This Racer Plans to Go Big or Go Home!
Barrel racer Morgan Keeney competes in rodeos in her home state of Maryland as well as Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.
"I've been riding since I was old enough to walk and barrel racing for many years. I started competing in rodeos in 2014-2015 as a senior with the first Maryland high school rodeo team. I was the barrel racing champion and rookie of the year, and went on to compete in Rock Springs, Wyoming, at nationals."
A senior at West Virginia University, Morgan is majoring in agricultural business with a minor in equine studies.
Morgan currently competes in the National Barrel Horse Association (NBHA), International Barrel Racing Association (IBRA), and is the two-time barrel-racing champion at the J Bar W Ranch, a local rodeo in Union Bridge, MD.
"A little over two years ago. we purchased my quarterhorse Sam. He had a hind leg injury when we found him, but I knew he had amazing potential and we couldn’t pass up the opportunity. It was the best decision ever."
Thankfully, Morgan adds, Sam never favored the leg, and the injury didn't do any permanent damage besides leaving a scar.
"Sam has helped me grow so much as a rider, and together we make an amazing team, " says Morgan. "I took a chance on him, but within a month of taking care of his injury we were ready to start competing. He is lightfooted and more of a big pen horse, with long legs and lots of speed. He has a sweet heart and a goofy yet driven personality. People see him goofing around in warmups and think he's slightly crazy because he's bucking, prancing and jumping around. But I know he is just having fun with the rodeo music and the cheering crowd. He always gives his all and runs his heart out."
According to Morgan EQ-Royal "has helped Sam stay on top of his game. It has improved his overall performance and gave him the extra boost he needs."
Morgan is currently competing in as many Dave Martin Bull Ride Mania rodeos as possible, which gives her a larger audience, stiffer competition and "is the next step toward accomplishing my goals. I've had more success riding another, Cayenne — also a quarterhorse and the newest edition to our family. She is more of a heavy-footed horse, which helps her dig in those deep fair rodeo pins."
Currently in first place for the J Bar W Rodeo series, Morgan hopes to become the first barrel racer to win the series three years in a row.
Having tried many different equine disciplines, including Western, pleasure and jumping, Morgan says that but nothing compared with her love for barrel racing. "I gave up track and cross-country running as a senior in high school to pursue barrel racing as my main focus and hobby. I strive to go big in the barrel racing world and continue to follow my dreams.
"I have made this my priority, and know that my determination will take me to the next level, along with support from the people who believe in me."
- 2014 All-around barrel racing champion of Maryland's first high school rodeo
- Competed at the national finals rodeo in Rock Springs, WY.
- 2014-15 Barrel racing series winner, Maple Hill Barrel series winner, Winchester, VA.
- 2015-16 J Bar W Ranch rodeo series winner and Horizon Award for most improved rider, Union Bridge, MD.
- 2015 MD IBRA Youth Saddle 1D Champion
- 2017 MD IBRA Open 1D Saddle
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