Shelby Stansbury, a 16-year-old junior at Oakdale Charter School, has been lighting up the arenas for the California High School Rodeo Association (CHSRA). Stansbury, the daughter of Skip and Taffy Stansbury, has been riding since the age of four.
“I was itty bitty when I first rode. My mom showed western pleasure horses and she let me ride along with her,” Stansbury recalled. “I was four when I competed in my first competition in Texas. I competed in the walk trot.”
Since then she hasn’t looked back and is winning awards with her trusty registered quarter horses, Mr. Bud, Taffy, Zazzy, Black Betty and Misty. Stansbury competes in barrel racing and breakaway.
“They’re all my children in a way. I love them all and they’re great companions,” she said of her horses.
This year alone Stansbury has won three awards, including the CHSRA Breakaway Roping in the 2014 Finals championship with times of 3.3 and 4.2 seconds respectfully. She is also the CHSRA Reserve Champion, and the 2014 All Around Rookie Cowgirl Award winner.
Next up, June 8 through 14, she will be competing in Bishop, California for the state finals.
“I’m very excited. This is my first year, and I’ve been keeping busy. It’s a full-time job just keeping the horses in shape and to keep them groomed. I work with them every day on top of my school work … I love it though. It’s a lot of fun.”
Stansbury is looking into schools for after high school next year. She is looking into Texas A&M and Sam Houston where she plans to earn a business degree. Stansbury credits Oakdale Charter School for a portion of her success.
“School is very important to me. Oakdale Charter has been a large part of my success. It’s different than regular high school,” Stansbury said. “They allow me to pursue my goals and help out academically. Mrs. Amy Simons has been incredible, as well as everyone else there.”