Meet the Member AJae Griffin
story by Michele Toberer Anna Jae Griffin goes by AJae, and the Mississippi native has been a cowgirl for a lifetime, and a Southeastern Professional […]
story by Lily Weinacht
Peyton Morrow is the 2016 SPRA Barrel Racing Champion, and though she went into the finals leading, she admits it was still slightly nerve-wracking. “I was pretty confident for the most part, but I knew Kindyl Scruggs had a horse capable of winning both rounds,” she says. “In the end, it all worked out.”
The 20 year old from Watkinsville, Georgia, has been riding horses for most of her life, but only started rodeoing within the last four years. “Before that, I mainly did NBHA shows or jackpots with my sister, Casey,” says Peyton. “She had quit rodeoing to go to UGA (University of Georgia), and she had a really nice horse that wasn’t getting used. I knew he’d make a great rodeo horse, so we started entering. It took a while to click with him, but last year, we started getting together, and since then we’ve been unstoppable!”
Peyton is entering her third season in the SPRA, and she also competes in the PCA, SRA, and IPRA, qualifying for the IFR in Oklahoma City the last two years. During IFR46, she placed in two go-rounds and won another, also taking home checks from IFR47. “I love riding the horses all week and keeping them tuned up. Going to a rodeo and doing well is just a good feeling. Traveling is the best part to me – I love to drive, and I’ve had so many opportunities and met so many people along the way. Plus, rodeo keeps your head level and keeps you in line!”
Among those who have helped her are Peyton’s parents, Jason and Leslie Morrow, and her sister. “My parents love rodeo and seeing me do what I love, and they’re always pushing me to go and do good. Come finals, they like to travel with me, and it’s special to have family there. Doctor Daniel Pike and Piedmont Equine Associates have also helped keep my horses going and feeling good.”
Her main horse is Mr. Perks Advantage, better known as Boomer. The 16-year-old gelding came from WPRA barrel racer Tiany Schuster. “My sister started out riding him, and then he was passed down to me,” says Peyton. “He’s pretty much the only horse I’ve ever clicked with and run on. He handles being my only barrel horse really well. Sometimes I wish I had a backup horse for smaller rodeos, but he still has a few years left, and the more you go, the better he does. I have a mare that’s kind of a backup horse, but she’s hurt right now, so I ride Boomer three or four times a week. We don’t have an arena, so I set up the pattern in the pasture. He hardly sees barrels, though, since he’s sixteen and knows his job.”
Peyton and her parents live 10 minutes outside of Athens, Georgia, and she helps run the farm while they’re at work. “Athens is a pretty big college town with all kinds of things going on, so we live just far enough away to be out of the craziness, but close enough to enjoy it too,” she says. Peyton is applying for Athens Technical College’s dental assisting program this spring, and she plans to rodeo full time through the summer. “I want to do it while I have the time and the horse. I’m buying my SPRA card again this year, and I’d like to try winning the barrel racing again. I’d also like to make the IFR and SRA finals. I have a two-year-old, Bo, that has a lot of the same bloodlines as Boomer, and my goal is to be rodeoing on him in a few years. I have high hopes for him.”
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