Meet the Best of the Best in Ohio: Ashley Hopkinson

Ashley and Zan

Ashley Hopkinson and Zan are one of the few rodeo teams in this race. They’ve made their mark in the amateur associations as well as in the big barrel races, and we’re excited to see what they can do in The Best of the Best in Ohio Charity Barrel Race! Also, we want to send a major thanks out to some of our sponsors: Chick’s Saddlery, The Classy Cowgirl Couture Tack Store, and G4 Ranch! These are not our only sponsors, just a few we’re mentioning today. We’d love it if you’d send them a BIG thank you for their help with this awesome cause! 

Tell us about the horse you’ll be running in The Best of the Best in Ohio Barrel Race. (Name, bloodlines, style, age, owner, any other fun details.)

My horse Zan (Up To Par Joe), is a 12-year-old Quarter Horse out of Mr. Zan Pressto and Show Nifty Reed. I have had him since he was a 3-year-old. Zan was broke out by Rick Cox as a 2-year-old. He definitely has a mare’s personality and picks up on his rider’s mood. His running style is a push style, fast making up his time coming out of the barrels. This year I started to rodeo on Zan, and we have qualified for the Mid States Finals Rodeo in the top 5 as well as currently leading for Rookie of the Year.

What is the biggest race this horse has won?

My biggest win with this horse would be either my run at an NBHA show at WB Ranch this year running a 16.2, or else my run at the IPRA and Mid States Rodeo in Bluffton, Indiana last weekend winning 2nd (my toughest rodeo to place at this year).

What is your biggest win as a barrel racer?

These wins would also be my biggest wins as a barrel racer.

Have you ever run at the WB Ranch before? (If so, what did you think of the facility and the ground, and how did your horses work there?)

I have ran at WB Ranch before (too many times to count). The ground is good. My horse works decent there and has been very consistent this past year. Although, I am not a fan of big pens because of his running style!

Tell us one little-known fact about you or your horse.

One little-known fact about my horse is that he is awesome at pole bending and loves to team pen.

This race is all about charity – What’s the biggest cause you believe in and why?

The biggest cause that I believe in would have to be any type of animal protection or adoption agency. I used to foster dogs for a local agency to get the dogs adopted out to good homes.

Meet the Best of the Best in Ohio

Over the next two weeks, we’ll be introducing you to the Best of the Best in Ohio Charity Barrel Race competitors. They’ll tell us about the horses they’ll be running as well as their own background as a competitor. There are some in this race you might know, and others you’ll be meeting on The Barrel Racing Blog for the very first time!

Stay tuned for the start of this series next week! We’ll be posting two interviews each day so you can meet everyone before the slot race on September 30.

Front of shirt

And now you can really be a part of the race – buy a t-shirt from Dawn Shirey for $15, with all $15 going to United Cerebral Palsy in honor of Miss Marley Rickly, who you met Tuesday on The Barrel Racing Blog! Check out these photos of the shirt, and then email Dawn and Clea at to order your shirt. Remember, all money goes to UCP.

T-shirt Bonus: If you’re seen at a show with one of these shirts on, you could win a $50 gas card courtesy of On the Road with Dawn and Clea!


Back of shirt

Guess Again! The Last of the Invitees to The Best of the Best in Ohio Barrel Race

Well it is 6:30, and you guessed it we have a few more. So the remaining story on how we then numbered the invites that come back is…

We would pull them out of the mail box and number them from top to bottom as the mail lady put them in the mail box. Simple enough…

Thursday no issues – numbered and logged.

Friday no – numbered and logged.

Saturday well… let’s just say we went to Kelly Pitt’s wedding, got all liquored up, and if you have not already seen some pics by the wonderful Drew DeGregorio, you will see we had a great time. When we got home, we decided to get the mail, knowing there were more invited to be numbered and logged – ISSUE!!

As we were fishing them from the mail box, they hit the ground in a heap all over Jeffrey Road. So, there was no way to know whose invites were first and whose was not so ALL that come on Saturday get it! We are running 22 teams and not 15. We will be paying at least one more place and all these details will be listed in the next two weeks on The Barrel Racing Blog!

So here are the last of the teams!

Natalie Davidson and Jeter
Abi Ringer and Eudie
Barbara Jimison and CC
Taylor Schnitkey and Unforgetable Copy
Justin Theado and Andy
Jenna Shirey and Fashion
Mikayla Conklin and Junior


On the Road with Dawn and Clea from Circle G’s MVP Show

Dawn and Clea are so fabulous, if you didn’t already know that! They are sponsoring gas cards to The Barrel Racing Blog’s loyal readers and commentors! Recently they handed out a $25 gas card to Brooke Micelli for her frequent reading and contributions to the blog! So read to the end of the post each time, and answer the question the ladies ask, and tell us what you think of the review! It PAYS to love The Barrel Racing Blog and On the Road with Dawn and Clea!
MVP Show June 17 – 19 at Circle G Arena, Lewisburg, Ohio

(Editor’s note: I’m learning that Dawn and Clea [and many who have the misfortune (hehe) of associating with these two] are never on time for their runs. Always to early or too late… how long have we been doing this ladies??? Enjoy their epic tales today on their adventures in trying to get to the ring on time.)

Hello Ms. Chels! How are you today? We thought we would mix it up a little in the beginning of the blog!

It’s Friday the 17th and we are getting ready for the MVP show at Circle G in Lewisburg, Ohio. We had to head into the store for a few groceries and we are SURE they are in the fridge this time and not in the back of the black truck. We of course are wanting to leave at 2 but as usual we get out of here at 3. That is about par for our course.

Dogs are ready to roll they are by the truck and ready to get trucking to the show. Stuckaroo loves going to the horse shows. We get the horses loaded and they dogs in and we are out the drive. (This is what the drive looked like when we got home. [see photo] Not the same as when we left.)

We stop at the local Town and Country for some fuel in the truck and the generator. Clea whips in there like she owns the joint, all heads turn and as I walk in the store to get the pumps turned on this little ol’ lady says, “Honey you girls are not driving that are you?” I laugh and put my hand on her shoulder “Yep just us two girls, we just drive it like we know what we are doing and it has worked so far.” She laughs and says, “Well more power to you two.” The lady behind the counter chuckles about it and the lil ‘ lady heads out the door with lettuce seeds still smiling.

We hit I-71 in gear 13 and don’t look back. We both agree we must be getting better at this trucking thing as Betty did not get one middle finger this trip. How ’bout that!

We roll into Circle G knowing we want to park out back so we can tie horses. The place looks like we are at the wrong arena as there are not a lot of trailers there but as usual it fills up and the show turns out well for the MVP group. We are lucky enough to get pulled in and parked by The Penland’s, Nancy Adkins, Kelly B and Danielle, Matt B, Jackie Dotson and then the original Hound Dog Ross Sovich pulls in – There goes the neighborhood. The Davidson’s are there and ready to roll for Friday Night with their steed. Macie takes the Warm up by storm on her Gypsy Rose pony and Nat pulls a check on Spook in the 3D. Way to go girls!

Friday night was a quiet night about 60 in the jackpot class and everyone turned in early. I rode Homer – our 4 year old – for the first time. NOT PRETTY – He is diffidently Clea’s ride – Clea had a nice run on Channing who she had not ran for a while and the others hung at the trailer. It was a humid hot evening – one of those evenings you could stand still and sweat like “Arnold S in the maids quarters.” We both were done early and decided to shower and hang back at the trailer. I was seriously thinking I was not that stinky right up til I shut the bathroom door and was by myself in the a closed in area. All that time I was pointing the finger at Clea! WHOAAAA I am so thankful for that shower! Sorry for anyone who was close to me over the weekend. LOL

Jackie and Nancy came back to the trailer about 10 yes 10 of course I was about half a sleep when they sat down and when I looked at the clock next it was 11:56 almost midnight. Good Lord Midnight! Jackie was making fun of me for dozing off. Hey I was tired Jackie!!

Saturday morning brought a little rain but some cooler weather as well. Amanda Dilbone Griffo was doing hair and adding feathers to some participants of the show. Her and her husband had great runs. Her horse Wilma looks like she is coming back strong. We gathered our draw numbers for the first class and ready our steeds.

Poles were first and we had Joker Smoker with us to run poles. That little horse loves her job. We were watching the class from the warm up pen when this gal, we never saw before, comes in and is laying down a winning pole run and someone yells “timer” she is in the middle of her last weave pulls her horse up to a trot. Then her dad and everyone else yells, “KEEP GOING!” She finishes the weave and runs home with a 22.510. It would have been a 19-second run or better without a doubt. She comes in on her second horse and runs a 20.155 and wins the class, and her 22.510 wins 1st in the 2D. Her name is Morgan Jones she is from Kentucky, and if you see her at a show you can bet she will be tough competition.

Meg and Macie, two tough (and adorable) pee-wee competitors

Pee Wees are next, then Warm up. We are at the trailer chatting with Jackie D and I start thinking that we signed up last night – I wonder what the draws will be? hummmmmm. I excuse myself from the conversation and start to get Chili ready (as I only have one to ride today, I am anti-HOMER the rest of the weekend.) I get my horse ready and Clea is still talking to Jackie. I say, “You might want to get ready as I am not sure of our draws.”  She says, “I will go check.”  About 8 mins later she comes running back “Shirey Shirey” as she is leaning against the tree, I see her  wondering, “Would anyone see me if I just drank some water out of that bucket as I am sure to kill over any second without water!”…She then says, “Shirey you are Draw 2 they are ready to start!” Holy Krykeee I cinch up my saddle get Chili’s bridle on and start up. Clea says, “I will run up so if they call your name I can tell them you are coming!”  I say “Great!” as I head up to the arena – Now you would have thought I would have learned that those damn pee wee classes get me everytime and to get my horse warmed up.  I go charging up there and lope around the outside pen a minute. I don’t see Clea anywhere and the tractor is done the barrels are set, so I go to the warm up arena and get Chil Bug warmed up. Then Clea comes around the corner – still out of breathe from running back up to the arena – and says Holy Hell they just started Pee Wee NOT Warm up.  A big sigh from both of us then a laugh and another sigh.  I go back outside to await my run and Clea takes a seat.

She takes a seat long enough to see Crystal Haskins come in on her Bully Bullion mare and lay down the winning run 15.656.  This pair have been off due to injury and is now back on fire. She keeps her horses happy and healthy with massage and lots of love. Her husband Josh is right by her side helping and supporting her. The Haskins put out some nice horses. Clea and I said to Becky Johnson, Crystal’s mom, “What a sweet run, that was flawless!”  She says with pride, ” I taught her everything she knows.”  Then she looks around to see if Crystal heard that – we all get a chuckle.


We chill after we run the warm up and visit with Roger “Mouse” Gibson and everyone else at the arena. Brad and Jenna Shirey are always a hoot to sit by. Michigan Larry was there chatting, we are still looking for his draw number (teehehehe). Mouse is trying to raise 200 dollars for some extra activities at the horse show. IF you see him in the future see if he still needs a little extra cash (see photo for reference on who to look for) Raymond Reynolds was back in the saddle with a nice buckskin horse that he looked real good on, always nice to see him riding.

The Davidsons entertained us with Ross stories (Credit Card Swipe) and “Hey Freak what are you looking at?” as quoted by Nat when her and Ross were in the bank drive thru and some man was checking Nat out. Way to defend your sister Ross!

Madeline Shirey fell off her pony riding bareback – she got no sympathy from Daddy – but she did learn to NOT GALLOP at the horse shows when on bareback. Hannah learned the hard way DO NOT TAKE ALLEGRA. She gave us a scare with an allergic reaction to the medicine and had to be taken to the hospital. We talked to Brad later that night and they were in the hood in Dayton waiting for Hannah to get out of the ER. They all survived!

The youth was a tough race. When you hear names like Macie Davidson, Mason Penland, Hannah Shirey, Trevor Pruitt, Haley Patterson, Morgan Jones and Clint VanVolkenburgh you know it is going to be a race to the finish. If you are not a youth and you are running the open that follows the youth then you know these little punks can win the open too! Just kidding kids – you are not punks – Macie on Tuff was winning it and you think she has it in the bag with a 15.776 then you hear the announcer say and in the hole is Trevor Pruitt. Now where the heck did he come from…..everyone who was outside the arena and heard his name stopped in their tracks to hear the time in the distance. Anyone in the arena went to the rail to watch this kid and his black horse – Walts Rock and Roll – do their thing! ..and do their thing they did. He rocked it to a winning time of a 15.412 to win the class!

The open brought 180 entries and some tough runs. It took a 15.9 to even be in the 1D. Atop the leader board was again Trevor Pruitt, Kelly Bowswer, Cheyenne Patrick and Natalie Davidison. But none of them could reach the top the way the Barb Jimision and Miss Secrets Memories did with a 15.451! This pair is amazing if you have never had the opportunity to see a horse give 110% of itself to its rider when you are at a show and you hear Barbara Jimison on deck – take a minute and watch these two in motion, you wont be disappointed. They won Sunday’s open as well.

Saturday night brought the Donation Dinner for the benefit for Linda Ward. Linda was diagnosed with Bladder Cancer and the MVP staff along with Linda’s daughter –Darcy – and some great friends took this opportunity to try to raise a little money for a good cause. They had some good food, cold drinks, and live entertainment. Jaime Jackson’s daughter sang a little Taylor Swift for us. (See this on my Facebook) Jesse Meeks sang a little with Cory (the entertainment) and we all sang a little here and there. Clea and I relived the Gina Experience from The Oasis Bar in Illinois and explained the situation to those who missed that blog – you should go back and read it, I crack up about Brittney too. Lori Davidison was kind enough to let us try some jalapenos she had and like jackasses we popped them right in our mouths………..Holy Jalapeno talk about HOT!!

Jesse and Kelly Meek’s jack russell, Boady, was sure he could kill anything and if not breed it. We are all at the cookout and Lori D comes up with her 3 big dogs – 2 pits and 1 heeler – and Boady comes over and tries to pick a fight with the heeler. Jesse looks over and says, “Pitbull OMG Pittbulls” We start laughing. Lori D says, “OMG Pitbulls look out – IT ISN’T the pitbulls it your jack russell!” Chaos ensues and we are all cracking up. Clea says “Holy Hell there is Mike Vick – get your dogs!” Grandy Rose and Gator (the pitbulls) could care less. They just want some food. Jesse give them some hotdogs and everytime we see or talk to Jesse or just want to terrorize her we say “Pitbulls OMG Pittbulls” People these are 2 of the nicest dogs ever.

There was a friendly game of beer pong that then turned into a water fight. Not pretty but then again I needed another shower so I really was ok with it. Damn it was hot that evening! So we are all ready to get to the trailer as the water battle stopped, and we were ready for a shower and bed. We walk back to the trailer and we both see some shadows behind us. (We know that Clea got the last water fight in on Jesse so we are sure this is not over.) Macie D comes up on her bike and says, “I heard them talking about the Pete and you two.” So we high tail it to the truck, water the horses and give hay. Clea says “Batten down the hatches!” We are like little scared teenagers going to get caught with something. We are trying to get in the trailer and the doors shut so no more water comes our way. We are in and everything is shut. Thank you Macie Davidison! sshhhhhhhhsssssshhweeeeeeeeeeeeeuuuuuuueeeeee That was close. We shower – thank goodness again for a shower – and to sleep we go.

The next morning brings this. (see photo) So we are cracking up and Beth and Mason Penland come over and help us unwrap our morning package. I said to Clea “When they ask just pretend like we never saw a thing.” Sure enough Kelly Meeks comes over and says, “Hey we are out of toilet paper.” Clea said, “Well there is some in the trailer if ya need it” He and his partner in crime (MVP Boy) said, “No the truck – someone TP’d it.” We look at eachother like huhhhhhhh, We say, “Sorry not our truck!” They stroll back to the arena, Clea and I get a good laugh. We stroll up to the arena and Nat D says, “How’d ya like that pic on facebook!?” We all laugh. It was really funny, I don’t care who you are.

We are getting ready to roll home when WHAMMO we hear this sound around the back of the trailer. It was HOMER – he decided to get hung up on and break the escape door. We would like to thank Kent Penland for helping us fix the trailer door. That duct take works wonders. You can see this on Beth Penlands facebook it was priceless! Thank you Thank you Kent You are the best!

We wanted to give a shout out to Beth and Mason Penland. For those of you who don’t know Beth she is perhaps one of the funniest people you could know. Her sense of humor and warm heart is always top in our books. You will usually see her with a smile on her face and in some cases making hand gestures that are as funny as can be.  Both Kent and Beth have raised beautiful children. Their son Mason is one of the most respectful young men in the barrel racing community. Mason is a dedicated, loving boy who I have had the pleasure to see grow into a young man.  Clea and I are two of Mason’s biggest cheerleaders. Mason is doing very well with his young horses and we believe he will be one for the record books in the years to come. We are proud to call the Penlands’ our friends.

Eye Catcher of the show is…….

MACIE DAVIDSON on TUFF and GYPSY ROSE. Macie rides like a champ for such a youngster. She is well supported by her Mom, Lori, and Sister, Natalie, as well as her other 7 brother and sisters. Davidsons took a chance on buying Tuff for Macie and it has turned out to be a great purchase. If you ever have a chance to see this little blonde hair cutie run around the cans you should stop and watch. If you are not sure who is running you will see her sister and her mother in the shoot screaming their ever loving heads off and yelling Ride Macie Ride! Macie won the Open Race Friday night, the 2nd Youth on Saturday on Gypsy Rose, and won the Youth on Sunday on Tuff! This ain’t no 4H show she was running at – this was top shelf, TUFF (no pun intended) Competition.

What not to do…….

You should never never let your horse rub on another one with all the head gear and saddles on. There was an incident in the holding up pen and a horse was rubbing on another one and the bridle got hung up the horses spooked the bridle broke and the gal was so shook up she could not even make her run. Think about that next time you are letting your horse rub on another or even the railing of the arena!

Word for the week…………

“Pitbull OMG Pittbulls” Although it was funny with all the Chaos the Pitbulls usually get the bad wrap because of bad owners. Here is some information about the bred.

The Review

Competition was really really tough! Anyone who got in or came close should be proud!

The show moved along quickly and was well organized. Thank you to the MVP show people for putting on another show that always is a good one.

The food – ummmm it is Circle G food! Then there was the cookout which the food was grilled and appreciated. Thank you for all the hard work MVP crew

Circle G is always a great place to show. Dennis will always have the ground safe for horse and rider. Thank you all who are there for us barrel racers.

We sucked – we hope we ride like we know how at the state finals – enough said!


To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone.

What are your thoughts on the question below? Please comment on the blog below. Your input will win you prizes in the future! We are watching who comments on our blog!

Do you prefer music when you run your race? If so, what is your fav song to run to?

We are off to Circle G – always a great place to show – NBHA State Finals Over 300 runs are already posted.
For your draws at States here is the link

We will be doing a random draw for a gas card for one or maybe two lucky blog readers. Make sure and post your comments to qualify! Look for “thebarrelracingblog” T Shirts in the future!

Until then “ Get your pet Spayed or Neutered”
Clea & Dawn

Favorite Things, 2.0: JR WENGER CUSTOM TACK

I don’t know about you, but I definitely didn’t get enough of giving away my favorite things last week! I had 7 days worth of giveaways planned, and because I know so many of you were at Circle G, Buckhorn or Waynesburg this weekend, I decided our best bet would be to wait until today and tomorrow to do the last two giveaways. So today, you’ll meet my friend Joey Wenger, known to barrel racers as the sponsor of the JR Wenger Congress Barrel Racing Sweepstakes, and known by my Western pleasure friends as one of the elite saddle makers in the industry. 

But JR Wenger Custom Tack is much more than just top-of-the-line custom pleasure saddles. The company also produces high-end barrel racing and roping saddles, and once you see them, you’ll have a hard time getting these gorgeous pieces of leatherwork out of your head! Joey knows how to a great saddle should fit, too, as his years of experience in both the pleasure and rodeo industries have taught him precision in saddle fitting.

On a business trip to the Congress last year, I picked up a work headstall and reins from JR Wenger’s Custom Tack. I just needed another headstall to throw bits on and off quickly, and I was sick of my boyfriend always hogging my split reins on his young horse. Since then, I’ve put those reins and headstall to the test on horses young and old. I’ve left them out in the elements (my bad :/) and ridden with them all winter long. The reins have been some of the best to break in I’ve ever had.

Approaching Joey to be a part of my Favorite Things week was a no-brainer after my great experiences with his work tack. So, today you’ll get to meet this young businessman and you’ll get the chance to win a work headstall and reins from his harness-leather work tack collection.

When did you get started in the tack business?

My family has been in the tack business my entire life, but I started my manufacturing company in 1998.

Who taught you how to do leather work?

I learned bits and pieces from many different people, but basically I went to the school of hard knocks!! 

When and why did you begin sponsoring the Congress Barrel Racing Sweepstakes?

We started the Wenger Sweepstakes about 5 years ago I believe. Our main focus is our show saddles and training saddles, but the barrel racing and roping are real passions of mine. The Congress gave us the chance to be the sponsor and we took it.

You’re making a name for yourself in the Western show saddle industry, but you grew up with rodeo. How does your working knowledge of rodeo affect the quality of the tack you produce?

Well I actually started in the pleasure industry first. Not many people know it but I was first a Congress champion in the pleasure long before I won it in the roping. However I did jump to the rodeoing after I got out of the youth. What I learned is that the fits of the saddles on the rodeo horses must be very precise. The pleasure industry is kind of far behind the ropers and barrel racers when it comes to the importance of saddle fitting. Most of what we do to make our saddles fit all comes from what I learned from some of the best saddle makers in the world like Billy Don Hogg and Bruce Chaney.

What makes your tack reliable?

We use all great materials of course but what I think makes it reliable is all the small important things that come from the knowledge of using the products ourselves. Most owners of the companies don’t have the know-how to make the tack themselves and most of the builders don’t ever ride or get to use the products. The fact that I can do it all helps me to constantly work on evolving our products. 

What’s your favorite tack item to make?

I can’t say that I have a favorite item to make. I really enjoy working on saddles mostly. Headstalls and reins are very repetitive.

When someone approaches you about building them a saddle, what do you do to make sure that saddle is perfect for the horse and the rider?

The main thing I try to do is to communicate very well with them first to find out what they are needing out of the saddle. I can tell a lot just by having a normal conversation with the customer. From there we can utilize pictures and if we need to we can make molds of the horses backs to make sure we have the fit just rite.

Of all of the saddles you’ve made, which stands out as your favorite?

I can’t say that I have a favorite saddle because there is always something about every saddle that sets it apart from the rest and there is always something about each saddle that I wish I could change or do better.

You’ve worked all over the country selling tack. What is unique about the horse industry in Pennsylvania?

Most of our tack gets sent out to all the other states. The horse industry in PA is changing greatly. Most of our western disciplines are going away but the english events are holding on steady.  

What are your goals for your company’s growth?

My future goals for the business would be to just continue to try to build the rodeo and the show end of what we do. At some point I would like to sell out our show end of the business and just continue to focus on the rodeo side of things. For the last couple of years we have been extremely focused on the show side and I am now trying to work harder on the rodeo side of things again. It is extremely hard to work at these two completely different markets, but I am not aware of any other custom saddle shop that makes top end custom show, roping or barrel racing saddles. Not only do I want to be diversified but I want to build the some of best saddles for each discipline.

Now, what you’ve all been waiting for! You can win a headstall and reins from JR Wenger by answering this question below in the comments section beneath this post. You might have to look back in earlier editions of The Barrel Racing Blog to find the answer. Remember, subscribers who answer the question correctly are entered twice to win! You’ll have until midnight EST tonight to comment, and we’ll announce the winner here at 10 a.m. Tuesday morning! We’ll use to draw the winner.

Question: What time did Teddy Terrific run to win the 2009 Congress Senior Horse Pole Bending? (Check out the video, get chills up your spine, then answer below!)


Now to Add Some Bling: ROCK & ROLL COWGIRL

Congrats to Kasey MacInnes on winning the $50 gift certificate for Gypsy Tails! This drawing was done using

You’ve seen them on some of the best dressed girls you know. You’ve watched on TV as the pros rocked the arena in this awesome denim. And now, you’ll get to know the people behind this unstoppable high-fashion Western brand – Rock & Roll Cowgirl

The company saw an opening – cowgirls love to look great, so often, they were moving away from the Western market to do their shopping. Girls were running barrels in jeans from the mall, rather from the Western stores. That’s where Rock & Roll Cowgirl stepped in, delivering high-quality, great-fitting denim with all the bling that barrel racers need. Rock & Roll Cowgirl brought cutting edge fashion back to the barrel racing world, adding a Western twist to great, comfortable jeans.

Recently I met Rock & Roll Cowgirl’s fabulous marketing and special events coordinator, Shanda Morgan. Panhandle Slim did their brand true justice by hiring a woman that lives the Western lifestyle, day in and day out. Way more than just a businesswoman or a marketing executive, Shanda has spent her life as a top notch barrel racer from the heart of rodeo and ranching country in Texas. She knows what makes a great pair of jeans to run barrels in all day and to rock out in all night. I knew instantly I wanted to introduce you all to her, and she’s here on The Barrel Racing Blog today to tell you about herself and tell you lots more about Rock & Roll Cowgirl! (And of course, read the whole way to the end to find out how to win an amazing pair of Rock & Roll Cowgirl jeans!)

You’re new to Rock & Roll Cowgirl, tell us about why you decided to join Panhandle Slim and your background in the Western world.

Having grown up as part of the 5th generation on a ranch my great-great grandfather homesteaded in 1882, I was taught that there is no replacement for hard work and dedication.  I see these same values in the Westmoor Mfg Co and I am excited about being a part of such a staple in the western fashion industry.   I am a graduate of the University of Wyoming, former Miss Rodeo ND and Miss Rodeo America 3rd Runner-up, as well as having grown up as an avid rodeo competitor and still compete and train barrel horses today.

What will your responsibilities be in this position?

I am the Marketing and Special Events Coordinator.  From finding and taking care of endorsees to setting up at events and putting together a marketing plan, I am involved in every aspect!

How are you balancing this role at Panhandle Slim with your own horse life?

It’s tough finding time to give my horses the attention they deserve to go down the road and compete. I am away from home quite a bit, but when I am at home I’m entering barrel races and rodeos and spending as much time horseback as I can. My husband is a PRCA calf roper and steer wrestler and I have 2 boys, Jayden – 7 and Kyler – 5 who rodeo as well.  Needless to say, our family does not sit still!!! 

When did Panhandle Slim decide to launch Rock & Roll Cowgirl?


What was the inspiration for the brand?

We started seeing more western lifestyle people wearing non-western clothing because there wasn’t a brand that they could relate to in the stores.

What is it about this brand that fits the rodeo/barrel racer lifestyle?

Cowgirls love fashion and bling and they also like to be comfortable while looking good!  We take care of both of these concerns!

We know Rock & Roll Cowgirl is stylish, but what have you heard from barrel racers about the comfort level of these jeans?

Most are surprised that such a high fashion jean is as comfortable, wearable and durable as it is.  They are more comfortable than the brand they’re used to and look good as well!

What events does Rock & Roll Cowgirl sponsor that would be of interest to the everyday barrel racer?

Barrel Futurities of America, WPRA World Finals, Jr Southern Rodeo Association, SD Timed Event Challenge, as well as numerous smaller barrel races and roping across the country, Tough Enough to Wear Pink night at the Ft. Worth Stock Show and Rodeo, we have also started a Panhandle Slim Rock and Roll HS Rodeo Team for kids across the nation.

What professional barrel racers do you sponsor?

Britany Fleck, Jordon Peterson Briggs, Scamper Hill Cole

What are the plans for this brand’s future?

We want the product to be more accessible and available so more western lifestyle people have the opportunity to get into the brand.  There are also more categories we are going to develop into.  The brand has just scratched the surface at this point!!

Now, what you’ve all been waiting for! You can win a pair of Rock & Roll Cowgirl jeans by answering this question below in the comments section beneath this post. You might have to look back in earlier editions of The Barrel Racing Blog to find the answer. Remember, subscribers who answer the question correctly are entered twice to win! You’ll have until midnight EST tonight to comment, and we’ll announce the winner here at 10 a.m. Saturday morning! We’ll use to draw the winner. Don’t fear if you don’t win today: We’ll have MORE Favorite Things next week!

Question: What time did Regan Henning run at the 2010 All American Quarter Horse Congress to win the JR Wenger Barrel Racing Sweepstakes? Ladies, this is easy, because the video is right here:

BIG Announcement! Listen Up Folks!

It’s been super busy around here lately, and you’ve all been coming out to the blog in record numbers to see local barrel racing news and interviews with some superstar talent.

To say thank you, I’m doing something I’ve never done before here…

Drum roll please…

Next week will be “Chelsea’s Favorite Things Week” here at The Barrel Racing Blog! That’s right, just like Oprah’s Favorite Things, I’ll be having giveaways with some of my favorite companies here on the site!

I’m not going to reveal which companies have jumped on board with doing some awesome giveaways, (you’ll find out a new company each day next week, so remember to check back every day!) but I will tell you that they are everything from awesome local dealers to top national brands!

Here’s how to win:

1. At the end of each post about each one of our awesome companies each day, I’ll ask a question. The answer to that question can only be found in an old post on The Barrel Racing Blog. You must answer that question, (I’ll give hints, don’t worry!) and write your answer in the comments section under the day’s post.

2. If you’re a subscriber to The Barrel Racing Blog AND you answer the question, your name will be put in the drawing twice to win the day’s giveaway.

3. Each winner will be randomly drawn the following morning, at 10 a.m. EST. (You all know I’m in Colorado, so that’s as early as I can promise!) I’ll contact each winner to let you know how to claim your prize. I promise, ALL of these prizes are totally awesome, and you won’t be disappointed!

Have a great weekend everyone, and I’ll see you all back here bright and early Monday morning to get this contest rolling!

First Barrel Racing Horsemanship Clinic by Teresa Quay & Laura Lee Thomas

If you’ve been needing help solving problems with your horse or perfecting your runs, you couldn’t turn to two handier women for help. Laura Lee Thomas and Teresa Quay have been at the top of their games for years, making their own tough horses and helping other riders along the way. They are now getting together to put on a clinic at the Rittenour Equine Center on May 28 and 29.

These two cowgirls both have claimed some awesome titles this year, as Teresa won the SEBRA Barrel Racing Championship and Laura Lee won the APRA Barrel Racing Championship and the APRA/IPRA Horse of the Year titles. Both ladies qualified for the IFR this year, and over the years have amassed countless titles.

From person experience,  you won’t find two better ladies or two better horsewomen to help you with whatever training problems you’ve got.

Here’s more info on the clinic:

Ready for Summer?

I don’t know about all my friends in the Northeast, but I know for sure I’m ready for summer to roll around here in Colorado. I can’t complain – the weather has been in the 60s here lately, but I’m going to be greedy. I want 80s, sunshine, swimming pools, and non-fuzzy horses. It used to be that I’d look forward to rodeo weekends on the lake at McHenry, Maryland, and barrel races at Crooked Creek Horse Park in Ford City, Pennsylvania (where there’s a reservoir to swim in).

Now I’m looking forward to being poolside after working horses all morning to beat the heat. (That is, when I’m not in a cubical working.) So I’m still drooling over all of Cowboy Militia’s bikinis, getting my hair highlighted bright blonde to get me out of these winter doldrums, and vigorously shedding out my mares.

Who else here is ready for summer? What show are you most looking forward to this summer?


(And to my friends in the working world, remember, it’s 5 o’clock somewhere!)