Tillar came off the big win at Helldorado days in Las Vegas, Nevada and went right to studying for finals. Tillar is finishing her sophomore year at the University of Texas where she is planning to graduate with a degree in Liberal Arts honor program, business honors, and management information systems. Here are a few questions to get to know Tillar Murray.
Fort Worth, Texas
Horses you travel with:
Royal Star Commander ("Commander")
Dirty Dan Stinson ("Dirty Dan")
Lil Gracie's Dude ("Tic Tac")
JL Fourtafame ("Munchie")
Probably winning Cheyenne Frontier Days
Favorite rodeo and why?
My favorite rodeo is probably the Fort Worth Rodeo. Even though I have never had much success there, I love getting to be home and getting to compete 5 miles away from my house. That is hard to beat!
How do you prepare for different arenas?
I try not to really overthink the different arenas. I just try to treat each rodeo arena the same and just ride my horse the best I can. I just remember it is three barrels regardless. Whether a big or small pattern, indoors and outdoors, close or far from the walls, I still try to go to the same points around the barrel and so it really doesn't change what I at least aim to do!
What are your thoughts before you go in the arena?
My trainer, Ed Wright, always used to tell me, "It's just another practice run." I remember when he told me that before high school rodeo state and I was thinking he was so wrong because it felt like so much bigger than that. However, over the years, I have started to see how just how accurate he was by saying that!
What is the hardest thing about rodeoing?
I think the hardest thing about rodeoing is being so far from home. Although it makes a huge difference knowing friends along the way and places to stay, it can be stressful when things go poorly on the road. We work really hard to keep the horses happy on the road but it is hard to replace being home.
Favorite place to eat on the road:
I'm such a foodie and keep a list of my favorite restaurants in the various cities we go to. However, I always Yelp restaurants on the road and love trying new local restaurants.
Least favorite place to eat on the road:
Almost any type of fast-food restaurant - with the exception of Whataburger.
What buckle do you wear?
I still wear my high school rodeo belt buckle from Texas State freshman year. I'm mostly just too lazy to change it.
What was like it to win Helldorado Days on the Las Vegas strip?
This is my first year to make the "Spring Run" of California and Nevada runs so it was my first year to run at Helldorado Days. I loved competing there! We could actually see the rodeo arena from our hotel room right down the strip. It is so fun to be in Las Vegas as it is and even more exciting to get to compete right on the strip! I hope to get to again next year!
I could fill a whole page of people to thank. However, first and foremost, I am very grateful to Lynn Hastings and Mark Bugni for trusting me with this special horse, Dirty Dan. Secondly, I am of course so thankful for my parents, whom make this all possible. Also, many thanks to Martha Wright and Casey Doebbler Hammons. I really could not be competing and attending school if it were not for them. They keep my horses while I am in school and do so much to help keep my horses in top condition. There are many others - Josey Groves, Erin Ricotti, John and Sara Prosser, and many, many more, whom help with the horses. I am so grateful for all of them! Also, a big thank you to sponsors Oxygen and Myristol Pro for giving my horses the extra edge to keep them competing their best!
Tillar is sitting #9 in the WPRA World Standings with $40,320.05 and only competing to 28 rodeos. We wish you the best this year!
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