2021 Montana Pro Rodeo Circuit Finalist Tia Murphy

Which horse(s) are you taking to the finals? What are their lifetime earnings?
Ican Make U Famous aka Reno

What is your horse(s)' style when running barrels and what's unique about their personality?
Reno is gritty, always gives 110%, and likes to power through her turns. She is all business and likes her routine. Reno does not like warm up pens and I am the only one who can catch her in a large pen.

When did you start competing in barrel racing?
I started competing when I was a little girl. Both my parents rodeoed when I was growing up and we traveled to more Canadian CRA rodeos since they were closer than most Montana rodeos.

Do you raise your own horses? Or do you purchase? Are you looking for specific bloodlines?
I like to purchase 3-4 year olds who have a solid foundation and finish them my way if needed and enjoy taking them through the seasoning process. I bought Reno as a 4 year old from Valee Miller who trained her and put a super solid foundation on her where I was able to take Reno straight to seasoning. I am now partial to Dash Ta Fame bloodlines because of Reno.

What are your conditioning and workout routines for both you and your horse(s)?
I like doing intervals on conditioning days and adding circle work without a barrel or fence work when needed. I don’t do a lot of barrel work unless we have had a long stretch of runs and I want to reinforce basics with slow work. I try to ride 5-6 days/week, but winter and work days make some of this challenging so we have to get creative. Some winter days I may only get a 20-minute walk in but I feel it is better than nothing.

When you're headed to the rodeo what do you listen to: inspirational podcasts, music, audio books?
XM radio or Trey Johnson podcast

Do you have a rodeo idol and reasons why?
My rodeo role model will always be my mom because of her dedication and persistence. She is my original travel partner who encourages me and gives the best advice!

Do you have favorite spots to stop at while on the road?
Any coffee shop!

Who do you travel with (including pets or companion horses) and in what kind of rig?
Accompanying Reno and I on all our travels is Reno’s favorite buddy horse, Benelli, and my mini Dachshund, Cedar Sue.  My kids, Brinli and Kortlan, travel with us most of the time and my husband, Zach, jumps in when he doesn’t have to work. My mom, Charlene, will also travel with us when she gets a chance. We travel in a Chevy and Lakota rig.

What are your favorite memories/highlights and obstacles you faced getting to the 2021 circuit finals?
Coming off an injury from last year, we both had to get our confidence back. We made a few adjustments at the beginning of the season which took some time to work through the process. My favorite runs of the season were Glasgow, Great Falls, and Missoula, because I felt like they were turning points for us where our adjustments and what we were working on had finally clicked!

How do you juggle family life while on the road?
Since I am a teacher, my schedule is the same as my kids so it makes it easier for us all to travel together in the summer. When we are all back in school, I travel more by myself. My husband is very supportive and great about picking up the slack getting kids to practices, activities, and games if I am gone.
What are your hobbies or other sports you compete in?

When I get a free minute, I enjoying playing the piano. And I won’t turn down any pick-up game, especially if it were volleyball or basketball.

The Run Down

Saddle: Connolly
Pad: SaddleRight
Leg Gear: Iconoclast or Ortho Equine
Bits: Flaharty Combo
Feed and Supplements (in addition to what, how much you feed daily): Montana Premium Alfalfa pellets and CEP supplements
Additional Care: Hansbo, XLR8, TOPP Equine Services, Payne-less Solutions