21-year-old champion barrel racer from the Mountain States Circuit, Ivy Lauren Conrado, grew up in her hometown of Hudson, Colorado with one older brother, Chance, and one older sister, Paige. She was born to a mother and father who truly loved horses and the sport of rodeo. Her father was a roper and her mother was a barrel racer… both very competitively. Her mother and father actually met during the La Junta High School Rodeo.
Ivy will tell you, “We grew up in a truck as kids.” Her mother and father were a futurity training team that trained colts. They traveled a lot and most of the time took approximately 6 heads went to a training, not including their three kids! “Mom and dad would lay out blankets near the horse trailers at their events, placing our toys and snacks on them and would clearly state, ‘Do not move from this blanket.’ Some of my childhood pictures included me playing in water buckets while they worked with the horses.”
Naturally, having grown up around horses, Ivy developed a strong love for them. She started riding from the time she was a baby and then began to barrel race at a young age. At the age of five, Ivy’s father took her to compete in junior rodeos in Spearfish, South Dakota where they had a weekly rodeo you could attend. Though Ivy mentioned growing up in a truck, once she was at the age to attend school, her parents slowed down significantly to be sure her, as well as her siblings, could attend a public school although she still competed in several junior rodeos and high school rodeos. However, from the age of 15, until about 17, Ivy stopped barrel racing all together to play volleyball competitively. She was a great student who was very involved but didn’t have the time to do both. Did you know she actually went to the junior olympics for volleyball four times as a setter?
When Ivy was 17 she decided not to hide from her true passion of barrel racing and returned to competing full time. “I never want to do anything unless I am going to be very good at it.” She knew she had every opportunity provided by her parents to be a great barrel racer so she took the leap of faith and chose to ride! As of today Ivy sits at number two in the world standings currently behind Mary Burger. 2016 has been her breakout rookie year winning a champion title at the Mountain States Circuit and then going on to win the 2016 RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo Champion Barrel Racing title. Her current goals are to solidify her place to compete at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in December and have the chance to compete for the world title.
At the beginning of each rodeo season, Ivy’s father helps her plan out her travel, picking which rodeos she should attend and he often travels with her. Ivy typically will compete in as many as 60 rodeos or more in one year! So it’s safe to say… to this day, she still spends a lot of time in the truck!
Currently, Ivy and her family own about 25-30 barrel racing horses. Ivy typically competes with her horse Tibbie. “It’s pretty cool that my dad trained Tibbie and Tibbie was born at our home. Tibbie is seven years old.” When it comes to the sport of barrel racing Ivy said, “My favorite thing is the thrill of running into the first barrel. It never gets old.”
We wish Ivy the best of luck and safe travels while working to reach her goals at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo this year, where we hope to see her back in Kissimmee!
From under the hat: “When you think you might quit, never give up!”