#WCW: World Champion Barrel Racer, Fallon Taylor
#WCW = Woman Crush Wednesday
On the eve of the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, I am spotlighting one of my favourite barrel racers, Fallon Taylor. It's most likely a lot of you will know, or recognize Fallon Taylor because she is a social media/marketing powerhouse. She's seemingly everywhere, and her flashy clothes and big personality that accompanies her world title last year make sure she's a name that people know. There's a lot of people out there that detest Fallon's crazy style, and way of riding, but for every one hater, she has about ten fans... Why is that exactly? Well, I think these top ten reasons that Fallon is worthy of being a major "Woman Crush" will give you some insight...
10. Ranch Dressn'
Fallon brought us the company Ranch Dressn', which has become a major contender in the world of western clothing. Catchy slogans on t-shirts, (pictured above are the "Queen Hair, Don't Care") loud aztec/tye-dye & printed jeans, show shirts with inspirational slogans, big jewellery and even her own makeup line, War Paint. A lot of people may not like, or dare wear, Fallon's style of clothing, but thousands of girls told Fallon they loved her out-there style, and when she created a line to emulate her own personal flare, people went crazy for it.
Fallon rolls with a pretty cool posse, human and horse-wise. On her friend spectrum, she's regular hanging out with barrel racers like Jenna Smeenk and Stormey Ward, who definitely give us #friendenvy. On the horse side of things, Fallon represents her home-grown mares, that prove she has some serious #marepower behind her.
Fallon is always done-up, whether it be for a barrel race, or a photo-shoot, she rocks the fake eyelashes, big hair, and loud clothing like no other. Most days when I come home from the barn and wince as I catch a glimpse of my dishevelled self in the mirror, I think "I wish I could be just a little bit more glam like Fallon." (& yes, her shirt says "Babyflo is My Spirit Animal")
7. She's Ride-or-Die for her Fans
Fallon takes you a long for the ride. If you follow her on her various social media accounts, she is always giving you behind the scenes photos of videos of where she is, who she's with and what she's up too. She's also one of the most personable people, constantly taking photos with fans, showing off the fan mail she gets and telling her fans how much she loves them. It's not an act either, I've met her various times at the Calgary Stampede as one of the Ranch Girls and when you say hi to her, she's happy to say back, "Hey! How are you today? You guys are doing so great out there! We couldn't do it without you!" That's pretty cool.
If you have Snapchat, the photo and video sharing app, you should probably follow Fallon @ "FallonandFlo". She's equal parts hilarious, real, and behind-the-scenes. The past two days she's been taking her snapchat followers all over the rehearsal and prep for the NFR. The photo above we got to go along with her at the Back Number ceremony where contestants are handed their back numbers, and below is her riding into the tunnel during grand entry practice.
5. She Handles Criticism Like a Boss
When Fallon began racing with a helmet last year at the NFR, she drew a lot of criticism and laughs for her new initiative. When Fallon shows up to barrel races in furry shirts, and loudly-patterned pants, her comments on instagram range from "wow, I love you" to "you look like a massive idiot." She knows that she has haters out there, and she carries herself with decorum. Not only that, but I especially like that she acknowledges the fact she's not everyone's cup of tea, but keeps being herself, and letting her fans know that it's cool to be themselves too. Who can hate on that kind of confidence-booster for young girls out there?
4. She's Overcome Major Injury
In 2009, Fallon was bucked off a horse at home and broke her C-2 vertebrae in her neck, the same injury that paralyzed late actor Christopher Reeves. She was told there was a 2% chance she would walk and talk, she was placed in a "halo" for five months, and also told she'd never ride horses again. She proved them wrong, didn't she?
3. 2014 World Champion Barrel Racer
Fallon first debuted at the NFR when she was 13 in 1995, and ended up sixth in the world. She then went on to qualify for four straight NFR's before becoming a professional model. She retired from barrel racing for 15 years, in 2012 she missed the NFR by a mere $700 and then made the finals in 2013. However, the 2013 NFR proved to be difficult and challenging. She went home, re-evaluated her own confidence, and her mare, Babyflo and said she "repainted her Tiger's stripes." In 2014 she came out blazing from the chute at the Thomas and Mack and took the World Title. Put your money where your mouth is - Fallon has the gold buckle to prove she's a champion.
Fallon's superstar mare, Babyflo, is a serious powerhouse. Fallon gives all her praise, love and admiration to the home-grown mare that has now taken her to three NFR's. There's nothing better than watching two beings that work together as a perfect team, Fallon and Babyflo are just that.
To sum it all up, it's pretty easy to see why one would admire Fallon Taylor. However, the main reason I love her is that she's real with her fans, and the rest of the world, with who she is. She's constantly talking about the struggles it took for her to get to the top. She's inspiring, and I think more than anything, what makes her so special, is that she's the type of lady that wants nothing more than to see someone just like her come out and beat her one day. Today, on her Snapchat, Fallon said, "It's a really cool pay off to a lot of struggle and it's really exciting to see it all payoff [being at the NFR]. So thank you guys for being a long for the journey." That's admirable, and that makes her a serious "woman crush."
* Images from Fallon Taylor's Snapchat (@FallonandFlo), Instagram (FallonTaylor2) & Facebook ("Fallon Taylor & BabyFlo")