story by Lindsay Humphrey The race for Vegas is stiff, no matter the age or experience of the competitor. Just like the pros in the […]
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Meet the Member Skye Miller
story by Lindsay Humphrey
Good things come to those who wait, and Skye Miller is hoping they come in threes as well. It’s her third year qualifying for the Junior World Finals in barrel racing and all she’s hoping for is three consistent runs. “I won the KK Run for Vegas qualifier in Moses Lake in 2016, which was the first year they ever did this event. It’s pretty cool to be heading back for my third time,” said the 16-year-old who qualified in the senior division. Skye piloted Guy’s Sis (aka Marylin) to their first clean run as a dynamic duo since they teamed up back in February. “My derby horse, Fizz, had a career ending injury back in January. Marylin was in Texas and we didn’t even have to go try her, we just knew. She was, and still is, really green but she’s also super talented for her age.”
Back in 2016, during her debut in Vegas, Skye rode a mare she called Cash to win second place in the very first round. A pilot error in round two kept them out of the short round. “I got second in 2017 in the same pen that I qualified for Vegas in the year before. That year I rode my mom’s good rodeo horse.” Skye still didn’t have a whole lot of luck in Vegas, but she’s certain 2020 will be the year she can change that. High school basketball kept her from the event the last couple of years, but that just makes the itch for good runs even stronger. “I’m working really hard to get my horses right because it’s a big event and there’s a lot of money up for grabs for us young girls.”
COVID-19 is helping spread the school sports schedule out for Skye so she can really dedicate herself to sports and barrel racing. She’s playing volleyball this fall, but basketball will be a spring sport instead of playing through the winter like usual. This will be Skye’s first year in a homeschooling program, but she’ll be playing sports for Crane Union High School. “I’m really excited about getting to be homeschooled and still play sports. I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time.” Extra time at home will help Skye keep her skills on the clover leaf pattern up while also lending a hand to her mom, Kelsie, who’s a barrel horse trainer.
“I’ve always ridden under the guidance of my mom. It’s super awesome to have a trainer right in my backyard. She’s helped me become the rider I am today.” The horse training gene runs deep on her mom’s side of the family. “My uncle Rod was a cow horse trainer. Both of my first horses were started by him and I’m really grateful for that. I grew up riding really nice horses and learned a lot about feel.” Skye has also dabbled in horse training. She started training Fizz as a 2-year-old. Perhaps that’s why Fizz is easily Skye’s favorite, despite not being able to run her anymore. “It was perfect timing really. If Fizz wouldn’t have gotten hurt, I might not have gotten Marylin and maybe I wouldn’t be going to Vegas this year.”
Even though Skye lives and breathes barrel racing, she’s handy with a head loop also. “I like to do things other than run barrels. It’s good for the horses too.” Both Skye’s dad, Mick, and 12-year-old brother, Coltin, are avid team ropers. “My dad took a 9-year hiatus and now he really likes to golf, and so does my brother. Coltin is more of a sports junky, but he started heading this year.” A lifetime student of horses, Skye soundly believes nobody ever masters anything because there is always something new to learn.