Meet the Member Teagan Gann
story by Siri Stevens Teagan Gann qualified for Junior World Finals this coming December by winning the KK qualifier in King City, California. “There were […]
story by Lily Weinacht
“Run your race” is Jordan Morman’s motto, a phrase her dad often reminds her of at the alleyway, and the cowgirl from Gillette, Wyoming, did just that to clinch the 2017 Junior NFR Senior World Barrel Racing Champion title. “I just had to remember to keep my head on straight. Even though it’s Vegas, it’s just another barrel race,” says Jordan, who just turned 13 but started rodeoing when she was 7. “The first day I ran, the nerves got the best of me, but I knew if I could compete on my lowest day and still get sixth, I could still do better.” Jordan placed fifth in the second round, which put her second in the average, then worked on her mental game before advancing to the short-go, where she ran a 13.444 — the fastest time of the week — to win it. She returned home with an Exiss trailer — her first one officially in her name — a Circle Y trophy saddle, Rockstar Custom Leather breast collar and headstall, $8,200, her short-go and world champion buckles, a Louis Vuitton bag from Vintage Boho, and the experience of a lifetime. “I’ve worn my world buckle a few times, but the short-go is the one I’ll hang up. It’s really special, because that’s the symbol that I put my nerves behind me.”
Although there was a KK Run for Vegas qualifier in Jordan’s hometown of Gillette, which she competed in and won, Jordan and her parents, Buddy and Monica Morman, decided to go to an earlier qualifier six hours away in Loveland, Colorado, where she won second and qualified for the Junior NFR. “That was stressful on the horses because some of them don’t travel very well. Going to Vegas, we had Polylast floors for them, Soft-Ride Boots and Back On Track blankets, and Bigeloil to draw out inflammation. I took Remi, and Friendly was my backup horse because I know him and he’s pretty sturdy.” Remi will also carry Jordan to The American Semi-Finals in February. The pair qualified for the Semi-Finals in August in Salina, Utah, just before Jordan went back to school. “We’re still in pretty good shape from the Junior NFR, but I’m thinking of sending Remi to Texas to work with her trainer, and previous owner, Lauren Kelly, while I catch up on some school work.”
Jordan bought Remi, or Frenchmansfancypants, her 8-year-old black mare by Frenchmans Six Dash and Canta Little Joan, just over a year ago. Hippie was her first horse after learning to ride on her dad’s old rope horse, followed by Friendly. The Mormans also have two colts, a yearling, a 2-year-old, and another on the way. “We bought a filly colt from Kenny Nichols who is an own daughter of Dash Ta Fame, and I’m hoping she’ll turn into a barrel horse.” Since Jordan also competes in the NLBRA, NWBRA, BBR, and junior high rodeo, she practices through the winter. “If it’s cold, I have to suck it up and put warm pants on and go to the outdoor arena or rent the local barn. You have to sacrifice the little things, like being warm and cozy in your bed, for the bigger things like the Junior NFR and The American Semi-Finals. So you have to look at the bigger picture.”
School is also a big part of the picture, and Jordan, a seventh-grader at Twin Spruce Junior High, rodeos so long as she can maintain her 4.0 GPA. She’s especially focused on Algebra this semester, and continues to take piano lessons. “I used to dance and play baseball and soccer, but I quit those around the same time I quit hockey, because I couldn’t go to rodeos and miss games or recitals. Rodeo is definitely worth it, and it’s definitely my calling. I’m more connected to my horse than any other teammate — Remi is my other half.”
Jordan quit playing hockey when she was 9, but her brothers, Rowdy (15) and Ryder (10), still play, and their younger brother, Raylan (4) is just learning to skate. Rowdy and Ryder have the rodeo bug too. Jordan’s dad, who steer wrestled and rode broncs in college, often hauls her to rodeos, while her mom and grandma take the boys to the hockey games. Jordan has also hauled with professional barrel racer Cassidy Kruse, who took Jordan for her first ride on a barrel horse when Jordan was 4. “My parents know her parents since Cassidy used to live in the same town as us, and I love the way she rides. Just this last May, she and I hauled together to the Red Desert Classic. When she went to the NFR in 2015, we flew down to go watch her and cheer her on.”
Between rodeos, Jordan enjoys reading, going to her brothers’ hockey games, snowboarding, and having family dinners. Her grandma’s recipe for chicken casserole is a favorite. “I like spending time with my horses, even if it doesn’t revolve around rodeo or barrel racing. My goal for The American Semi-Finals is to go there and leave a mark on the rodeo.” Jordan also qualified for the NLBFR and NJHFR last year and hopes to return this summer. She’s sitting first in the BBR 1D for the Mountain States and plans to run in the World Finals this spring. “My goal is to make it to The American Finals, but even if I don’t, I just hope to place well.”
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