Rescue Race

Chills. If you saw the performance at the Royal Winter Fair from the sister duo from Indian River, ON who took the Rodeo Rescue Race by storm, then you know! Their amazing performance gave me absolute chills of excitement.

Shaylynn, age 13 and Ashley, age 9 were the youngest competitors in the Rodeo Rescue Race event, and took the winning spot, coming home with 2 large championship buckles; presented by Amber Marshall, star of CBC’s famous Heartland.

These two girls have been riding horses since before they could walk. They’re parents believed that if the kids showed an interest in horses, then it was important that they have proper riding lessons to build a riding foundation.

Both started lessons at the age of 5 in the English Riding Program at Stillbrook Riding Stables. Both girls excelled quickly and become very strong riders and competitors.

When Shaylynn turned 8, she aspired to ride timed rodeo events, her Mom recalls her saying “What could be more fair than riding against a clock?” Ashley followed in her footsteps at the same age to pursue rodeo riding.

In 2018 Shaylynn was able to find a coach that could help her chase her rodeo dreams. Linda Young from Trickle Creek Farms was instrumental in coaching and finding horses that would be great competitors for both girls who practiced in 3 events: Pole Bending, Barrel Racing, and the Rescue Race.

The girls love their horses fiercely, and love the adrenaline of competing and performing. They spend many hours a day training and fitting their horses, the horses are athletes and need to be in their best shape.

This year Shaylynn and Ashley competed in the Ram Rodeo Tour which made many stops across Ontario; Gray Highlands, Brooklin, Orangeville, Orillia, Norfolk, Stevensville, Exeter, New Liskeard, Tweed, Alliston, Purple Hill, Binbrook and Kemptville for the International Plowing Match.

Denise, the girls Mom says “The girls have shared a pretty awesome sisterhood this summer, travelling and competing with one another in the Ram Rodeo Tour.”

This was Ashley’s first Ram Rodeo season and she qualified for finals in 2 events: Pole Bending and the Rescue Race.

Shaylynn was introduced to rodeo in 2018, in 2019 she qualified for the Ram Rodeo finals in Pole Bending and Barrel Racing and in 2021 Shaylynn competed and won the Ram Rodeo Jr. Barrels Weekend and Year end titles. This year Shaylynn qualified for the Ram Rodeo finals in all three events: Pole Bending, Barrel racing and the Rescue Race. Shaylynn won the year end Jr. Pole Bending title and she and Ashley finished 3rd in the Rescue Race regular season.

In 2022 The girls obtained their first ever sponsor – Kicking Cowgirl Designs operated by Kimberly Dawn from Bobcaygeon ON. The girls have always loved Kicking Cowgirl Designs and have been loyally wearing the brand but are thrilled to now be a part of the KCD family.

What a year it has been for these girls – being invited to the Royal Winter Fair was amazing since no Jr. events perform at the Royal. The Rescue Race is an open event for all ages and there was a range of competitors but Shaylynn and Ashley were the youngest competitors. There were 5 rescue race teams that qualified for the finals and the Royal Winter Fair Invitational.

The Royal Winter Fair was an enormous opportunity – the biggest one for the girls yet; they were both excited and nervous all at the same time. The girls walked into the Royal hoping to be strong competitors but taking home the win at the Royal was beyond their wildest dreams!

The girls won the first go ‘round at 9.83 seconds, the coliseum was empty except for a few family and friends; they took the second go round at 9.67 seconds in front of a packed house of 7000 people who gave them an incredible standing ovation.

Shaylynn and Ashley said winning the Rescue Race at the Royal Winter Fair was

“an absolutely phenomenal feeling”.

Being invited to compete at the Royal Winter Fair was an amazing opportunity in itself, especially for the 100th anniversary; and taking home the win? An accomplishment and memory that will last a lifetime!