To the Top: Teenage Jada Trosper’s Journey to Excellence

At the esteemed age of 17, Jada Trosper is turning the barrel industry into her oyster.
Jada Trosper, Barrel Racer
Jada Trosper at AT&T Stadium during the 2020 Women’s Rodeo World Championship. Photo by Andy Watson / Bull Stock Media

Working her way through the youth ranks, Jada Trosper found a place to play among professionals in the World Championship Rodeo Alliance.  

“I have never been a part of an association that treats the youth like they are professionals and supports both myself and my team just as much as the pros at the NFR are supported,” Trosper said. “From the moment my then-15-year-old-self came into the program, they were nothing but a second family. They are so loving and caring and, at the same time, they want you to succeed as an individual.”

The Horses That Built Her

Trospers’ wisdom paired with her youthful enthusiasm is refreshing. The 17-year-old started riding before she could walk and began cruising around on her father Jason Troper’s retired heel horses. As she went from trotting to loping the barrel pattern on step-up horses, there was one constant in the barn: older horses. 

“I grew up on older horses,” Trosper said. “My parents always wanted to make sure I was safe and taken care of. So, we always looked for the been-there, done-that kind of horse.”

Trosper believes older horses build confidence by eliminating the worry of managing a 1,100-lb. animal.

“You just have to worry about playing your part as a rider, so you really get a focus on your own technique and your run as a whole,” Trosper said “The older horses oftentimes nurture the younger generation.”

After riding a slew of solid citizens, Trosper received her first fire-breathing mare at the age of 13—MNMS Roany Pony, or “Ems.”

Trosper says Ems’ amped-up attitude gave her a new perspective on what it means to go fast. After four years of competing together, Ems retired in the summer of 2021 to clear the way for Sun N Sevens, known as “Seven.”

Latest and Greatest

“Seven is a horse that has brought more tears to my eyes than any other—both good and bad,” Trosper said. “He was my first young horse; so, after coming off of the older horses, here comes Seven.”

Seven is cow-bred through and through, with a pedigree containing names such as Doc O’Lena, Freckles Playboy and Peppy San. Trosper said he was started as a cutting horse, but was scared of the cattle. 

Jada Trosper's Sun N Sevens

“I think it’s because they’re the same size as him,” Trosper said. “He’s 13.3 hands standing strong, and they didn’t believe his heart was in it.”

Luckily, Seven’s heart was in the speed events with Trosper at the helm.

“His eyes light up,” Trosper said. “He wants to do good for you. He’s such a cool little horse, and I’ve never had one that’s that broke. Because he is little, he doesn’t make tight turns. He actually slides to his pivot point and rolls back on himself. It’s a really fast turn style but it’s not a (bendy, tight barrel wrapping) one . I don’t ever have to worry about hitting a barrel on him.”

Wholesome WCRA Moments 

Some of Trospers’ favorite memories come from WCRA events, including Rodeo Corpus Christi, Utah Days of 47 Rodeo and the Women’s Rodeo World Championship. 

“My biggest accomplishment ever was at the Women’s Rodeo World Championship in November of 2020,” Trosper recalled. “Seven and I were a very new team, and he qualified me as one of six (barrel racers) to compete at the AT&T Stadium.”

Trosper was the youngest to advance to the event and competed alongside some of her biggest inspirations: Ivy Saebens, Stephanie Fryar and Hallie Hansen.

“It was so cool because these are girls that I’ve always looked up to,” Trosper said. “I learned from them; I watch them and I want to be them when I’m older.

Trosper isn’t slowing down on her journey to become a better jockey. Currently a junior in high school, she is planning to attend Oklahoma State University and graduate with her bachelor’s degree in agricultural business within two years thanks to college credit-earning classes she’s taking now. From there, she’ll be looking to buy her ProRodeo card shortly after turning 18 and chase down the Resistol Rookie title.