Outdoors

Paralyzed Utah barrel racer’s story is a Netflix movie. She will host clinic in Idaho

Barrel Racing In Idaho

Austin Rekow practices barrel racing on his quarter horse mare Flower in Emmett, Idaho preparing for rodeos and races.
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Austin Rekow practices barrel racing on his quarter horse mare Flower in Emmett, Idaho preparing for rodeos and races.

When Amberley Snyder comes to the Treasure Valley this spring, she won’t just be sharing tips for equestrians to improve their rodeo skills. She’ll also be sharing the story of how she got back in the saddle after becoming partially paralyzed in a car crash.

Snyder, a 28-year-old from Utah, is slated to host a horsemanship clinic through the Carousel Equine Club on May 25 and 26 at the High Desert Station in Star. She’ll teach barrel racing and pole bending — a rodeo event in which horse and rider weaves between upright poles arranged in a line — and give a motivational speech, touching on the 2010 crash that left her without feeling below the waist.

If her story sounds familiar to you, it’s likely because you’ve heard it before. Snyder’s rehabilitation is the basis of a Netflix movie called “Walk, Ride, Rodeo” that premiered earlier this month. The film follows Snyder, played by actress Spencer Locke, from her days as a teen rodeo champ to her car crash and through the years of hard work to ride horses again. Snyder even worked as a stunt double during filming.

“The movie is heartbreaking, amazing, inspirational,” said Crystal Siegmann, secretary of the Carousel Equine Club. “It’s one of those stories that speaks to you.”

Siegmann said there’s already been a lot of interest in Snyder’s Treasure Valley event — and she’s not surprised that Snyder’s tenacity resonates in Idaho.

“It’s a reminder of the rodeo way of life, the Western way of life that’s part of Idaho,” Siegmann said.

It’s something Siegmann has had to draw from herself after the death of her sister last year.

“Anything can happen at any moment,” Siegmann said. “No matter how bad the circumstances, you can move forward. After I lost my sister ... the bright light was that cowgirl spirit of never giving up.”

The clinic is $250 per rider per day ahead of the event or $400 per day day-of. Don’t have a horse? You can still audit the clinic for $50 per day or show up just for Snyder’s Saturday speech for $25.

Clinic participants can pay extra for RV hookups and horse stalls, and showers will be available on-site. The event will also include vendors and door prizes. For more information, contact the Carousel Equine Club at 208-606-2358 or carouselequineclub@gmail.com.

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