Meet the Members Cami & Isabel Cumper

by Rodeo News

story by Michele Toberer

Fast has been the speed that Cami Cumper, and her daughter Isabel Cumper, have been surrounded by their entire lives. Cami grew up in central Michigan, where her parents, Jay and Lu Hall, raised race-bred Quarter Horses, and she was immersed in the world of racing fast horses on tracks as well as at barrel races. She entered her first barrel race at just 4-years-old, and jockeyed ponies in pony races at the racetracks near their home. Although her parents bred and raised Quarter Horses, they mainly trained racehorses for clients, and Cami was learning the ins and outs of it all as she spent time in the fast-paced environment.
As she attended Dow High School in Midland, Michigan, she became involved in high school rodeo as a 16-year-old junior, spending her rookie year as a barrel racer. Thanks to Stuart Pletcher of Twisted P Rodeo Company, she was able to add roping and goat tying to her resume; and while using his gelding, Goose, she won the MHSRA goat tying championship and Reserve All-Around Cowgirl Championship her senior year. “Stuart was always willing to help somebody and really took me under his wing. He allowed me to compete on Goose, who knew it all and made me look like I knew more than I did.” Following high school, Cami obtained her cosmetology license, working as a nail technician while training horses. “For 15 years I was super passionate about prepping and training Thoroughbred race horses. I would condition and prep client’s Thoroughbreds to go to the yearling sales.”

Cami Cumper - Emily Gethke Photography
Isabel Cumper - courtesy of the family

After meeting Brad Cumper, an equine veterinarian who had come out for a farm call; the two married, and now have two daughters, Isabel, 11, and Peyton, 6. The couple owns and operates Saginaw Valley Equine Clinic, which has been the official veterinarian for the American Quarter Horse Congress for the past three years. They also help many horses on the road with their mobile sports medicine business, Game Time Sports Medicine. And, through it all, fast is still a big part of their world, as Cami and both daughters focus on barrel racing now. This past year was Isabel’s rookie year in the Mid States Rodeo Association, and although Cami won the MSRA barrel racing title in 2009, it was the first year that Cami has competed hard since having her daughters. “It was honestly a summer I’ll never forget, the memories we made, and the experiences we’ve had competing in the MSRA have been like no other.”
Isabel, a 5thgrader at Freeland Elementary, loves math and playing basketball and softball when she’s not running barrels, and hopes to be a veterinarian one day. She was definitely one of the youngest members competing in the MSRA this year, telling her mom at the beginning of the season, “I just want to be one of you girls,” and despite feeling a bit intimidated about whether she’d be able to run with the big girls, she qualified for the season finals at 5th place in the standings, and won the 2018 Champion Rookie Barrel Racer of the Year title. Isabel has had much success on her palomino gelding named Ireland for the past three years, but due to an injury, had to borrow her sister Peyton’s horse for the finals, Firewaterinthedraw, fondly known as Frankie. “I knew I had to focus because even if I made a good run it was hard to place because I was competing against such top girls. I wasn’t sure how it would turn out in the beginning, but I got more confidence as the season went on.” Cami competed on her 11-year-old paint gelding, I Do One Two Three, finishing in third place for the MSRA season. “Both horses worked fantastic, I couldn’t be happier. And, to go in to the finals in the top 12 with your daughter was just amazing. We give God the glory, He’s blessed us with these amazing animals and we’ve met so many amazing people that have really touched us this summer. We want to say thank you to everyone that we met this summer that have been there for us. We have been so blessed, and that only comes from one place.”

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

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