story by BreAnne Benson Muldrow, Oklahoma, is home to the talented cowgirl, Hazlee Mckenzie. The 16-year-old junior is a standout member of the Oklahoma High […]
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Meet the Member Shiloh Martin
story by Lindsay King
Shiloh Martin showed up in leggings and thought she ruined the black-tie affair. Her first rodeo queen contest in Pawnee, Oklahoma, wasn’t exactly what the then 8-year-old bargained for. “I showed up on my dad’s ranch horse in a taco-shaped straw hat and my leggings. I looked like a country bumpkin,” said the 18-year-old Shidler High School senior as she noted how it’s easy to look back at it and laugh now. “I fell in love with the responsibility of representing rodeo and the cowboys that competed in the IPRA and other national stages.” Though this Osage cowgirl isn’t one to give up without a fight. In 2008, Shiloh came back to the Pawnee Bill Memorial Rodeo and gave the pageant another shot. She’s held various rodeo queen titles ever since then, including reigning as the 2017-2018 National Little Britches queen. “I credit the Pawnee Bill rodeo for all my success, they have done nothing but help and encourage me on this journey.”
The traditional rodeo family route just wouldn’t be a fitting entrance for Shiloh. She actually found her love for the sport staring at the bottom of a horses’ foot with her dad Jay, a full-time farrier. He held contracts for big-time quarter horse shows, state fairs and PRCA rodeos up and down the prairie circuit. “I got to know a bunch of big-name cowboys and cowgirls behind the chutes. It inspired me to not only want to compete like they did, but to also have their same attitude regardless of success in the arena.” She’s mastered the winning attitude aspect of rodeo as she recounts the tough luck life threw at her in her first, and last, year of competing in the OHSRA.
“I had a four-year-old that was supposed to be my ticket to the pros, he was amazing. But I had to put him down this fall and then needed to sell my head horse to cover the vet bills.” Shiloh’s positivity never wavers as she talks about the pony she can heel on in the NLBRA. “It’s God’s plan and I know he is going to provide something out of all this.” She is usually a header but is also learning how to cut. She has been told for years to give it a try and now that she has, there is no going back. “I would rather cut than do anything else at this point, it combines the finesse and accuracy of roping with the speed of barrel racing.” Even after only a few months with the OHSRA cutters, Shiloh feels right at home with the group. “Every single person in the cutting pen is there for the benefit of the kids. It is so inspiring to see adults that I barely know want to see me succeed.”
Shiloh lives by Proverbs 24:16, stating that if you get knocked down seven times then you better get back up eight. Though her plans for college rodeo may have changed, her drive certainly has not. “Once I get my law degree I want to open my own firm to benefit farmers, ranchers and cattlemen. Producers provide so much for us that they don’t have the time to defend themselves when they have a legal issue.” The daughter of Jay and Stephanie Martin is also an aspiring photographer and has a 12-year-old sister, Shasta. She gives thanks to her family and sponsors (Bar Diamond Leather and Equine Dentistry, Rockin’ P Therapy and Rodeo Wrecks) for getting her down the road. Though a special thanks goes to her long-time neighbor Ally Payne. “Ever since I was little Ally has done nothing but help me ride and learn how to work with young horses. I credit all my horsemanship skills and rodeo success to her.”