Week in and week out Dawn Shirey and Clea Remington regale us with their wild adventures on the barrel racing road. We’ve gotten the privilege to go along for their wild ride, and they’ve introduced us to some fantastic characters (Food critic Scotty Too Hottie, the fabulous Mari Beth Guido, and many many more!) throughout their adventures. You know the best thing about all of this? These are real people who we can all have the pleasure to see at the next barrel race in Ohio, Pennsylvania, or West Virginia (or wherever their travels may take them!). Get to know the two ladies who bring us these great reviews right here, and next time you see them at the show, stop and tell them your favorite blog post!
How and when did you both get into barrel racing and who taught you how to ride?
Dawn: Since I can remember I have ridden and did barrels and every other event at the shows we used to go to. Those ponies were priceless. My mom and dad taught us but really it was trial and error. I got back into barrel racing in 1995 after moving back from California. I listen to everyone’s advice, sometimes try it sometimes not, but always listen because you never stop learning. Maria Bowersock told me one time “stop balancing off your reins” as she was riding by me at Tri-State. I did and that was a huge help. Janet Kerr said one time long ago “raise your stirrups a little for better balance,” huge help. Charmayne James was a great teacher as well, her clinics were very helpful.
Clea: In 4H when I was about 14 I bought my first barrel horse off of Buster Ruggles, and gentleman by the name of Roy Rogers helped me as well as a lot of people oh and in 1984 horses name was sparky a rainy day in the parking lot of Kmart – the lady at the cash register helped!
How did you two meet?
A barrel race, of course.
Tell us about your all-time favorite horses.
Dawn: My pony Pepsi, she was the best. I could ride her anywhere: shows, parades, trail rides, swimming, you name it. As for barrel horses I would have to say KC Jane is at the top of the list. She taught me A LOT about running barrels, she almost killed me the first month I had her but we are great friends now and a great team!
Clea: Joker – there will never be another one like her. I got her from Pete Oen and she is a super poles horse and a good friend.
Tell us about the horses you have now.
KC Jane (17) and Joker (18) are the veterans. They are very special to each of us and we will never see them anywhere else. They both can go in and run with the best of them, KC in Barrels and Joker in Poles.
Channing – She is usually jacked up on Mt Dew but if she gets a run she is a 1Der.
Chili – She is an American Idol right now but turning into a rock star! She won a 1D buckle at the end of last year and is off to a great start this year.
Shawnee – Well she is just a witch on some days and a sweety on others. She will always go in and run a set of cans though.
Sparks – My Goldenboy or D1 as Clea calls him he is a superstar. He was hurt a few years ago (cracked a navicular bone) and is just now coming back strong. He has his issues though but he is all heart!
Classy – She is our yearly she is a DTF and SFW bred baby hopefully you will know her in the future.
Whitey – (Because that is the majority of the color in her eyes) we are hoping she will be our first futurity horse that we will train and ride.
Kisses – 4 SALE 4 year old (SunFrostWonder mare) she is our futurity mare.
Homer – 4 SALE 4 year old (He’s a Gay Dreamer gelding)
Which local arena is your all-time favorite?
Well we don’t have any real local arenas but ….
Dawn: I have always loved Simmons in Negly, Ohio even though we do not get there much. WB is awesome because KC Jane can lay down a run there with the sandy ground. Reality Run ranks right up there too! All the horse run well there.
Clea: Reality Run
Tell us about your all-time best runs.
Dawn: After a Charmayne James clinic running KC Jane at Simmons and finally getting in the 1D. Jackie Harris was announcing and as she announced my time she said “that clinic must have paid off, great run” Sparks (the golden boy) running at Simmons and winning the class (with a little timer controversy) the only thing I remember about the run is he dropped his head as he whirled in the shoot and I remember my hand touching the top of every barrel. He was flying….
Clea: Joker had a Pole run of 20.7 at Circle T. It felt amazing.
Give us one little-known fact about each of you.
Dawn: I want to run for a local government office someday (township, county).
Clea: I LOVE our new tractor and 4-in-1 drag
What do you two do when you’re not barrel racing?
We are pretty much always riding and barrel racing. We work around our ranch trying to always make things easier and have a nice place. Of course this is the dogs ranch, we only live here. We like having cookouts with family and friends to drink a lil drink drink and smoke a lil smoke. We always have good intentions to do other things but then one of us will say, “Oh did you see that barrel race at Jackson? Let’s not go boating lets go there!”
You’ve got lots of dogs – are there any other critters running around your farm?
We have a cat named KuJo. He is an awesome cat! He is our protector.
Up until yesterday we had a hog in the barn. A 57 pound groundhog that is. When Clea called me at work she said its hiding behind a tote I think it is a groundhog it looks like it is 10 pounds. By the time I pulled in the drive it grew as she said, “Here look at it, look at it, it must be 30 pounds!” I am laughing looking at it. (She says don’t get to close to it LOL!) We (I) pull everything away from it and get ready to chase it out of the barn, she is standing with a pitch fork ready to chase it. I say “whatever you do DON’T let it go in the tack room” SO the stick I have is not long enough to poke it out of it place of hiding so I take the pitch fork and she arms herself with the hose. I get him out and of course he runs right for the tack room and Clea. I am yelling, “Don’t let him in there! Don’t let him in there!” She is frantically trying to turn on the hose to divert him from the tack room! Mission accomplished he is out the door. So we are telling the neighbor about this today and somehow that sucker grow to 57 pounds. LOL Oh how we laughed.
What are your barrel racing goals for 2011 and beyond?
Both our goals are to be in the saddle when we run up the shoot and be on when we come out! And to go to as many shows as possible at new arenas. Ride the best we can and enjoy this passion as it is a privilege to be able to do this sport. We have a few young horses that we are hoping to futurity in the next couple years and turn out some nice horses to sell in the barrel horse market. We have a couple for sale now that have great potential.
What are two things on each of your bucket lists?
We made a bucket list about 1 1/2 years ago that has about 15 things on it, we have promised ourselves we will do one a year. Both of us had a separate list when we started and there were only 3 things that were different! How funny is that!?
Dawn: Alaskan Cruise; Run down the alley way of the Thomas and Mack for the NFR (I don’t know that this will ever happen as the Rodeo life seems like a hard one and I cannot see us doing that, but I won’t rule it out! As you can do anything you put your mind to, this I know.)
Clea: Attend Mardi Gra (Editor’s note: Chelsea says she’ll be there with ya!!); See the Redwoods in California
What rules do you live by?
Be nice to each other, laugh as much as we can, don’t get upset over things we can not change, be kind to everyone you have the pleasure to meet, help someone if you can, Compromise when needed. We both believe to the fullest everything happens for a reason even though we may not know what that is at the time. We also know that we make our own choices in life, the choices we make we have own and never blame anyone else for our choices. Life is to short not to be happy, find your happiness and know that you are not being selfish if you want happiness in your life.
Is there any one quote that captures your attitudes?
Dawn: Love Life. It is short and this ain’t no dress rehearsal.
Clea: Drink More, Worry Less