Shelley Morgan

Every Buckle Has A Story

By Shelley Morgan


Winning the 2022 NFR average buckle was by far one of the top highlights of my career. When I qualified for the 2021 NFR, I told my husband, Rex, if there has ever been a horse I feel like I can make 10 clean runs on, it was Kiss!

Shelley Morgan

WPRA photo by Kenneth Springer

Well, an early barrel down in Rd. 3 that year kind of extinguished that fire so before we left for the 2022 NFR, I looked at him and said, “I AM GOING TO MAKE 10 clean runs this year!” Then to make it a reality was definitely a huge goal worth reaching. 

Shelley Morgan

WPRA photo by Kenneth Springer

I’ve always been taught, ‘call it like you want it’ so I work hard at trying to do that. A strong mindset is a huge asset in the sport of rodeo. I left Texas with a goal and one run at a time, I tried to do my part as a jockey – picture my clean run and then trust Kiss (HR Fameskissandtell) to go in and help make it happen. I think so much confidence in my horse helps me with my positive mindset and makes it so much easier to work to accomplish goals such as this. She has provided so many opportunities and made so many goals a reality since she has come into my life.

I am so glad she was able to put the 2022 NFR average title under her list of accomplishments. I want her to be recognized for the awesome equine athlete that she is. 

A lot might think that running in the Thomas and Mack might be nerve racking but with Kiss in my corner, I can honestly say it is literally just a lot of fun! It’s a “I can’t wait to run” atmosphere. When I had made my 8th clean run that December, it started setting in that the average was becoming a big possibility, but I really wasn’t nervous. I was just excited to get to make the next run.

When I made my 9th clean run then it started setting in “let’s do this,” I don’t want to wait 24 hours to finish this. So, I guess I was a little anxious to get that last run under my belt, but I tried to remember the verse in Philippians 4 that says don’t be anxious but, in every situation, by prayer present your request to God. That gave me a calmness and I knew that whatever God had in store over the next 24 hours was going to be perfect! Gods plan is always perfect!

Whatever was meant to be was going to be! I just prayed that I could be the best jockey I could be that night and Kiss could be the best athlete she could be and let the cards fall as they may the rest was out of my hands and God already knew the outcome. I am so thankful that 10th run was clean and WOW what an unforgettable experience and a buckle I will cherish forever.  

WPRA Members

We want to hear about your most memorable buckle and the horse behind it all. Submit your story for a chance to be featured in the WPRA’s monthly publications as well as WPRA.com and social media channels. If your most memorable buckle is made by Montana Silversmiths, you’ll also receive a Custom Talking Feather necklace from Montana Silversmiths, engraved with your horse’s name on it to wear close to your heart.  

Please submit the following for your chance to be featured:

•   Your story – limit of 500 words

•   Photo of your Montana Silversmiths buckle

•   Action photo of you and your horse

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2022 Resistol Rookie of the Year Buckle

By Josie Conner

WPRA photo by Weasel Loader – Dan Levosky

To tell you the truth I never thought I would have the opportunity to win a Resistol Rookie of the Year buckle… ever.

Until 2021, the only available women’s rookie of the year buckle was for a barrel racer.

Josie Conner

WPRA photo by Jackie Jensen

I love to rope; but rewind 10 years back as a kid I wanted to run barrels.

My dad quit buying me barrel horses when I turned 9 or 10 years old because he didn’t want me to want to become a WPRA barrel racer and live on the road.

My mom and I now think it’s funny how things worked out because he now drives me crisscrossing the United States on those same roads as a WPRA Breakaway Roper.

My journey to get this buckle was not an easy one; but I enjoyed it!

It took grit, determination, sweat, tears, broken bones & sacrifices.

It took my team of horses…both Tonka & Dutch and it took my entire family!

I love the people I have met, the different places I have been & the time I got to spend with my friends & family along the way!

This buckle represents one of the many doors that have opened for the breakaway ropers.

This buckle represents never quit working even in the face of adversity and be ready when the opportunity presents itself.

This buckle represents to never lose faith in your Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ because he always has your back.

I am both proud and thankful for everything it took to get this buckle and everything this buckle represents.

WPRA Members

We want to hear about your most memorable buckle and the horse behind it all. Submit your story for a chance to be featured in the WPRA’s monthly publications as well as WPRA.com and social media channels. If your most memorable buckle is made by Montana Silversmiths, you’ll also receive a Custom Talking Feather necklace from Montana Silversmiths, engraved with your horse’s name on it to wear close to your heart.  

Please submit the following for your chance to be featured:

•   Your story – limit of 500 words

•   Photo of your Montana Silversmiths buckle

•   Action photo of you and your horse

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Dream Becomes Reality

By Jimmie Smith

Photo by Kenneth Springer

8/15/2022—A dream is just a dream, and a goal is just a dream until you make it a reality.

In 2018, my goal was to win the WPRA Resistol Rookie of the Year.

Jimmie Smith

Photo by Kent Soule

In 2018, my goal was to win the WPRA Resistol Rookie of the Year.

Without knowledge of the rodeo road, I made it hard on myself and at the end of July I maybe had $10,000 won. Most people would laugh at you if you still told them “I want to win Rookie” with that amount won in July.

Jimmie Smith

Photo by Kenneth Springer

Once in the northwest, Lena On The Rocks found her winning streak and she was absolutely unstoppable. I knew if I did my job, she was going to win a check and even though we didn’t win first every time, we placed everywhere.  I placed 3rd at Ellensburg securing our spot for the Tour Finale in Puyallup, Washington, which at the time I had absolutely no idea what a big deal that rodeo was, I was just there to have fun!

I will never forget the day of the shootout round, after the team roping I looked over at Tess, my hauling partner and best friend, and said “oh my gosh they’re giving buckles.” No longer than an hour later, I won one of those legendary Puyallup buckles and clinched the Rookie of the Year title.

Looking back, I wish we could be as naive as we were back then, we were just there to ride our horse and have fun! I didn’t let that buckle out of my sight for the whole drive back to Texas.

As much as I love my Puyallup buckle, that’s not the one that tells the story.  My 2018 Resistol Rookie of the Year buckle is what tells my story.  Every time I put it on, I am reminded of what hard work and dedication can accomplish.  My not giving up that summer is why I get to wear my rookie buckle.

To this day I wear it, because it is still a reminder, “Let us not become weary in doing good for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” Galatians 6:9.

I wish my great mare Lena could wear the buckle with me, because truly her heart is what got us through the summer, I had no back-up horse it was just me and Lena having fun!


 

The Only Buckle I Wear

Jimmie Munroe

Photo by Kenneth Springer

5/11/2022—The buckle I cherish the most is the one that I received for winning the 1975 GRA/WPRA World Championship in barrel racing. I owe it all to the amazing equine partner that I rode to accomplish it, Robin Flit Bar (Billy).

When I graduated from high school I was simply running barrels on one of my roping horses but was looking for something I could start on barrels and run at college rodeos. We went to look at this 5-year-old gelding and while I was riding him, my mother walked around and looked at the other horses.  When she came back, she insisted my Dad and I come and look at this 3 year old in one of the pens. We agreed he was nice looking, but I definitely didn’t need a young horse with only a few rides. On the way home all my mother could talk about was that three year old. She convinced my dad to ask what the seller wanted for both horses and we made a deal. 

I won the National Intercollegiate Barrel Racing Championship on Billy in 1974 and qualified for my first NFR that same year. In 1975, we won the National Intercollegiate Barrel Racing championship again along with the GRA/WPRA World Championship Barrel Racing title. He qualified six times for the NFR, and when I lost him in the summer of 1980, we were sitting number two in the world and had just had the best Fourth of July run I had ever had on him. I will always remember the way he ran that Fourth of July.  

Until I qualified for the NFR in 1974 and won the World in 1975, I had no plans to rodeo professionally. That horse and those two years propelled me into a 15-year career with 11 NFR qualifications. Billy literally changed the course of my life. I probably would have never married my husband of 41 years and I would have never served 20 years on the WPRA Board or had the opportunity to give barrel racing clinics all over the world. When I look at that buckle which is the only one I wear, I think of Billy and what he did for me.

Montana Silversmiths

431 South Cascade
Colorado Springs, CO 80903

(719) 447-4627
(719) 447-4631 (fax)

431 South Cascade
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
DIRECTIONS

(719) 447-4627   |   (719) 447-4631 (fax)

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