story by Lindsay Humphrey “I’ve tried other events, but I really like barrel racing. It’s where my heart is,” said 17-year-old Payton McNiel. “I’d rather […]
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Meet the Member Shacie Marr
story by Lindsay Humphrey
Coming out of the fall rodeo season, Shacie Marr was leading the barrel racing. However, she wasn’t doing quite as well in her other events: poles, goat tying, team roping and breakaway. “I was planning to come back from the fall and do better. My breakaway horse got hurt last semester, so I was using my sister’s horse,” said the Tularosa, New Mexico, cowgirl. As the reigning state champion barrel racer, goat tier, and all-around cowgirl, Shacie was prepared to defend her titles. With no spring rodeo season to climb the ladder, Shacie ended up taking fifth in all her events except for barrels. Coming from an inspirational family, it’s not surprising that Shacie held fast to her positive attitude despite the turmoil that COVID-19 sprinkled on her senior year.
“My dad (Joel) turned everything around for himself. He is now one of the top racehorse trainers in New Mexico and built his own business. That really inspires me to do the same thing and to always remember my circumstances can’t determine who I am, only I can.” Shacie is wise beyond her 18 years, and her younger sister–Shaeden, 16–is also a recipient of her older sister’s admiration. “My little sister inspires me because she is the most positive person I know. She has a positive outlook on everything and makes me want to be a better person.”
The daughter of a professional barrel racer–Teresa–Shacie was born with rodeo in her blood. “My grandma (Pat Dunigin) won the NFR in barrel racing in 1949. When my sister and I were born, we automatically had horses and started riding and rodeo very young.” Shacie’s dad also rodeoed. “I remember going to a lot of little barrel races when I was little, and my sister and I seemed to get into a lot of trouble while our parents were competing.” One on occasion, Shacie and her friend Hadley set fire to the horse trailer while infant Shaeden was in her rocker inside.
While Shacie’s parents didn’t support the pyrotechnics, they have always been her biggest fans when it comes to sports of any kind. “My parents have always pushed me to do everything that I want and to be my best at it. They never told me I couldn’t do something or doubted me.” Before spring break turned into summer break, Shacie was a four-sport athlete at Tularosa High School: volleyball, basketball, softball, and track. “Quarantine was really a bummer in some ways. We didn’t get to have prom or graduation. Senior ditch day turned into a three-month deal for us.” As for any rodeo athlete, the extra time at home translates to more hours in the saddle.
“My mom trains barrel horses and my dad trains racehorses, so we are working with colts all day long. I am getting to rope a lot and spend time with my family before I go off to college.” As Shacie’s last season in the NMHSRA came to an abrupt halt, she was offered a partial rodeo scholarship to Eastern New Mexico University where she plans to major in biology with an emphasis in pre-med. “I am going to try that out for now, but I am also thinking about being a radiologist or a chiropractor.” Two things are certain about Shacie’s future: she has no intention of leaving rodeo behind and hopes to one day come back to work at the family business. “Above everything else, God is a big part of my life and without him I couldn’t have done anything.”