story by BreAnne Benson The first time Riley Isbell competed in barrel racing was in Waco, Texas. She was in pre-school, on her first pony […]
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Meet the Member Charlie Sohrt
story by Lindsay Humphrey
It’s abundantly clear from her runs inside a number of arenas that Charlie Sohrt is a ball of fire. She’s competed on a horse standing over 16 hands for the last 2.5 years and she said he’s absolutely perfect for her. “My dad throws me up on him,” the 8-year-old said with a giggle. “His registered name is It Pays More To Win but he goes by Cash. I like that he’s fast, but he’s also smooth.” Charlie and Cash aren’t strangers to the national stage. In 2020, they competed in Tulsa at the Mike & Sherrylynn Johnson Vegas’ Tuffest World Championships. Charlie won the average in the 19 & Under barrels and was reserve in the 12 & Under barrels.
“In 2020, I qualified for the Junior World Finals, but it was in Fort Worth and the Tuffest was in Tulsa. I was excited to qualify for Vegas again this year in both events [Junior World and Vegas’ Tuffest].” Charlie was expecting to have another banner year in the Vegas’ Tuffest, but it was the Junior World Finals that sent her home with a check and whole slew of prizes. “I didn’t expect that to happen. My goal was to place in the top ten and make more than $1,000 so I could come home with a little bit of money.” In addition to two buckles, a purse, saddle and several other items of tack, Charlie also hauled home a new Cricket golf cart.
Jamie and Amber – Charlie’s parents – were proud of the big win, but it was the safety of the event that caught most of their attention. “Kelly puts on an excellent event for the kids. It’s very organized, and very professional. She really looks out for the kids and made sure their safety was always top priority,” Jamie said. Just 8 runs before Charlie, the drag broke. It was never an option to run without dragging. The event coordinators got creative to keep everything going smoothly. “They grabbed one of the drags from the exhibitors in the trade show and hooked it up to a mule to drag the arena and finish out the event,” he added. Perhaps the mule drag was good luck for Charlie because she laid down a smokin’ hot run to win the junior barrels. She’s already qualified for Vegas’ Tuffest and is looking forward to competing at a KK Run for Vegas qualifier in April.
Charlie started 2021 with a bang when she became the youngest competitor to qualify for and compete in the semi final round of the American. At just 7 years old, Charlie turned the clover leaf pattern in AT&T stadium. “It was an amazing experience – to do all the promotions and interviews, and the way everyone treated her. It’s something none of us will ever forget,” Jamie said. None of Charlie’s success would be possible without the unwavering support of her parents and Jan Powell. “I knew Jan in college, and she trains barrel horses. We started taking Charlie over there every week for lessons and she’s progressed as a horsewoman in a way that I couldn’t have taught her,” he said. Jan had Cash and sold him to Charlie. He’s one of Charlie’s seven horses.
“Charlie was always on a horse when she was younger. She’s always loved them and all other animals too,” her dad said. Blue Duck the pony was a Christmas gift and he started it all. Charlie went through a few horses before landing on Cash, but she’s kept almost all of them. Charlie also has two miniature ponies, four goats and a new calf named Nugget. As a third-grader, Charlie is in her first and last year of homeschooling. “We were missing a lot of school last year, so we decided to homeschool. Charlie really misses interacting with people; she’s a talker and really outgoing. She’ll be going to Luthern Southern Academy. They consider rodeo a sport, so as long as she keeps up with her work she can miss some school,” Jamie explained. Charlie is excited about going back to school with her peers next year. Until then, Charlie has plenty of rodeo and animals to fill up her time. And that wouldn’t be possible without her sponsors: Delicious Horse Treats, Cowboy Cart, Nutrena, Pegg Products and Charlie 1 Horse.