Carlee Pierce – Stephenville, Texas
3-time NFR qualifier
Carlee Pierce’s life changed drastically in 2011. That’s the year she and her husband, Steve, sold their casing company and bought a horse that had already been to the Wrangler NFR (with Annesa Self). His name was Dashing Dillion, and he immediately took Pierce to her first WNFR in 2011. The pair went back again in 2012, when they smashed the arena record twice and nearly won a world championship. Pierce was The Next Big Thing.
In June 2013, she was on her way again – ranked third, in fact – when she decided to go home. Carlee, 34, and Steve have three kids who wanted to spend that summer at home. So Carlee sold “Dillion” and did a 180-degree turn back to family.
This season, with her family’s blessing, she’s back with a vengeance. Pierce’s new superstar is Dash Ta Diamonds (“Arson”), an 8-year-old gelding she bought a year ago from Aimee Kay of Texas. In 2008, the horse won a futurity for trainer Kelly Bowser.
Like she did on Dillion, Pierce has dominated one run at a time this season. She won big checks at one-run events like Sheridan (Wyo.) and Molalla (Ore.) and won go-rounds in San Angelo, Austin, Fort Smith, and Caldwell. Her two big average titles came after sweeping both rounds at Red Bluff (Calif.) in the spring and both rounds at Hermiston (Ore.) in the fall.