This week we are excited to introduce a special twelve year old cowgirl by the name of Jayci Byler. Jayci is no stranger to the pay window; she has a long list of achievements in her short life, longer than most ever have had in their lifetime career. In 2015 she won the AQHA Youth World Championship in Oklahoma City, the Myers Performance Horse Youth Futurity championship, and this year she won the 2016 Texas State All-Around title, state champion barrel racer, and state champion pole bender. She then went on to the National Junior High Finals Rodeo in Lebanon, TN and won the National Barrel Racing title.She has won a total of 126 buckles and 24 trophy saddles.But that’s not what this story is all about.
On the outside, Jayci seems serious and shy, a counter to her twin brother Blaze who can do the talking for her. At barrel races she often can be found reading a book by her horse’s stall while other kids are running around playing. We filmed the episode at her family’s home in Belleville, TX. Jayci’s mom and dad, Kimmi and Jesse, own and operate Byler Performance Equine – an aquatic conditioning and rehab facility. The Byler’s take in horses of all disciplines to swim and help condition or rehab them from an injury. The time and effort put into this business is immense and it shows by the immaculate environment and the improvement the horses make during their stay. The nurturing environment Jayci was raised in clearly has helped her to be the horsewoman she is today. I think we were most impressed with Jayci’s quiet confidence; it was evident in her horsemanship and in her horse’s respect for her. One could argue this is one of the most valuable skills to have in horsemanship and what helps you crossover from horse to horse.
At the end of the day, in today’s world, it was completely endearing to be around a 12 year old girl who just loved her animals. Her herd includes several horses, show goats, and a jack russell and pretty much anything in between. In the barrel racing world today that feels like a constant race with bloodlines, breeding, horse sales, big money, and all the complexities that come with it, at the end of the day it’s important to remember the 12 year old we have inside of us that wants to just loves our horse.
Jayci’s episode will air Wednesday, August 31 at 8:00 pm Eastern on RFD-TV.