“She’s been running barrels since she was 3 years old,” said Chayni’s mother Callie Chamberlain.

Nine year old, Chayni Chamberlain earned a qualification for RFD-TV’s The American semifinals aboard Dat Flowin Bunny during the Glen Rose, Texas qualifier held Nov. 1.

Nine year old, Chayni Chamberlain earned a qualification for RFD-TV’s The American semifinals aboard Dat Flowin Bunny during the Glen Rose, Texas qualifier held Nov. 1.
Photo by PixelWorx.


Growing up in the saddle is a way of life many barrel racers can relate to, so it stands to reason Chayni is well on her way to following the footsteps of her family members. Entering the American qualifier in Glen Rose, Texas on Nov. 1, 2014, Chayni finished in the top five, splitting fifth place and earning herself a qualification to the prestigious semifinals event.

RFD-TV’s The American rodeo presented by Polaris Ranger will host it’s second annual event March 1, 2015 where athletes will compete in a three-segment battle through qualifiers, semifinals, and the final round at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, for a chance at the $2 million pay out.  Better Barrel Races, the sanctioning body for the barrel racing leg of The American, rolled through Glen Rose as one of the limited qualifying stops for the world’s richest one-day rodeo. As part of the Oklahoma/ Texas BBR Regional Tour Finals, the organization teamed with RFD-TV to host qualifier No. 8, the first of two qualifying events held at the Somerville County Expo Center.  The last BBR sanctioned qualifier will be held in Glen Rose on Jan. 31, 2015 as part of The Dinosaur Classic Barrel Race.

“It felt really good being there and being able to qualify,” Chayni said, a qualification made even sweeter, by being shared with her partner – her favorite horse.

Dat Flowin Bunny, who Chayni calls “Flo Jo,” is the third grader’s trusted mount and responsible for carrying Chayni to the majority of her earnings. Originally purchased as a rodeo horse for Callie, the youngster took the gelding over about two years ago. According to Callie, the grey gelding was purchased from family-friend Susan Martin as an 8-year-old. Martin trained and patterned Flo Jo before the Chamberlains put him in their Stephenville, Texas barn in 2009.

Hanging tough with top-shelf competition in Glen Rose, Chayni and Flo Jo smoked the pattern with a 14.883-second run only .338 seconds off the winning run made by Courtney Duncan and Streakin Easily from Cypress, Texas, whose run took top honors with a 14.545. Chayni’s run tied her with Shelby Herrman, Stephenville, Texas, riding TS Docsanlena, and was worth $1,631.57.

“It was a fun run,” Chayni said. “He (Flo Jo) could have been faster, but he slipped on the third.”

The 2001 gelding is by Whose Dat Bunny out of Hota Moore by He Hota and has earned himself $64,304 in Equi-Stat reported lifetime earnings. Originally owned by Larry and Mary Ellen Flo, before landing in the hands of Martin, Dat Flowin Bunny earned his barn name from young Chayni. Pairing the Flos’ last name with her own middle name, the now 13-year-old gelding ultimately became known around the Chamberlain household as Flo Jo.

“By his name everyone thinks he’s a mare, but he’s actually a gelding,” laughed Callie about her daughter’s mount. She added the gelding has earned a reputation of being spirited, a match most people are surprised to see under young Chayni’s saddle.

“When I was rodeoing on him, Chayni was 3 or 4,” Callie said. “He’s really kind of a skittish horse, but those two grew up around each other and they just bonded. It was a perfect match.

“People probably still think I’m crazy for letting my little one run him,” Callie laughed.

Flo Jo’s energetic behavior may concern bystanders, however, neither Chayni nor her mother have any worries.  In fact, when asked about her favorite horse’s personality, Chayni laughed and responded: “I love it, sometimes it’s really funny, but he always takes care of me.”

A highly competitive barrel racer, even at age 9, Chayni is a BBR member and has recently joined the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association. She plans to run in several of those associations’ events, however, at such a young age, Chayni’s parents are careful not to let her hit the rodeo trail too hard.

“We (Callie and husband Casey Chamberlain) try not to push too hard,” Callie said. “We don’t want to burn her out. She’s still so young.”

When not competing, Chayni enjoys her time at school, where she plays basketball and excels in math and spelling. She spends much of her time making sure her horses are well taken care of and healthy. She enjoys carrying feed buckets and helping her parents with the horses. When Callie became pregnant last year, Chayni took on riding responsibilities of several other horses, which include making sure to exercise Flo Jo and the others properly by ensuring they get plenty of “long trotting and play time”.

Preparing for the American semi rounds, the duo will be making practice runs in the Cowtown Coliseum in the coming weekends, according to Callie. Nerves don’t seem to be a problem for this talented youth as she prepares to run against some of the toughest competition in the industry. She is hopeful to qualify for the “richest one day rodeo,” and said if given the opportunity to run at $2 million she “would feel really, really good.”



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