Q&A with Wrangler NFR Barrel Racer, Ivy Conrado

NFR Barrel Racer Ivy Conrado
Photo 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!

Do you think the Thomas & Mack environment will complement their running & turning style, or do you anticipate making any specific adjustments?
JLo did good last year so we will just hope for the same! Excited to be there again nonetheless.

Do you have any specific goals or intentions for this year’s National Finals Rodeo?
No I don’t, just one run at a time.

Do you have a preferred bloodline, running style, body type, or personality you prefer and look for in your barrel horses?
I like horses that like to do their job!

What has been your biggest challenge or learning opportunity during the rodeo season?
It’s been a big change to go from three NFR-caliber horses to just one. So trusting JLo was the big lesson for this year.

What motivates & inspires you to keep going and stay positive through all the ups and downs of rodeo life?
This is my job! I’m not going to quit so I better just figure it out.

Ivy ConradoWhat products and therapies do you depend on most to keep your horses healthy, happy, sound and competitive?
Adequan, B12, and Vitamin C are really important things I have in my trailer to keep JLo feeling good. Respond System Laser on her neck. Mandy Hagler is my go-to for chiro/massage therapy; JLo adores her. Marty Tanner is my Vet. Rambo ionic blankets, Zesterra, and I use the Theraplate religiously on JLo.

What piece of tack or equipment is one you can’t live without?
Billie Jack (Saebens) has a special bit we use to tune JLo. We aren’t sure who made it.

From a training perspective, what aspect of a horse’s development do you think is most critical to their success as a pro-level athlete?
I think a horses ability to adjust to different set ups & different atmospheres is important. No one rodeo is the same as the next.

What do you think is the key to making the transition from a part-time amateur barrel racer to a full-time professional?
I think horse power is the main thing, and committing to it.

If you could give one tip to a barrel racer with a goal to qualify for the National Finals Rodeo, what would it be?
Learn from the best. The ones that have been there done that & the ones whose horses stay sound.

Can you share one of the most memorable and/or funny moments or experiences from this year or one that really stands out?
Every time I would say “Well, JLo is just a placer,” she would go win a round, or “JLo isn’t the type for setting arena records,” she would go set an arena record. Pretty much JLo says be quiet and watch me. Also been fun to watch Billie Jack ride her and help me take her to the next level.

If there was one theme, or one message that your barrel racing journey stands for or represents that is a positive message to others, what would it be?
You don’t have to be from money to accomplish your dreams. Hard work does pay off. Sure there’s definitely girls with a WAY bigger check book than me, but at the end of the day… out work them. Never feel sorry for yourself.

If you could change anything about professional rodeo, that you feel would help ensure it can grow and be enjoyed for years to come, what would it be?
That the membership would be more open to change.

What individuals or aspects of your support team have been absolutely crucial to your success, (that you also recommend others with NFR goals have in place as well, if possible)?
Have someone to turn to and be able to bounce ideas off of without judgement.

Please share your sponsors or any special people you’d like to give recognition to:
Kenny Nichols & Dale Barron
HorseWare Ireland
12 Gauge Ranch
Renew Gold
Horse Hydrator
Platinum Performance
CSI Saddle Pads

Click here to learn more about becoming a member of the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association.

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2 replies
  1. Brandy
    Brandy says:

    I love these! I’ve stood in the autograph lines in vegas prepared with a list of questions to ask the barrel racers but never get this kind of information. This behind the scenes chat is so inspirational! Thanks for sharing!


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