Not Just a Pretty Face: Angie Meadors Talks Early Barrel Racing Career

Here's how Angie Meadors carved her name into barrel racing's history books while holding down modeling and cosmetology careers.
Angie Meadors barrel racing at the 2010 NFR.
Angie Meadors barrel racing at the 2010 NFR on Mulberry Canyon Moon. Image by Hubbell Rodeo Photos.

This article originally appeared in a 2010 issue of Spin to Win Magazine, the precursor to The Team Roping Journal Magazine.

One of the first things people get wrong about Angie Meadors is her age, and not just because she’s retained the stunning beauty that launched her modeling career 20 years ago.

Angie Meadors made a living running barrels for a full 10 years, then spent 10 years after that forging a new career as a successful trainer—and she’s just 33.

As a teenager, Angie Meadors competed at her first Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in 1990, and counted five qualifications to rodeo’s Super Bowl before hanging up her full-time rodeo hat in 1999. Then, a decade ago, she switched gears from running seasoned rodeo horses to schooling just-broke 3-year-olds.

“I liked the challenge of training the younger horses,” she said. “And I was burned out on the rodeoing. I got tired of being gone all the time.”

Meadors brought plenty of experience to her new career as a futurity trainer. She’d already ridden three different superstars to the NFR, including Heza Classy Osage (“Streaker”), Flaming Might (“Dunny”), and Dudes Compadre (“Popeye”).

And she was in the midst of qualifying for her sixth NFR on a fourth horse—Ramblin Troubles (“Beau”)—when the National Barrel Horse Association world champion went out for the season with an injured shoulder.

When she’s not modeling or styling hair, Meadors is horseback at her 20-acre place outside Oklahoma City, in Blanchard. Riding unproven prospects was a new challenge, but Meadors has already matched her rodeo success in the futurity arena.

“There was a lot I didn’t know, and I still learn something new every day,” says Meadors, who gleaned advice from trainers such as Bo Hill and Talmadge Green. “I looked up to people who kept those horses going a long time, because it’s hard to do. You can get colts to make a few good runs, but it’s that solidness that’s hard to get. It takes a lot of time and patience.”

Meadors’ first big futurity winner was Runnin Red Lites (“Ticket”), a big sorrel colt that earned more than six figures starting as a 3-year-old in 2005, when he swept both rounds of both juvenile futurities held that year.

“To think that horse could go and win that kind of deal as a 3-year-old,” recalls Meadors. “I remember telling somebody, ‘This is as good as the NFR.’”

In the past couple of years, she’s returned to the futurity winner’s circle several times with VF Blazing Lights and Boogie Woogie Jones. Her latest star pupils, Famous China Doll and Chargen Ta Fame, made a big splash last fall as 3-year-olds and hold a lot of promise at this year’s futurities.

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Meadors, who is sponsored by Grey Daniel Ford and Wrangler, has a new line of saddles coming out from Master Saddles, and has achieved enough success to have caught the attention of horse owners now hiring her to ride. Those include Chris and Angie Jean, who own 2008 futurity standout Fantasia Fame (“Fanny”), and Matt and Bendi Dunn, who own Mulberry Canyon Moon.

Fanny, now 6, earned more than six figures at futurities in 2008, and has been in Meadors’ trailer headed to the pro rodeos all winter. She’s being hauled alongside 7-year-old “Mulberry,” the winningest futurity horse of 2007, on whom Meadors won the short round at Fort Worth in February.

Competing on young barrel horses is paying off for Meadors even more than modeling, an industry in which she’s appeared in at least 10 magazines, including Vogue, Seventeen, and Western Horseman. But she didn’t step out of professional rodeos because she didn’t enjoy it, and she’s one to watch in the 2010 world standings with Fanny and Mulberry.