Leslie Champman Harrison of Stamford, Texas and Spirit of Talent win the barrel racing class at the 2012 Adequan Select World Championship Show. (Journal photo)
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by Allison GraysonThe American Quarter Horse Journal
Leslie Chapman Harrison of Stamford, Texas, and her horse, “Shelia,” must be doing something right when it comes to barrel racing. They won their second consecutive gold trophy at the 2012 Adequan Select World Championship Show.
“I’m thrilled and I’m thrilled for my little mare,” Leslie said in her Journal Winning Run interview. “She won last year, and I was trying to win another championship with her.”
“The first run was really good (and) this last run she just had some ground trouble. She was slipping and sliding,” she said. “But…she’s full of heart and she gives me everything she’s got… She just runs and tries her best. That’s all I can ask (and) I was proud of her.”
Leslie has been so proud of Shelia that she has some big plans for her in the future.
“I’d like to maybe start breeding or maybe getting some embryos from her and start raising some colts because she’s the last out of this stallion (Flaming Talent),” she said.
“My granddaughters named her. They couldn’t say her name, so they just called her She-She,” Leslie said of Shelia. “She’s just been special to us always. I’ve got a half sister to her and I qualified her this year, but I couldn’t afford to bring both of them. So hopefully next year if I can maybe get a colt or something out of her soon, I can bring the other one.”
This win has been a long time coming for Leslie. She started competing when she was younger, and she credits her parents for getting her racing.
“My daddy and mom (Ed and Eileen) ranched for a long time when I was little and then the drought at that time hit. And my dad had to go into the oil field and moved into New Mexico (Carlsbad), and I got my first horse,” she said.
“My mom was a real good (water) skier and we did that every weekend,” she said. “And, you know, they gave up their water skies and bought me a horse. So they gave me my start.”
Since then, Leslie has been working hard to be successful in her horse work.
“I do it myself. My mom and dad have always been able to furnish horses for me, and my mom just passed away this last year. And she hauled with me a bunch, and daddy (was) always there,” she explained with tears in her eyes. “And my husband and family, they’ve always made sure we’ve been able to afford nice horses.”
“I’m a nurse, and I work to support my habit because I love to go,” she said. “It’s taken a long time, but we’ve just worked and then close friends (have helped), I got Shelia from a real close friend of mine."
I just try to keep going, I love running, but she’s always been there with me,” she said of her mother’s passing. “And I could always get advice and stuff (from her). She’d be thrilled.”
Leslie wanted to thank her mom and dad for all that they have done for her, as well as all of the people she rode with growing up. She also wanted to thank her husband, Dub, and her kids, Wendy, Will and Wes.
“My kids have put up with me running barrels … My kids all ride … My daughters and granddaughters they run (and) my boys, they rope,” she said. “And my husband, he roped, but he had an accident calf roping, so he team ropes now … He was gonna come with me but he couldn’t, he had to work.”
“My dad, he comes over every day. He has to watch my horses,” she said with a laugh. “He’s one of my coaches.”
As far as her win with Shelia, Leslie was extremely proud and looking forward to the future.
"I’m thrilled and I look forward to this show every year. It’s so much fun. I’m proud of my horses and I hope I can get them all here.