Flatwater Free Press 

The rise of Broken Bow's self-taught barrel racer

'She's here because she got herself here':


March 27, 2024

Naomi Delkamiller | Flatwater Free Press

Jaden Claire, 16, and Shayla take turns trying on riding hats at the Lancaster County event center in Lincoln on Feb. 23, 2024. The two spend most of their time together at competitions. "This journey has brought us to many people that we got to meet. For that we are forever grateful," Daisy Staab said.

Shayla Staab buried the brim of her suede hat into her phone, pushing through disappointment to see what went wrong. The 16-year-old barrel racer had just completed her first run of the competition and was already analyzing videos.

"It's a lot harder than it looks," Shayla signed to her dad.

Despite her disappointment, Shayla left the Lancaster County event center on March 9 with a first place win in her division. Not bad for a self-taught racer.

Unlike most of her fellow competitors, Shayla comes from a family with no rodeo experience. Her father, Russell Staab, owns a locksmith company...

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