Tarleton’s stock horse team wins nationals

For the second year in a row the Tarleton State University’s stock horse team has won the Stock Horse of Texas World Show Division II Champion Collegiate Team. 

Stock horse resembles what you see cowboys doing on the ranch but just in an area setting. There are four classes to show that you have control of your horse but also that your horse is easy to ride. The four classes are reining, pleasure, trail and cow working. The main focus is to show that the horse will listen to their rider and that the rider has control over their horse. Stock Horse of Texas has seven divisions that the riders compete in individually and they are based on ion the rider’s experience. For the Tarleton team their members are involved in the novice, intermediate and limited non-pro divisions. Tarleton competes in the Division II, which consists of four riders where each rider shows in their division and the points for each rider gets added up for a team’s total points.

For many of the team members they have been riding for as long as they remember. Shadee Tye been riding horses all her life. 

“I know I started riding horses when I was five or six,” Emily Woodard said. 

“I have been riding since I was a baby. My dad had horses as we have a cattle ranch and I have always been in the saddle,” Lucy Jahn said. 

Whitehead has four years of stock horse expertise under her belt and has been a part of the Tarleton team for three years now. Jahns has only been doing stock horse for two years when she came to Tarleton and fell in love with the team and sport, but has experience as she rodeoed for years before. Shadee Tye joined Tarleton’s team her freshman year but she was busy with other organizations and school that she was unable to focus to compete.

The most exciting for the girls is to see everyone come together and get better individually and as a team. Jahns’ favorite thing is watching a horse finally come together and to see where she started and where she is now as a horseman. 

“The most exciting thing is seeing everyone on the team and other schools work day in and day out and improve not only our horses but improve as horsemen as well,” Tye stated. 

“The most exciting thing about stock horse is getting to see and experience what a true versatile athlete the horse is,” Whitehead said. “We compete in four very different events all in one show and seeing the horse and ride flawlessly transition from one event to the next is truly amazing.”

Both Whitehead and Tye competed for Tarleton at the world show this year. Woodard usually competes with the team but this year she couldn’t, as she thrown off a horse recently. Luckily Whitehead and Tye have experience and were able to be a part of the team that brought home the title.

“My experience at the world show was fantastic,” Whitehead said. “Being able to show with such a great group of talented team members is so much fun and we have a blast every time we show together as a team.” 

Woodard praises the team for stepping up and doing what they had to do for the title. 

“So exhilarating,” Tye said. “To see my horse, Dirt Harry, and I really put our skills to the tests was such a rewarding feeling.

All team members praise each other for their hard work and winning the title for the second year.

“I will honestly say that I am really proud of our team and I’m really proud of what they have been able to accomplish,” Woodard said. “I finally got to be able to see how much they accomplished and how far they’ve come riding and I was really happy to be able to see them win their title.” 

Jahns wasn’t able to compete this year as well but is so incredibly proud of the team and their hard work that was shown out in the pen. 

“Winning nationals was a great way to end our show season,” Tye said. “It was awesome to see all of our hard work pay off. Now it’s time to get back to the practice pen so come spring semester, we’ll be ready to go again!”