By John Schwartz
Photos by Brad Stanley and Dale Miller
La miembro del equipo de rodeo de Chevy Fallon Taylor retoma sus actividades luego de haber sufrido graves heridas y brilla nuevamente.
Read the full article from New Roads magazine below:
HUSTLE. KICK! KICK! KICK! GO AHEAD! LOOK UP! SIT! OUTSIDE LEG! PUSH-PUSH-PUSH. HURRY. These are the words that Fallon Taylor says she hears when barrel racing at rodeos, jolting around the barrels, wearing rainbow colors and riding at incredible speed-and with evident joy.
"Controlled chaos," she said, describing the feeling. "It's like riding a roller coaster with no safety harness. It's a lot of fun."
Let’s take her word for it.
The 2014 world champion barrel racer and member of Team Chevy Rodeo has been there, done that. She even sells T-shirts emblazoned with the "HUSTLE. KICK! KICK! KICK!..." slogan through her clothing line, Ranch Dress'n.
She started riding very early. Taylor was 7 years old when she got hooked on rodeos on TV. "I was a little girl and saw pretty people on fast horses, and I thought, 'I can do that,'" she said.
There were a couple of problems with that idea, though. One: She lived in Florida-not a major center of rodeo activity. Two: She had never been on a horse, aside from a pony at her grade school in Tampa.
GETTING STARTED IN RODEO
Her parents, Shelton and Dian, picked up on their child's passion and decided to let her give this rodeo thing a shot. They moved to Ponder, Texas, where her father, an inventor, had a manufacturing plant.
“I have really cool parents,” she said, with a hint of understatement.
She started riding professionally a month after the move. "I could have had no natural ability, but thank God I did," she said.
Taylor started out in barrel racing-following a cloverleaf pattern around fixed barrels in a competition for the fastest run-and cutting, which involves working a small herd of cattle. Before long, she decided to focus on barrel racing. "It was a faster pace and right up my alley."
By her teen years, she was qualifying for the National Finals Rodeo-four of them. Her parents home-schooled her along the way, fitting in side trips with competitions "to show me something I was learning about." While some sports prodigies complain about having missed their childhoods, Taylor has no such regrets. "I had the coolest childhood ever," she said.
PURSUING MODELING AND ACTING
But in 1998 she walked away from rodeo to pursue modeling opportunities; she also was acting. Taylor was living in New York and Los Angeles, but always came home to Texas and her horses.
Tragedy struck in 2009, when she suffered a nearly fatal training accident that left her with a broken neck and fractured skull. Doctors wondered whether she would ever walk again.
Though her recovery was difficult, she decided to return to competitive riding and had "a renewed sense of self." By 2012, after a 15-year hiatus from professional rodeo, she was back, riding Babyflo, a mare descended from her previous champions.
Taylor, who now wears a helmet when riding, has been a top earner in her rodeo career, though, she says, "I don't keep up with it much. I just like to run and win."
Along the way, she has become a superstar in the field as well as a social media and marketing phenomenon.
There’s that clothing line, of course, and she also has put her name on saddles and riding helmets, and offers lessons at her ranch to aspiring riders.
At 33, Fallon Taylor sees no end to the fun. "It's not like pro football, where you hit your 30s and you're washed up," she said. "You can have a long career."
SILVERADO HD AN IMPORTANT TEAMMATE FOR TEAM CHEVY RODEO
Team Chevy Rodeo is bullish on the performance of the Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD and Silverado 3500HD.
The five team members face tight schedules, long-distance travel and the need to transport themselves and their animals safely and comfortably.
They rely on the power, trailering, connectivity and durability of the Silverado HD.
Team Chevy Rodeo members Tuf Cooper (tie-down roping), Fallon Taylor (barrel racing), Richmond Champion (bareback riding), Luke Branquinho (steer wrestling) and Travis Graves (team roping) have racked up a total of more than 130,000 miles since getting their trucks last summer.
“Trailering is always key—being able to safely move our valuable horses from one event to the next is definitely a high priority,” said Cooper.
“Also, the comfort of a Chevy truck is like no other. A 12-hour drive is a whole lot easier when you are comfortable and have (available) built-in Wi-Fi2 access.”
The High Country trim level of their trucks blends the best principles of interior design with capability. The new available Fifth-Wheel/Gooseneck Prep Package3 means you are ready to tow larger trailers right from the factory.
The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association schedule runs from February to September throughout North America. The goal is to make the National Finals Rodeo in December to compete for a world title.
"Once the season starts, we are out at events competing or driving to the next event," said Branquinho. "The Chevrolet Silverado HD helps us do this easily, so we can put on a great performance."
THE 2016 CHEVY SILVERADO HD
- The most dependable, longest-lasting full-size pickups on the road4
- Advanced towing technologies such as Trailer Sway Control and available Trailer Brake Controller that help provide stability and control.
- Available Duramax Diesel engine and Allison transmission.