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From Bottle Baby to Barrel Racing Star

The story behind Rylee Elliott’s NBHA Open 1D World Champion horse Super De Shine

Winning an open world title on a 4-year-old is a feat all its own, but the 2017 National Barrel Horse Association World Championships hold a special place in Rylee Elliott’s heart. She raised her horse Super De Shine since the mare was orphaned at birth after her dam, whom Elliott used to compete on, died while foaling “Shiney.”

“She is a homegrown—I used to run her mother, I have her full brother that’s a year older that I did futurities on, and I broke and trained her myself,” Elliott said of the 2013 mare by BHR Frenchies Socks and out of Kas Shes De Lucks by Super De Kas. “She was actually an orphan; the mare died giving birth to her. She was a bottle baby, so she’s like my kid. We bottle-fed her and she’s been 100 percent us from the ground up.”

The Williston, Florida, 18-year-old says training has been a breeze from day one.

“She’s really laid back. Nothing bothers her at all; she’s like a dog,” Elliott said. “I put the saddle on her, got on and loped off the first day. She was like, ‘I got it, I’ve got a job, let’s go.’ Even back behind the arena I have to wake her up, and the second she runs she drops her head and walks off. There’s not much to her, but she’s got a big heart and tries really hard for me.”

Shiney is small in stature but lacks nothing when it comes to heart and grit.
“She’s not real big—she’s real feminine, like a little girl. She’s a cutie,” Elliott said fondly. “There’s not much to her, but she’s got a big heart and tries really hard for me. She’s got a lot of trust in me, and I put a lot of trust in her also.”

By Blanche Schaefer, photo by