2018 Earnings: $110,232 Career Earnings: $503,618
Cuatro Fame "Cuatro or Truck" (11-year old gelding) - Sire: Dash Ta Fame/Dam: Princess Streaks; Slick by Design “Slick” (11-year old black stallion) – Sire: Designer Red/Dam: Dreams of Blue
1. Excluding qualifying for the Wrangler NFR, what are your top 2 highlights of the 2018 season.
I would have to say winning Ponoka was a pretty exhilarating win and then winning Colorado Springs because family was there and it was a big win. Also these two were both tournament style so making 2 runs in one day, I was super proud of Truck.
2. Which rodeo is still on your "bucket list" to win?
Calgary! That's a fun one and a big one lol or I'd have to say NFR average because it would be so rewarding to have 10 consecutive runs in a challenging set up like Vegas.
3. At what point during the season did you know you had a lock on the Wrangler NFR?
After winning 2nd at Cheyenne, our 'safe' number was to get to $85k and I think that's right where I ended up after that rodeo.
4. What are you most looking forward to doing/experiencing in Las Vegas?
I hope to get to run the same horse all 10 go rounds! Looking forward to seeing that crowd again the first night in grand entry, that's a pretty cool feeling.
5. Have you ever been to LasVegas other than the NFR? What shows, or events are your most favorite things to do?
We went to the WCRA this year. Other than that I'd like to only go to Vegas in December
6. What has been your proudest moment this past season?
Not sure on the 'proud' word, but I will say I was most grateful and excited to win Caldwell again, back to back on a different horse. We love that rodeo also because two of our best friend live there and it's a home away from home.
7. How would you describe your horse's running and turning style...do you think the Thomas & Mack environment will compliment it?
Slick is sure a different style than Truck. He will be fun to run there, he obviously loved it in the past with Michele McLeod, will be hard to compare to that team and it's a comforting feeling knowing he's been there and likes it. Was a huge blessing he has been with Truck being out. We hope to make Truck proud!
8. What are you most thankful for?
Getting the opportunity to ride such a nice horse like Slick. Truck unexpectedly came up on the injured list and I am so grateful to have Slick. Also am incredibly thankful for my entire support team. I couldn't do any of this without all of you! Including all the horse owners, our sponsors, friends and family... so many people help and encourage us, we thank you!
9. List your sponsors:
Rock And Roll Denim, Panhandle, HayRite, K&N Equine Solutions, Shiloh Saddlery, MVP, Cody Cearley Bits And Spurs, Team PHT, Nutrena, 5 Star Equine Products, Flair Strip, Equipulmin, FlexiNeb, Outlaw Equine, PrepareToWinTV, Mouton Sand And Gravel, Dunn Ranch, Cowtown USA inc, Merhow Trailers
10. Who or what keeps you most grounded and humble?
My faith and my relationship with God. And my friends and family for sure, they are there for me always and believe in me, yet remind me where I came from and why I do this.
11. Who pushes you most to achieve an NFR qualification?
It's not really a who but what, I know we have been put right where we are at for a greater purpose. It provides a greater platform to reach more people. Not only to achieve qualifying for the NFR but to live this life 24/7 like we do. And obviously every year to make it, feels like a dream come true all over again.
12. What kind of support team do you have, i.e.
a) Driver or someone who figures out the logistics of getting to all the rodeos, i.e. layovers
My husband, Ty Hillman, he is so dedicated and I couldn't do this without him.
b) Someone who gets them entered in the rodeos, keeps track of standings
Ann Thompson!!! She is a huge part of this team and I'd be lost without her help. She truly cares for her team.
c) Vet and Farrier while on the road
Josh Harvey at Outlaw Equine!! And Chris Ray when we are on the road.
Jake Whitman is my main shoer and his brother Rodie, while on the road. I am so thankful for each of these people who help keep my horses happy and healthy.
d) Personal trainer
Me and Ty push each other to stay fit and healthy. I cannot go without doing hot yoga, it keeps my mind cleared and I feel so much better when I'm consistently doing it.
e) Sports psychologist
Ty lol, he helps with my mental game. He had really helped and changed my thinking the past couple years.
g) Financial Backers
Well... Ty too! Lol
He really helps keep all this together. He allows me to focus more on my job.
13. What is your go to snack food on the road?
Nuts and fruit! And cheerios lol
14. Which former NFR or World Champion Barrel Racer would you seek rodeo advice from and why?
Sherry Cervi, she has been the most consistent year after year regardless of what horse she's on.
15. Do you travel with any animals other than your horses and if yes, tell us about them.
'Lexi' is our rodeo mascot, she's our red Australian Shepard and she's been going with me since she was just a few months old. She makes us laugh all the time. She's a joy to travel with...
16. Have you ever sung karaoke? What is your favorite song to sing?
Yes lol long long time ago with my sister. We sang Dixie chicks, and Stevie nicks. Good times
17. What is your favorite app on your phone?
Def couldn't rodeo without my maps app lol but yelp and audible are close seconds
18. Which do you enjoy watching more, television or movies? What types: drama, sports, comedy, romance? Which specific ones are your favorite?
We don't watch much TV but we will watch friends TV show or a movie once in awhile, I like a lot of different stuff, just depends on my mood.
19. Have you endured any “life changing” moments?
A lot! I feel like every year a person grows so much and learns so much, how can it not be 'life changing' in some way. Lots of good and lots of bad, but it makes us who we are.
20. Rodeo life is chance full of obstacles and challenges. What was your greatest challenge this year and how did you overcome it?
Truck not being sound when we were ready to leave for Reno, and two weeks later with him being sound, leaving and trusting. My faith grew incredibly.
21. What life lesson did you learn from your challenges this year?
To never limit what God can do and to have a greater faith in the process no matter what it may look like at the present moment.
22. If you could live in any other area of the US other than where you now reside where would it be?
Bozeman MT, I just love the area.
23 What sport other than rodeo would you shine in?
I'm not sure.. but probably something fast and on the water
24.What is a daily "must do/have" to keep your life organized or stress free?
Reading my devotion and bible and having some quiet time for myself, even if it's 5 min.
25. What is you #1 "must have" for keeping your trailer organized and stocked as needed? Would it be in the horse area or living quarters area?
It's not super organized looking, but I do know where everything is at lol I'm not sure, I love having shelves and places to put things in my back tack. So I guess my back tack is it, I love it
26. What's a misconception about barrel racing?
That it's just a 'get on and go fast' sport. It's a total team effort and a lot more involved than people think.