Kaycee Feild is 10x WNFR bareback riding qualifier, winning the world as well as the average standings four times (2011-2014). The father of three (Chaimberlyn, […]
Roper Review with Jennifer Williams
Written by: Teri Edwards< Back to Articles
Jennifer grew up horseback riding, playing polo, and helping her late father, Phil Shurden, a blacksmith and horse trainer. As a teen, Jennifer was an aggressive polo player with a bright future. She was also an avid golfer, just two strokes from qualifying as a pro, when she decided she wanted to rope. Knowing her own determination and “all or nothing” attitude, Jennifer sold her polo horses and laid down the golf clubs to devote her efforts to team roping.
Roping was always a family affair. Phil and his five kids spent many hours in the roping arena, with mom, Linda working the video camera and cheering the family on. The Shurdens were regular competitors at Booger Barter ropings in the 1990’s.
Not long after she started roping, Jennifer met her husband, Speed Williams at a roping clinic. The pair began a friendship that grew into the 18-year bond they have today. The couple married in 1997, the same year Speed won his first world title. He would go on to win seven more consecutively. Behind the scenes Jennifer was a vital part of the team. Besides regular rodeo duties like all-night drives and grooming, Jennifer’s horsemanship skills helped keep their horses light, responsive and ready for competition.
After retiring from the rodeo trail, Speed developed a team roping training website, speedroping.com. The site features an extensive library of videos including instructional drills and horse training tips. Jennifer had always wanted to learn to heel and the couple agreed to document her learning journey on speedroping.com. By doing so, low numbered ropers would be able to recognize issues similar to their own and learn how to correct them.
Jennifer is no stranger to the winner’s circle. She has won the Windy Ryon All Girl roping (with mother-in-law, Bobbi Williams). Earlier this year she won second at the Wildfire All Girl roping heeling. She has been the reserve champion header at the PDL Richest Roping in Reno. But undoubtedly she is most proud of winning the #10 at the 40+ Finals in Stephenville, TX, with her dad, shortly before he passed away.
In addition to working on videos for their website, speedroping.com, the Williams’ stay booked with private clinics, mostly held at their home in DeLeon, Texas. Jennifer also home schools their two children, Hali, 10, and Gabe, 7.
It would be hard to meet a nicer person in or out of the arena. But if you want to visit with Jennifer, you better have your track shoes on because she seldom slows down.
How much do you practice?
Do you make your own horses?
Sometimes. Usually we buy horses that need to be finished or fixed.
Who were your roping (rodeo) heroes?
Clay O’Brien Cooper and my husband, Speed.
Who do you respect most in the world?
Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
My dad, my best friend, and my husband.
If you had a day off what would you like to do?
Do something fun with my kids.
The Big Easy and Lonesome Dove.
What’s the last thing you read?
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Patient, loyal, hardworking.
What makes you happy?
My family and friends.
What makes you angry?
Bullies and people who won’t put forth effort.
If you were given 1 million dollars, how would you spend it?
After tithing, I would pay off bills and build a covered arena.
What is your worst quality – your best?
My worst quality is I can be very blunt at times. My best quality is my loyalty to people I care about.