MIDDLEBORO, Mass. (AP) — She’s the teen queen of the rodeo scene, a barrel racing star who rides like the wind.
Shiloh Marchand, 15, was born to ride, rustle cattle and hogtie goats. She was tossed in the saddle at 14 months old and she started competing at the age of 4.
Her parents, Leo and Jane Marchand, met on the racing circuit, he was a bull rider and she was a barrel racer.
So it should come as no surprise that Shiloh recently took home the top trophy for barrel racing at the New York State High School Rodeo Association’s Double M Rodeo.
Sporting a six-inch silver trophy belt buckle and well-worn cowboy boots the soft-spoken teen is more interested in taking about the health of her four horses than showing off her trophies.
She can tell you where it hurts just by looking at any one of the horses on the farm and she can soothe their aches with a magnetic blanket, massage or by applying pressure to sore spots, using her hands to heal much like an acupuncturist would use needles.
Shiloh’s holistic approach has her focused on becoming a chiropractor for horses. “I like making them feel better,” she says.
Mom and Dad both have horses and there’s a miniature horse roaming loose on their farm tagging along after an Australian sheep dog.
The newest addition to the Marchands’ string of horses is Channel, a 3-year-old palomino from Louisiana, who had never been ridden but, within days, Shiloh slid a saddle on her back and was riding.
“I call her the horse whisperer,” said her grandmother, Audrey J. Mello of Taunton.
“I’m going to train her to do everything,” Shiloh said. It could take up to four years to train Channel, but Shiloh says it’s up to the horse when it’s time to compete. “She’ll tell me, really, she’s a smart learner. We’ll probably be running when she’s 6 or 7.”