Meet the Member: Jody Heisler

by Rodeo News

story by Lily Weinacht

Jody Heisler grew up on horseback in The Grand Canyon State, but it wasn’t until her early 20s that she started chasing cans. Her mom barrel raced when Jody was a baby, but didn’t have the time to travel to rodeos from their home outside of Nutrioso, Ariz. After Jody graduated high school, however, she and her parents, Al and Linda Fagotti, moved to Show Low, Ariz., where Linda took up her barrel reins again, this time with Jody at her side. “I guess you could say I started rodeoing a bit older than most people, but I’ve always had horses,” says Jody, now 30. “I wanted to compete, so we started going to barrel races around home, and then travelling a bit further. I went to my first Grand Canyon finals in 2010, and we haven’t stopped since! From now until October or November, we’ll be travelling every weekend.”
Jody and her mom travel to many of their rodeos together, including the PRCA Turquoise Circuit. “Mom is my coach, my support system, and my toughest competition!” Jody says with a laugh. “I love travelling and meeting different people, and I have two little girls that I like to take with me so they can see different places. But really, I just love rodeo. Of course, the Grand Canyon finals are always exciting and fun, and I also like Holbrook because it’s a big rodeo and close to home. The GCPRA always puts on a good rodeo.”
As for the equine half of her team, Jody rides an 11-year-old mare she calls Stella. “She has so much heart, and she wants to win just as much as I do,” says Jody. “She’s the best partner I could ever have. I trained her as a four year old and I needed a horse right away, so she really stepped up to the plate. Her registered name is She’s A French Starr, and I loved her so much, I bought a full sister to her. Stella has so much sass and she loves her job – I couldn’t have picked a better horse to fit me.” Jody also has the first horse she ran barrels on, a Paint, who helped her win one of her first buckles while rodeoing in Holbrook.
Jody keeps her horses at her parents’ barn, and also has a multitude of animals including dogs and chickens to keep her and her family on their toes. She and her husband, Clint, live in Snowflake, Ariz., with their two daughters, Trystyn (seven), and Adell (three). “They love horses,” Jody describes, “and I drag them out to my parents’ arena every single day while I ride. They’re either playing in the dirt or riding with me. Clint is a great supporter – he doesn’t rodeo, but he knows how much I love it. My dad makes sure Mom and I are safe, always checking on the truck and trailer, and then he and Clint go fishing on the weekends we’re gone, so it works out good! But they do like to go to the Grand Canyon finals with us.”
During the week, Jody works as a hair stylist in town. She’s her own boss and rents a booth in a salon in town, giving her a flexible schedule for rodeoing on weekends. “I’ve worked there for a long time, and I have a great relationship with everybody,” she says. “On a holiday we might go to Lake Roosevelt with the family, but mostly we’re rodeoing all the time. I’d love to make it to the Turquoise Circuit Finals, and I want to kick it into gear and make it to the Grand Canyon Finals sitting high.”

© Rodeo Life Media Corporation | All Rights Reserved • Laramie, Wyoming • 307.761.9053

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