story by Lindsay Humphrey “When I was a little kid, I wanted to be a cowboy and now that I’m old enough that’s exactly what […]
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Meet the Member Shayla Boyce
story by Lindsay King
The rush of a sliding stop and the catty turnback of cattle work gets Shayla Boyce’s heart beating just a tick quicker. The 16-year-old is a horsewoman through and through. The daughter of two horse trainers (Robbie and Angie Boyce), Shayla was destined for the arena but had a number of options of what to compete in. “My dad has always trained reined cow and cutting horses. My mom trains on some of our personal horses, so I have been riding forever,” said the high school junior from Marietta, Oklahoma. She started in rodeo when she “roped everything,” but it wasn’t long before Shayla was working cattle from the other end as well. “I always rodeoed on reject cutters and cow horses that my parents had around.”
Originally from Jacksboro, Texas, the Boyces have always been horse trainers. “My parents had their own ranch and performance horse operation down there and when I was probably ten we moved to Oklahoma and they started working for Cowan Select Horses.” The horse operation is in Oklahoma while the cattle are up in Montana. Shayla and her 13-year-old brother Brodie spent two weeks up north during calving this spring. “We go up there almost every summer to work horses and help with the cattle. My brother and I flew up there this spring to help them brand and doctor calves.” Being involved in three industries – ranching, rodeo and performance horses – Shayla enjoys combining them on a regular basis.
“I really like to be out on the ranch watching all our hard work pay off, whether that is with cattle or seeing our horses work well for someone. I like to watch the horses we start go on to win and have long, successful careers.” Most summer days start around four in the morning to beat the Oklahoma, but Shayla doesn’t mind. “If you want to get to the top you have to work really hard and it will pay off. Eventually. Making it to nationals proves that.” Last year, Shayla put in the time and effort, but state finals just didn’t pan out for her. “I learned a lot and then this year I came back and won, so that shows you have to stick with it and work hard.”
Shayla said it was easily the best state finals she has ever had: reserve state champion reined cow horse and champion cutter. “I came into state finals pretty confident; my horse was working really well.” She was actually on a client’s horse. “I showed a few different horses from the ranch this year, but we have had this seven-year-old gelding for as long as I can remember and his owner let me to take him to state.” Shayla had only shown this horse a couple of times before heading to state. After winning the first round of cutting, Shayla lost her cow in the second round. She finished third in the world in the reined cow horse and the all-around race.
Heading into the new rodeo season, Shayla plans to continue riding her older horse while also working on some colts. “My goal is to bring those horses further along in their training and eventually help sell them.” She also has a filly of her own to be putting rides on. “I am going to start running barrels on her and I thinking she can go a long way in it.” Ultimately, Shayla enjoys the landscape of Arizona or New Mexico, but she also likes the sandhills of Nebraska. “I like going to other ranches and learning more about their breeding and training programs and how they run things. At first I thought I wanted to be a vet, but I decided that wasn’t really up my alley.”