R.J. “Bob” Robinson, one of Canada’s premier bull riders, spent his life competing and serving in the sport he loves. He is one of nine […]
On the Trail with Fallon Taylor
Written by: Siri Stevens< Back to Articles
Fallon Taylor grew up in Tampa, Fla, and moved to Texas when she was seven. “I started riding horses and in six months I decided that’s what I wanted to do,” said the youngest of three. Her parents, Shelton and Dian, hired a trainer to help since they knew nothing about riding horses or rodeo. Fallon was homeschooled so she could focus on riding and barrel racing. “We stumbled our way through the rest and ended up with a trainer that lived at the ranch and trained my mare, Flowers and Money, the dam of Babyflo.”
Fallon qualified for her first NFR in 1995, at 13 years old. She qualified for the next three years and found that life on the road had lost its allure. The bright lights of New York City caught her attention and she spent the next ten years modeling in New York City, acting in Las Angeles, and riding her horses in Texas. “I was training horses for other people, and had no aspirations to come back to the NFR,” said the 32 year old. A near-fatal accident five years ago set Fallon down a different path. She was loping a 16.3 hand gelding one night and he slipped and started bucking “It got Western,” she said. “He was snapping and kicking. He reared up and fractured my skull in four places. I picked a spot to land and tried to get off – terrible idea. When I did, he kicked my feet and I went 12 feet in the air and landed straight on my head.” Fallon was paralyzed for three days with the same injury as Christopher Reeves, better known as Superman, and was given a 2% chance to walk. She shattered bones on the right side of her face, including her eye socket, fractured her skull in four places and broke the C-2 vertebra. “I’m blessed to be here.” Fallon’s recovery included wearing a halo for three months. “I had no other choice so I made it my life mission to learn how to recover. I had one come apart moment when I was trying to eat dinner with a halo on and couldn’t get the fork to my face.” After that, Fallon’s mission was to ride again and after a year of riding poorly, she finally found her stride. “I ride ten times better now than the first finals in the 90s, I have a lot more awareness of my body and my horse.”
Along came a football player named Delbert Alvarado – who came to town with the Dallas Cowboys’ training camp. “My uncle and his dad are coworkers – he gave me his phone number, and asked me to show him around. I’d just gotten out of the collar and he came to the ranch.” They were married three years ago and even though Delbert had never ridden before, he saw the talent that Fallon had in her horses and herself and encouraged her to pull the horses out of the pasture and try again. “Babyflo was the last one I pulled out of the pasture, and I cinched her up and we ran barrels that night.” Flos Heiress, sired by Dr Nick Bar out of Flowers and Money, was born, raised, and trained on the ranch. The 14.2 hand 8-year-old mare has carried Fallon to two NFRs and the team continues to improve.
Full story available in our March 2015 issue.