had trouble getting into the arena. Near the alleyway, there was a capped PVC pipe. We ran into it and cracked it. Water started shooting out like fountain. Everyone was trying to turn off, but they couldn't. I had to make my horse go through the fountain to get to the arena, and even worse, everyone after me had to make their horse through the fountain too. I was one of those moments you know you will never forget :)

10. What is your horse's name? How old is he or she? Peppy's Dry Hanna, aka "Hanna". She is a 13 year old mare that I trained with a lot of help from Susan Van Rein. She is an amazing horsewoman. I also have a younger horse, Star but she is not ready for rodeo runs yet.

11. How would you describe his/her style? She is a 15 hand, cow bred horse and has the most natural talent of any horse I have ever ridden. She is super ratey and has huge heart! I have never ridden a horse that tries as hard as she does. She has pushed me to become a better rider.

12. Does he/she have any quirks that make them a unique partner? Yes, she is very spooky , so I have to be on guard. She hates blue tarps, despite working with her on them. She really hates dragging hoses and ropes. I couldn't even warm up by ropers when we started going to rodeos.

13. What is your riding regiment during rodeo season? I ride 3 - 4 times a week, usually Thursday through Sunday. I would love to ride everyday, but there is not enough time with work and kids. I am a die-hard though, I ride whether it is cold, hot, early or late!

14. What is your goal for this rodeo season? To finish filling my WPRA permit. I accomplished that goal at the first WPRA race I went to this year. I then bought my card and went to Red Bluff, CA and Reno, NV. I didn't place, but my horse worked awesome and I was happy to be able to enter those caliber rodeos and have respectable runs.

Marilyn Peterson

Marilyn has been a member of the WPRA since 1971. She is a Gold Card holder.

Background/Accomplishments: She has been a very involved member of the WPRA for nearly 40 years! She has held multiple board positions and assisted on special projects as well. She was nominated for WPRA Outstanding Individual of the Year for 2009, qualified for her circuit finals on nearly every rodeo horse she has ridden, and she made a run for the NFR in 2002 and learned a lot in that process. She is proud of her daughter Wendy, who is now 27 and competing on her WPRA permit.

1. What is your greatest accomplishment?
The first time I made the Circuit Finals in 1976. Making the Circuit Finals was my goal since I joined the WPRA (then GRA) in 1971.

2. Do you have any goals for this rodeo season?
I would like to bring my young horse along to the rodeo level by the end of the season making the transition from the jackpot world into the rodeo side of competition.

3. What do you enjoy doing outside of your horses?
I have successfully managed a career of recruiting for the Health Care Industry as well as the Computer Industry for many years.

4. Do you have someone special that you admire?
In the early days, Kay Davis and Roxy McIntosh taught me a lot. Later in my career, Charmayne James gave me tremendous insight and knowledge in how to ride Truck, who was a highly talented yet difficult horse to ride. I have worked closely with Jerri Mann as well.

5. Name something that most people don't know about you?
I was heavily involved in African related business for about 10 years. I owned the Wood & Stone African Art Gallery in Los Angeles, and was a partner in M&M African Safaris, with offices in Los Angeles and in Kenya.

6. Do you have any superstitions or quirks when competing?
Not really, I prefer to warm-up by myself to keep my focus.

7. How do you travel to/from rodeos?
I travel with my daughter or WPRA travel partners.

8. What is your horse's name?
My current horse is On The Money Rene or Dixie cup. Hijo is the great horse I competed on for over 10 years. I retired him a year ago.

9. How old is she?
Dixi Cup is a 7 year old mare.

10. What makes her special?
She is very honest and tries very hard at doing her job well.

11. How would you describe her style?
She is solid and consistent.

12. Does she have any quirks that make her a unique partner?
Unlike many of my horses this mare really does not have any!

13. What do you do to give your horse the 'edge' on the competition?
I am used to competing on older finished horses, and have owned multiple well-known winning horses, so now I am learning how to change my strategy to help this younger horse learn and grow!



Charleen Ornellas
Background/Accomplishments:
She has barrel raced her entire life, she has won 15 saddles in various disciplines, won reserve champion at a Futurity. Approximately 2 weeks ago her good mare passed away. This interview was quite difficult for her due to this loss!! We extend our sympathies to her!


1. What is your greatest accomplishment?
Filling my permit on my mare was a thrill.

2. Do you have any goals for this rodeo season?
I would like to season my up and coming Futurity horses.

3. What do you do outside of your horses when you are not competing?
I am employed at the Pleasant Valley State Prison as an inmate supervisor; I also raise and train 10 Futurity horses currently.

4. Do you have someone special that you admire?
Tona Wright and Pam Ross

5. Name something that most people don’t know about you?
I work daily with over 1100 inmates at a level 4 institution. The levels consist of 1-4; level 4 is the highest and includes inmates headed to death row!

6. Do you have any superstitions or quirks when competing?
I will not cash a check I have won until I win the next check! I also place 2 quarters in every room of my house on January 1st which I believe brings good health, wealth and prosperity.

7. How do you travel to/from rodeos?
I travel with my husband or other WPRA card holders.

8. What was your horse’s name?
Mika

9. How old was she?
She was coming 7 when she passed.

10. What made her special?
She had a huge heart and loved her job! She especially loved a crowd and loved to perform. She became a different horse when she was performing which I realized immediately the first time I took her to a rodeo where she had her best run up to that point. Fellow barrel racers nicknamed her Rock Star!

11. How would you describe her style?
She was snappy on the back side of the barrel; she would NEVER run by a barrel, she had a very straight up and down style which allowed her to handle any ground condition.

12. Did she have any quirks that make them a unique partner?
She was extremely affectionate; she loved attention and especially enjoyed her hind end scratched.

13. What did you do to give your horse the ‘edge’ on the competition?
I would try to pick rodeos that other girls avoided because of ground conditions because I knew my mare would handle any ground conditions with ease. She especially enjoyed the long run into the first barrel.
**Note: Charleen believes like most of us that when one door closes, one will open and she had the opportunity to acquire a horse off of the race track recently that she feels confident has been provided as her open door! Her name is Rock Star in honor of Mika!

 




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