Hello all! Let me introduce you to Shana Wright, a 29 year old barrel racer who calls a ranch in Wrenshall Minnesota home.
At the ranch Shana and her boyfriend Jim have a “few” horses, as well as roughly 200 head of cattle…in summer 20 hogs or so, and roughly 1200 chickens. Shana can’t remember a life before riding, in other words she’s been riding about her entire life. Over the years she has competed in numerous kinds of ride disciplines from dressage to jumping, and from barrel racing to trail riding. Though she has enjoyed all of the different types of riding she has done, Shana has landed on barrel racing as her main equine sport.
Shana’s horse, Princess Polyester is the horse that got her hooked on chasing cans. I got the chance to see Shana ride Princess Polyester at the United Barrel Racing Association (UBRA) Double F Arena in Hinkley on December 12th, 2015, put on by The Tuff Enuf Ranch. It’s easy to see why, as they make a great team! Princess has been right by Shana’s side since the mare was just 4 years old! This mare competed up to second level dressage, cross country and is now her barrel horse. Shana says, “We have done a lot…but are masters of none. We run a happy and fun 2D time generally. Only thing she won’t do is let me swing a rope off her or open a gate!”Shana feels blessed to have a few of colts out of Princess, and is looking forward to their careers in the rodeo arena. Shana’s boyfriend Jim, who is a team roper, seems to have a mutual connection with Shana’s five year old gelding, Dallas (Roll ’em N Hold ’em), and is working with him to be a head horse for his team roping. There are hopes that Dallas will turn out to be versatile, so both would be able to ride him in their own events.
Malibu (Wright Kinda News), Shana’s 4 year old horse is coming along great, she’s is hoping she will be just like Princess when it comes to personality and athletic ability…if not even better. Malibu raced at Canterbury Park last year and did quite well! It was a first time for Shana to own a racehorse and Malibu’s first year racing. Shana’s future hopes are to gracefully retire Princess Polyester, who is her eldest mare and continue on with her 5 year old Dallas, 4 year old Malibu, as well as her weanling Luigi. Plans are for barrels and poles and/or roping horses, and maybe an eventing horse someday. As much as Shana loves hauling in the jackpots, it is her goal to have a rodeo horse and just have fun!
Outside of the arena, and taking care of her horses, Shana is a Phlebotomist of six years, and is, “pretty darned good at it!” Shana has two jobs, one full time, and another part time. Shana draws blood at Memorial Blood Centers, as well as for the Minnesota Department of Corrections. Between her two jobs she stays pretty busy, but when you throw in horses it’ll make the day go by, and makes you wonder where the day went on a regular basis. Shana is proud of, and loves what she does for work, especially her work in the prison.
With having so much going on in her life, Shana doesn’t get a whole lot of free time, but when she does she does just about everything under the sun like hunting, fishing, triathlons, biking, writing, photography, and graphic design. If for some reason Shana had to choose an activity other than barrel racing, she says it would have to be competitive rifle shooting! If she had to choose a different job, it would have to be either a photographer or open her own laboratory.
Shana feels very blessed, and thankful for where she is today. She attributes a large portion of where she is to her boyfriend, Jim Thell, who has been there for her from the start. With all Jim has done for her, she feels she could not thank him enough for everything he has done so far and continues to do daily. “He works so hard for what he has and keeps me laughing!”
Her family has been so supportive of her throughout Shana’s entire life, even if her brother feels there are better things to invest in than horses! It’s also nice having friends to be able to share training ideas and help each other out to improve your runs…or just get together and have a great time! One of her biggest accomplishments was raising Malibu, doing all her pre- racetrack training and getting through one year at the track. She can’t even count the number of people that told her, “you’re not good enough, you don’t have enough money, you know nothing about racehorses, she’s from Northern Minnesota she’s not going to do anything.”
Someone even tried to pay Shana to keep her filly off the track. Shana says, “For me, it was about having fun. I knew she could do it and she wanted to. And don’t tell me I can’t do it, when I already know WE can. She got through the Canterbury meet, placed 2 seconds and one fourth. In the 4th place finish race, she actually fell in her box, got up and still placed! Shana wanted me to leave you all with this message:
“LET YOUR DREAMS BE BIGGER THAN YOUR FEARS…
AND YOUR ACTIONS LOUDER THAN YOUR WORDS”
As always I would like to thank you all for reading, and I hope this helped you learn a bit more about one of your local rodeo performers! If you or someone you know may want to be one of our performers of the week, please contact us, and we would be happy to have you be in one of our upcoming weeks!
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