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Saddle Savvy


  • pg 1
O   lifestyle

                                                                                                                                                                                      McKenzie Merrill                                                   Ride On!
                                      Saddle Savvy
                                                                                                                                                                                      COWGIRL CRED: Two-time American Quarter Horse             Wrangler’s new cowgirl jeans.
                                                                                                                                                                                      Youth Association World Champion in cutting, and
                                                                                                                                                                                      2008 Circle Y Ranch Derby Amateur Champion.
                                                                                                                                                                                      HOMETOWN: Dallas, Texas.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                W        hen Wrangler, the maker of the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         iconic Western jean with the “W”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                on the back pockets, wanted to create
                  CO MPETITIVE COWGIR LS TA LK H O RSE S, RID ING W E AR, AND T H E ROAD.                                                                                             HORSE: Captain 327, a sorrel gelding.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                a better-fitting jean for
                                                                                                                                                                                      FAVORITE BOOTS: Brown ostrich Ariats with a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                cowgirls, the company
                            ackie Rapp, McKenzie Merrill, and Sherry Cervi know horses. And they know what women who                                                                  cowboy heel.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                went straight to the

                 J          ride like. These three impressive equestrians, all experienced cowgirls in the saddle, worked with
                            Wrangler to develop and design a new riding jean. Cowboys & Indians asked about their insider
                            secrets — on riding, road food, and how to keep cool during competitions.
                                                                                                                                                                                      SHOW BLING: I like more bling in the cowhorse and
                                                                                                                                                                                      reining events than I do in cutting competitions. I
                                                                                                                                                                                      like silver on my saddle, but not too much, and tai-
                                                                                                                                                                                      lored shirts with nice clean lines — a city look with a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                source. “We surveyed
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                over 300 women and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                asked them a number
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                of questions, and we
                                                                                                                                                                                      little Western mixed in.                                  gathered a focus group
                                                         Jackie Rapp                                                                                                                  HAT: I wear a Sean Ryon black felt hat and a              of women riders from
                                                         COWGIRL CRED: Past president of the American Quarter Horse Youth Association                                                 Shorty’s Hattery brown felt hat.                          the American Quarter
                                                         and past president of the Texas Quarter Horse Youth Association.                       JEANS: Ultimate Riding jeans by Wrangler.                                                       Horse Association,” says
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Robin Rich, senior mar-
                                                         HOMETOWN: Amarillo, Texas.                                                             SHIRT: Barranada.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                keting manager.
                                                         HORSE: Wilma (registered name is “Chex Out My Diamond”), a sorrel quarter              WHEELS: A 2005 gray Land Rover LR2.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    What did women
                                                         horse.                                                                                 ON MY IPOD: Incubus, Jay-Z, and Keith Urban.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                want? They said that
                                                         FAVORITE BOOTS: My three-year-old pair of light tan Justin boots with turquoise        FAVORITE ROAD SNACKS: Pretzels.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                the perfect riding jean
                                                         tops and dark spur marks on the heels.                                                 I ALWAYS PACK: My feather pillow.                                                               would have inside
                                                         SHOW BLING: My average show outfit consists of cubic zirconia earrings; tan            BEFORE COMPETING: I try to get as much sleep as I can the night before, and the morn-           seams that lay flat and
                                                         chaps; matching tan pants, boots, and hat; my AQHYA president belt buckle.             ing before I show, I practice with my trainer. I go through the run in my mind and then take    didn’t rub against the inner
                                                         My favorite show shirt is black and tan with hot-pink-and-turquoise paisleys with      a deep breath and go for it.                                                                    thighs, knees that didn’t
                                                         matching Austrian crystals glued on top, tan cuffs, and collar with ultrasuede pink-   BEST RIDING ADVICE: Practice as hard as you can, but, most important, have fun.                 bunch up, and a waist
                                                         and-turquoise paisley and pink and turquoise crystals to pick up the colors in the                                                                                                     that wasn’t so low that
                                                         shirt. My Blue Ribbon saddle and show bridle have silver on them to pick up the                                              Sherry Cervi                                              shirts couldn’t be tucked in
                                                         light that any of the crystals might have missed.                                                                            COWGIRL CRED: Two-time Women’s Pro Rodeo                  and fitting enough that it
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                wouldn’t gap. “They also
                                                         GOOD LUCK CHARM: When my mom would finish putting my hair into a bun, I’d                                                    Association World Champion and two-time WPRA
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                wanted a jean that looked
                                                         always ask her to stick in one extra pin for good luck!                                                                      Reserve World Champion. Also competed in the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                good in the saddle and that
                                                         HAT: Tan felt handmade hat that I won at the Scottsdale Classic in Arizona a                                                 2002 Winter Olympics.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                they could go out in, too,”
                                                         couple of years ago — not only did it have “Jackie Rapp” typed on the inside, but                                            HOMETOWN: Marana, Arizona.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Rich says.
                                                         it fit so well I never wanted to wear anything else after that.                                                              HORSE: Tinman, a bay quarter horse, and Stingray,             After numerous rounds of proto-
                                                         JEANS: Wrangler. My new favorite pair is the Cash (medium wash) that I helped                                                a palomino.                                               types and testing, Wrangler debuted
                                                         create and was lucky enough to model.                                                                                        FAVORITE BOOTS: Justin square-toes, black with            the “Q-Baby” and “Cash” jeans — both
                                                         SHIRT: All of my show shirts are made of Lycra or some other stretchy material                                               turquoise tops.                                           named after registered quarter horses
                                                         with a tan base and alternating colors and designs with Austrian or Swarovski                                                SHOW BLING: On my saddle, I have tiger stripes             — custom-designed to the women rid-
                                                         crystals on the body, arms, cuffs, and collars.                                                                              saying “Stingray.”                                        ers’ requests. Both jeans are mid-rise,
                                                         WHEELS: Silver Dodge Ram Dually — I may be small but I feel pretty tough behind                                              GOOD LUCK CHARM: My French bulldog, Franny.               with full-flex knee, and come in two
                                                         the wheel of this ol’ thing.                                                                                                 HAT: Black felt Resistol.                                 denim finishes — light and dark. The
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Q-Baby is made of stretch denim, with a
    FAVORITE ROAD SNACKS: Barbecue-flavored sunflower seeds, a vanilla Dr. Pepper from Sonic, and a Milky Way.                                                                        JEANS: Wrangler.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                no-gap waistband; the vented boot-cut
    ON MY IPOD: Right now, I’m hooked on the Forest Gump movie soundtrack, The Beatles, Keith Urban, and Leeland.                                                                     SHIRT: Wrangler.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Cash is 100-percent cotton for perfectly
    I ALWAYS PACK: Any flavor of Trident gum — one item I can’t live without!                                                                                                         WHEELS: A white Chevrolet one-ton truck.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                starched creases.
    FAVORITE CITY TO SHOW: Fort Worth, Texas.                                                                                                   FAVORITE ROAD SNACKS: Cheese Nibs and pretzels.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ride on, Wrangler, ride on.
    BEFORE COMPETING: I get dressed and ready to go — hair, makeup, outfit. Then I ride my red scooter to the barn, saddle Wilma, set           ON MY IPOD: I only listen to XM Satellite Radio. I keep it on Top 20.                                                               — E.P.
    up cones, and practice the pattern. I make sure that precompetition, I spend some time by myself, just Wilma and me, riding. There          I ALWAYS PACK: My dog, Franny, and a good pillow.
N   is only so much practice you can do, and sometimes the best thing right before competition is to take a deep breath, pet your horse,        FAVORITE CITY TO SHOW: San Francisco. I love the Cow Palace.                                    Wrangler Cash and Q-Baby jeans retail
    say a quick prayer, and focus all of your mind on you, your horse, and the pattern.                                                         BEFORE COMPETING: I eat. I don’t like to compete hungry.                                        for $50 and are available at Western
I                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               stores nationwide. www.wrangler-
A   BEST RIDING ADVICE: Relax and truly enjoy the ride. Horse shows and competition have become an object of a great deal of stress,            BEST RIDING ADVICE: Always get a horse you’re comfortable with. This is where you
N   and I think one of the most important things my first trainer, Nancy Cahill, told me was “It’s just a horse show — have fun with it!”       get your confidence.                                                        — Ellise Pierce

    280   DECEMBER 2008                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       COWB OYS & I NDI ANS      281

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