Makayla, Shelby and Marissa: The Triple Crown

by Katy on June 5, 2014

These three jewels make up a triple crown of achievements in the Boisjoli household. Makayla the eldest sister at age seventeen, Shelby, sixteen-years-old, and Marissa, the youngest at 14-years-old, make up a trio of winners that have been dominating both North and South of the Border for years.

In mid-June both Makayla and Shelby will head in to the Alberta High School Rodeo Finals Rodeo in multiple events while Marissa, still a Junior High School Rodeo competitor, will have a busy schedule as she prepares to compete in the Pole Bending, Barrel Racing, Breakaway Roping, Team Roping and Ribbon Roping at the National Junior High School Finals Rodeo later this month.

Shelby, Makayla and Marissa Boisjoli

Shelby, Makayla and Marissa Boisjoli

What are each of your “main” horse’s registered names and barn names?

Makayla – Miss N Cash Olena aka “DC” age 13

Miss N Cash Olena Miss N Cash Bar Miss N Cash Dash for Cash
Doc N Missy
Rosita Lena Doc Olena
Quedows Cricket
Olenas Playgirl Powder River Playboy Peppy San Badger
Playboys Reward
Doc O Molly Doc Olena
Molly Badger
Pedigree generated by

Shelby – Eddies Dandy King aka “Flop” age 20

Eddies Dandy King Chiefs Dandy Skip Sunfire Roan Roan Command
Superfine Colt
Sky Raider Sis Dandys Skip A Roni
Raider Sis
Eddie Be Quick King Eddie San Peppy San
Miss Eddie King
Vulcan Starlite Tawny Dan
Pedigree generated by

Marissa – Jessies Cool Smoke aka “Jessie” age 10

Miss N Cash Olena Miss N Cash Bar Jessies Also Jessies Dream
Lady Deck So So
Bucks Lucky Bucks Sheik
Bell Choice
Olenas Playgirl Jessie Prescription Docs Prescription
Jess Ta Lady
Smokers Playmate Smoken Hot
Lisas Fuzzbug
Pedigree generated by

When looking for a horse, is breeding important to you?

Breeding is important to a certain extent. We have certain breeds that time and time again have proven to be champions; Zan Parr, Peppy San and Dash For Cash are a few of our favorites. The key is not to look solely at how a horse is bred, but how hard he tries at everything he does. How honest and reliable he is, are more of an influence then what’s written on his registration papers. We believe that it’s the nature and attitude of the rider that allows or even helps horses be great. You can’t breed a winning attitude into a horse, it is developed through proper use and confidence from its rider. We don’t believe a piece of paper determines greatness, it is only stepping stones towards a final product.

How long have you been competing on them?

We have been competing on flop for about 10 years, from going through gymkhana programs to junior, and then up to high school rodeo. We used to use flop in every event but in 1999 flop came up lame and after testing we learned he had ringbone. He was still able to compete but sooner or later he would be done. So this is when we decided to save him for the roping events. This is where DC came into the picture and has been the barrel and pole horse for the past 5 years. In the fall of 2011 the vets told us flop was done and that he should be turned out and possibly put down. This was one of the saddest days for our family. We retired flop but to our surprise from not being used his joint fused and flop came back better than ever. As far as Jessie we have been competing on him for about a year and a half now. We have other great horses and horses in training in the pens these three are just always the ones that are on the trailer when it comes to winning.

Please describe each horse; their style when competing, their personality, odd character traits?

Flop is our main man, grandpa bought him out of a bucking horse sale for $600 at age six when he was still a stud and hadn’t been broke. Uncle Guy ended up with him and spent the next four years making him the horse he is today. Flop is by far the most ground broke horse we own, this comes from many hours of parelli. He has been a pole, barrel, goat, heading horse, heeling horse and of course a breakaway horse. He has gone to nationals for the past 5 years in almost all of these events and ended up placing 5th and 7th with broken barriers to win the breakaway. He holds 4 Canadian breakaway titles, breakaway horse of the year in 2012, AQHA horse of the year, 7 all around championships and 4 provincial titles. This is a pretty amazing feat for any horse but for him to mount 3 different girls and stay true for each of us every time we back in the box is outstanding. One goofy trait he does have is that he still acts like a 4 year old, can’t ever tie him solid to anything because of how spooky he is.

“I love it when flop licks his lips the minute he stops because he knows he did good,” said Shelby.

Marissa and Flop

Marissa and Flop

DC is the crazy barrel horse and we say crazy because manners are very important and enforced on our farm. When it’s go time with this mare all rules go out the window and we tend to just get out of the way. This mare was a brood mare that my grandma and grandpa had turned out in their field. She is bred cutting horse with a splash of running blood aka dash for cash. This mare was bred to be cowy and quick but unfortunately it was too much for her mind and she didn’t make the cut. So three colts later and $1000 she was officially a Boisjoli horse. It took a full year to settle her down and get her trusting and wanting to move out of her comfort zone. We spent a year heading off her and realized she had wheels. It took a good year of slow work before we started pushing her on the barrels and weren’t really sure if her mind would handle it. Well it all worked out and we have been running her in barrels and poles for the past 5 years now and she has qualified for nationals all four years placing in the top 20 and making the short go every year. She was barrel horse of the year and pole horse of the year in 2013. She just keeps getting better and better and once again mounting 3 of us girls and staying true

Makayla and DC

Makayla and DC

Jessie is one of the heading horses that is the go to guy. Grandpa went to a sale in the states and bought him as a heel horse to find out he was really messed up. One of those cases of rush and get him sale ready to get rid of him. We do have to admit nobody wanted anything to do with him and he was a lot to take but willing to try. So after a winter in Arizona and endless steers he started to like his job and relax and trust. Jessie doesn’t have a whole bunch of titles to his name yet but he’s just getting started.

Makayla heading on Jessie and Shelby heeling on Flop

Makayla heading on Jessie and Shelby heeling on Flop

What do you like best about your horses?

Their heart… each of them are people pleasers and will work as hard as they can every run. It doesn’t matter what the conditions may be they are going to show up and give you 100% You can’t teach heart, a horse either has it or they don’t and if they don’t have it chances are they won’t be in our pen.

How do you prepare yourself and your horses to compete?

We try to keep our horses legged up 10 months of the year. The seasoned horses don’t get practiced on, they know their job, so they get to be rode outside and rarely see the arena. The only day off our horses get is Monday due to being hauled all weekend it’s their rest day. All of our horses are first and foremost rope horses. We feel when you rope on a barrel horse it gets them rating and using their body.

“I think it is really important to keep it fresh and fun for the horses but still challenge them,” said Makayla.

What kind of Saddle do you use?

We don’t necessarily use a specific type of saddle, just whatever fits our horses well and know it’s not going to sore them or move at all while we are competing. A couple of our favorites however are our Running P trophy saddle and our Tod Slone saddles. When it comes to barrel saddles the Posey’s have been our favorite the past couple years. We like the Brittany Posey saddles, because it has a high seat that helps us stay square, and enables us to stay with our horse through the run, and not get behind. As much as we would love to use our other trophy saddles, there’s only a select few that fit horses good enough. It’s hard to name just one type of saddle that always fits, because it depends on the horse.

What kind of Pad do you use?

Our favorite pads right now are Impact Gel. You can’t go wrong with them, they help distribute pressure, absorb shock, are non slip and mold to conform to your horses back. The channel inserts help keep pressure off the spine and allow air flow. They come in all different sizes and thicknesses. Depending on the horse we usually use a Navajo pad underneath just for some extra cushion, and it tends to help the saddle sit better and absorb shock. For horses with a little less wither, we usually only use one pad, due to the saddle feeling rolly. But for horses with a little more wither, we have to use a Navajo underneath, to keep the swell of the saddle from sitting on their withers and soring them.

What is your greatest accomplishment and why?

“My greatest accomplishment had to of been when I won my first truck at the Triple Truck Explosion in Arizona. There was absolutely no feeling like it,” said Shelby.

“My greatest accomplishment would probably be winning a horse trailer last year at the Zamora roping in Arizona, I’ve always struggled in short goes up until then, and ever since it feels like I have got the monkey off my back,” said Makayla.

“My favorite accomplishment was winning the Canadian Junior High Finals in breakaway last year, after my sisters both did it, it was a cool feeling to have done it as well. I felt like I proved myself,” said Marissa.

What is it like being a rodeo competitor in a family of three girls?

We are each other’s toughest competition and are always pushing each other to the best of our ability. We know what we are capable of and expect that in the rodeo arena as well as the practice pen. If one of us is struggling it’s easier to fix it when you have two others willing to rope the dummy or run steers to help figure it out. We keep each other grounded and focused, if one sets a record it is guaranteed the other two are going to be trying to break it. In saying that we are each other’s biggest fans. A win for one is a win for the family.

“There is no feeling like backing in the box at a short round having your sisters helping you but at the same time knowing that they could come out and beat you the next run,” said Marissa who lived this scenario at a roping this winter in Arizona, she was relieved when she had a great run and was leading the roping with just one team to go, only that next team included her sister Shelby – Shelby won the roping and the Boisjoli’s came home with a double victory.

What are your future plans in rodeo?

Being the first girls to qualify for the CFR in team roping is a goal of ours and something we will be shooting for. We all want to go to college in Texas and start roping at some of the tougher ropings. while going to school we hope to get jobs in local barns of great ropers so we can further our horsemanship and roping ability. We can’t wait to hit the WPRA (Women’s Professional Rodeo Association) trail and really hope we can do it together. We would love to start an annual all girl camp for girls that want to rope but don’t know where to start or maybe too intimidated by all the men to pick up a rope. When you go to the states and see how many girls are out of the stands and participating in the arena it’s pretty cool and would be nice to see more of in Canada. This would be a great way to share our passion and give back.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Karen June 5, 2014 at 5:01 pm

Awesome job girls !!! It really is time you got some recognition for all you’ve accomplished and Rodeo Blog did a great job. Good luck in the future !!!!

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