By Heather Miner
Shelley Morgan of Eustace, Texas, had a stellar showing at The American Rodeo 2022, earning over $100,000 and the title of champion barrel racer.
The 50-year-old and HR FamesKissAndTell, called Kiss, stopped the clock in 14.609 for their final run to clinch the title. The finale marked the highest finish for Morgan, coming off of an 8th place finish in round one of The American in 2021.
Morgan rodeoed with her sister growing up but did not go pro with the WPRA until 2008 after spending eight years as a teacher and basketball coach. Over the years, the rider had many top finishes with 12 championship titles throughout 2021, including the Texas Circuit Finals Year-End Title and the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo in Kissimmee, Fla. She ended 2021 fourth in the WPRA world rankings and seventh in the average at the WNFR, her third showing in Vegas.
Kiss, an 8-year-old flaxy sorrel mare, has also brought home a number of championships and titles including a tie for third in the 2021 Nutrena Horse of the Year and the WPRA Horse With the Most Heart in 2020. The flashy mare with a big white blaze and white flecks across her coat dug deep throughout The American and carried her rider to an exciting win. Her fastest run was a 13.751 during the Contender round.
The pair met when Kiss was just a 3-year-old. Kiss reminded Morgan of a previous horse, Short Go, who was the first mount to carry her to the WNFR. This matchup has driven Shelley Morgan up the ranks of the WPRA and provides the chance for many more championships.
The American held events covering 14 days, culminating in the single richest day in rodeo on March 6. Jordan Briggs and Devin Young rounded out the top three finishers, all Texans, in the barrel race.
About the Author
Heather Miner is a freelance writer who loves to dabble in a variety of jobs and hobbies, but horses have been a mainstay since her first memories. Growing up, she participated in countless rodeos and parades as part of a specialty act drill team she later coached for over 20 years. Participating twice in the WNFR as part of the Snake River Stampeders Night Light Drill Team was a tremendous thrill and accomplishment.
Living in Southern Idaho with her husband, their daughter, and an ever-changing menagerie of critters offers daily adventures. The family loves camping and exploring outdoor opportunities in their area and afar. Heather also enjoys her attempts at gardening, learning to play guitar, volunteering for the local library (to get a line on the best books, of course!), yoga, sewing, mountain biking, fixing up their 100 year old farm house and refinishing furniture.