Q&A with Wrangler NFR Barrel Racer, Ivy Conrado

NFR Barrel Racer Ivy ConradoPhoto by Dan Hubbell

Tell us about the horse you’ll be riding at the Wrangler NFR?
My main mount with be KN Fabs Gift of Fame, aka JLo. She is by Frenchmans Fabulous and out of Misty’s Dash Of Fame. She is a sweet mare, pretty high energy. She needs exercised a lot! She is a pretty stiff and square mare so we try to keep her backed off pretty good. JLo is the most honest horse I’ve ever ridden. I truly love being her person!
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Fueled by Family & Faith – Q&A with NFR Barrel, Racer Kylie Weast

2018 NFR Barrel Racer Kylie Weast

Tell us about the horses you’ll be riding at the 2018 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo?
Hell on the Red is a six year old sorrel mare by JL Dash ta Heaven and out of Designer Ruby x Designer Red. “Reddy” is four wheel drive as far as turning style. She stays pretty level throughout her turns. She isn’t a pet, nor does she like to be loved on. She’s tough. Period. In all she does, she’s tough. “It’s not always perfect, but she tries perfectly.”
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Priorities and a Winning Perspective with NFR Barrel Racing Qualifier, Jessica Routier

2018 NFR Barrel Racer Jessica Routier

Tell us about the horse you’ll be riding at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo?
Fiery Miss West is a seven year old mare. She’s by Firewater Frenchman and out of Frenchmans Bodashus (Royal Quick Dash). “Missy” is a little palomino mare with a huge heart and a lot of try. She really uses her hind end in her turns but also keeps a lot of forward momentum going.
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Top 15 Barrel Horse Pedigrees Headed to the 2018 NFR

Top 15 Barrel Horse Pedigrees Headed to the 2018 NFR

The stage has been set and soon rodeo’s leading ladies and their elite equine athletes will make their way to the bright lights of Las Vegas.

This post highlights the lineage of the incredible horse power that ran steady in 2018 for barrel racing veterans and made dreams come true for first-time NFR barrel racing qualifiers.

May this collection of pedigrees prepare you to study the world’s best barrel horses in action and inspire you to bring out the best in your horses and consider your next champion!
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Rodeo’s Leading Ladies – Meet the 2017 Top 15 NFR Barrel Racers

2017 NFR Barrel Racers

The top 15 WPRA barrel racing qualifiers are finalizing their last preparations before heading to Las Vegas, and will soon be blasting down the alley at the Thomas & Mack.

In anticipation of the upcoming barrel racing action, I’m excited to share their reflections on the 2017 season, and some insights into what we can look forward to seeing in this year’s race to the gold buckle.

So before the gates crack open on December 7th, let’s dive in and get to know these these amazing women and their horses (including pedigrees) who will entertain, educate and inspire us – at the 2017 NFR and beyond! Read more

Perfect Circles and Better Body Language with NFR Barrel Racer, Michele McLeod

Perfect Circles and Better Body Language with NFR Barrel Racer, Michele McLeod

As a four-time NFR barrel racing qualifier, Michele McLeod has plenty of valuable knowledge and experience to pass on to others. Thankfully for barrel racers, she’s been doing just that lately and I was grateful for the opportunity to catch up with her and multiple-time AQHA World Champion Calf Roper and Super Horse trainer, C.R. Bradley at a clinic they put on in Denton, Texas. Read more

Correct & Collect for Better Barrel Racing with NFR Qualifiers Sarah Rose McDonald and Taylor Jacob

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In 2016, when I wasn’t able to attend the NFR due to our 15 year old dog, Tess’s failing health, a trusted source mentioned after being at the NFR barrel racing practice sessions, that they were especially impressed with Taylor Jacob’s horsemanship.

After seeing footage of the top 15 working the pattern myself, I also really appreciated the late, great “Bling” as a mover, and knew that natural talent aside, her quality biomechanics had to be in large part being carefully instilled and maintained by her trainer and jockey, Sarah Rose McDonald.

When I received word that these two barrel racing superstars were pairing together for a clinic in nearby Carmine, Texas, it only made sense that I’d jump at the opportunity to gather and share some of their barrel racing wisdom! Read more

Making it BIG in Vegas – with NFR Barrel Racing Rookie, Cayla Melby Small

2016 NFR Barrel Racer Cayla Melby Small
Cayla and Gator pictured after their win in Innisfail, Alberta.

Cayla Melby Small may be an NFR Rookie, and the 2016 WPRA Rookie of the year, but she’s no newbie to barrel racing. As the daughter of 2-time NFR Qualifier Jane Melby, Cayla has been in the saddle competing with the goal to make the NFR at age 18 since she was just a toddler.

Rodeo is a family affair for Team Melby, and the family just got bigger when Cayla married Zac Small this October, who is also a 2016 NFR first timer on the heading side in the team roping (check out hashtag #TwoSmallsGoingBiginVegas). The insights Cayla shared below about her horses, her season, favorite products and more give us a fun sneak peek into the life and times of a “rookie” professional on rodeo road!
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