Meet the Member Emily Finney
story by Lindsay Humphrey Last summer, Emily changed her last name from Vinton to Finney when she married Doug. It was a match made at […]
story by Lindsay King
Between PRCA rodeos and barrel racing futurities, Cheryl Wallace has averaged roughly 35,000 trailer miles a year since 2012. Of course, she wouldn’t trade it for anything – not the horses or the miles really. Running barrels in 4-H and open shows while growing up didn’t prepare this Broken Bow, Nebraska, native for the sizable crowds a rodeo tends to draw. “Big crowds used to get to me because I was worried about messing up out there. But this year at North Platte my horse stuck at the second barrel in front of a huge crowd and I am finally ok with it.” Cheryl is a second-generation barrel racer, so it’s not questionable at all if she knows what she is doing or not. After taking some time off to get married and have a son, Cheryl “eased” herself back into it all by going to futurities.
“When my son was about three he started showing and I was still training barrel horses so it became a family thing. And since crowds scared the crap out of me, we decided to do the futurities instead. All we had were colts anyway.” Ten years of futurities and Cheryl was over her fear of spectators. A broken leg in 2010 kept her out of the game, but Cheryl came back strong in 2011. “It’s just been an evolving process for me.” Transitioning mounts from the laidback atmosphere of futurities to the high-intensity of a rodeo arena has also been an extensive process. “It takes a different type of horse to run at rodeos, they have to be used to the noises and movements.” Not to mention the bulls in the chutes rattling around when it’s time to run barrels.
Last year Cheryl had her four-year-old futurity gelding – Not Jesse Any Guy – at a rodeo when the bulls got the best of him. “I was watching from the back side of the bull pen when a bull decided to take us off the fence.” In Guymon, Oklahoma, as they approached the bull chutes, that gelding didn’t forget his previous experience. “When we got to the side with the chutes, he stopped dead in his tracks during the perf.” Now a five-year-old, this gelding has the bulls figured out, ironically, it’s the roar of the crowd that still gets to him.
Cheryl’s been a member of the M-SRA since 2013 while continuing to run futurity colts and pro rodeo. Last year she took the colt and old faithful – Pacific Frostman – to the M-SRA finals. “I rode the older horse in the first round and then the young gun placed in both the second and third round. We managed to get fourth in the average with those three runs.” Every horse Cheryl’s competed on the last 20+ years was started by her husband Kenny. “My husband is my biggest supporter and coach. He’s been shoeing horses for the last 40 years and does all of ours, so that is a big help.”
KC Wallace Quarter Horses is what Cheryl and Kenny call their “side business.” Cheryl trains barrel horses to fit her style and then usually sells them by the time they turn ten. The weather this spring has been perfect for teaching horses how to safety up in the mud. “At Alliance last year it was muddy and we ended up third. I knew he (the colt) could handle it.” Cheryl currently takes both horses on the rodeo trail. The younger one prefers the bigger pens while the more seasoned horse runs hard in the smaller pens.
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