SAN ANTONIO — The San Antonio Rodeo is one of the most competitive rodeos in the country, with barrel racing being one of the most serious events.
Folks participating were required to place top 30 in worlds just to receive an invitation to the San Antonio rodeo. Because of how serious and time-consuming the sport is, it's hard to imagine having much of a life outside of the sport. However, one woman from Colorado manages to do it all.
Shali Lord grew up around horses. She always wanted to pursue barrel racing, but if there was one thing she wanted more it was to be a mother.
"I've always wanted to have kids," she explained.
But with rodeos happening all around the country, being a mom and a professional barrel racer can be mutually exclusive. So when she was given the opportunity to do both, she had to ask for help by passing the reigns to someone she trusts most.
Now, Lord's two-year-old daughter Steely cheers her mom on from the metal bleachers, accompanied by Lord's mother, Leslie Nichols.
"My responsibility is taking care of the kids," explained Nichols.
When Lord saddles up, her mom sits on the sidelines feeding her grand-daughter breakfast tacos. The pair waits patiently - sometimes for hours - for Lord's sixteen-second run.
"It's a family affair," said Lord.
"Rodeo's a family sport we feel like," agreed Nichols.
Lord's husband and seven-year-old son are at home. They'll watch her races through a cellphone video today, but once school is out they plan to join her on the road.
"I try to balance it out to where in the summer the kids can travel with us," said Lord. "It makes it fun for the kids, fun for everybody."
Lord is currently planning to attend a rodeo in Florida during her son's spring break. She said a family trip to Disney World is in order after the competition.