Scottsbluff Barrel Racer Galloping On To Rodeo Scene

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Scottsbluff, NE (KGWN)- Chandler Markel, of Scottsbluff, NE, became involved in the sport of barrel racing when she was just eight years old.

Success came slow, but she was determined.

"My junior and senior year I won the (state) high school finals," Markel said about two consecutive wins in Wyoming.

Rodeo is a sport often passed down through generations and for the Markels things are no different.

"I went to the University of Wyoming myself on a rodeo scholarship and tried my hand at a little bit of pro rodeo," said Jeff Markel, Chandler's dad.

Chandler went to the University of Wyoming as well and qualified for the college finals. She has since left the school in favor of pursuing a career in the dental field.

"It(rodeo) is a lot of hard work and dedication," said Jill Markel, Chandler's mom. "But it's a lifestyle that families are always together, so I guess that was always a good point."

The highlight of Markel's young rodeo career is a run at Cheyenne Frontier Days in 2013

"Cheyenne was unbelievable," said Jill.

"I was really nervous," Markel said.

Chandler rode early at Frontier Days in slack, and eventually qualified to return for the short go.

"She was the first one to go," said Jill. "(We) watch the times and there's five more to go, and there's two more to go."

"The other 11 girls went and she (Chandler) ended up winning it," Jeff said. "Of course, you know as a father, you know how you felt, I got a tear in my eye. It was cool, it was the coolest rodeo moment of my life."

Markel finished first in the short go at Frontier Days with a time of 17.68 seconds, and finished third in the average (53.31). She won over $11,000 in Cheyenne.

2013 was a great year for Markel, she was named the WPRA Mountain States Circuit Rookie of the Year.

Markel's goal is to qualify for the National Finals Rodeo before she begins her dental career.

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