Trudy Showles is back in the saddle

January 30, 2013
Trudy Showles on Missy

Trudy Showles and her horse, Missy, placed third in the 4D bracket during the Holiday Classic 5D Barrel Race, held December 13-15 in Jackson. Their time was a 15.87, only one and a half seconds off the winning time.

Trudy Showles, who works in Accounts Payable at District Office, competed in two big barrel races in 2012, a little over a year after a nearly tragic horse-riding accident left her with three plates in her face and permanent nerve damage.

“I started riding again in the middle of July (2012),” Showles says.  “I just couldn’t miss a Mega Run.  I have two barrel horses – Sib Runs For Cash is my trusted mare that I’ve been riding for years, and my new one is Dion’s Smokin’ Rocket.  My older horse is 15 now but doesn’t know it, and she loves her job of barrel racing.  Usually we run in the 1D or 2D bracket.  I pick and choose my runs for Sib since she is getting older.”

Showles says she began training her second horse, nicknamed Missy, last year.  She ran that horse in the two big races in 2012.  In the Mega 5D Barrel Race, held August 23-25 in Jackson, Showles and Missy placed fourth in the 5D with a 16.14, only two seconds off the winning time.  There were 720 entries in that event.  In the Holiday Classic 5D Barrel Race, held December 13-15 in Jackson, Showles and Missy placed third in the 4D bracket with a 15.87, only one and a half seconds off the winning time.  There were 475 entries in that show.

“Some of the best riders and horses come from all over the United States to run in the Mega Race each year,” she says. “There are even NFR (National Finals Rodeo) girls competing in it.  I’m honored just to ride with them.”

Her horse-riding accident happened on March 23, 2011, when a 3-year-old filly flipped over on top of her while they were practicing.  She doesn’t remember anything about that day.  She was quickly transferred from Gulfport Memorial to University Medical Center in Jackson.  “I didn’t regain conscience until I was lifted from the emergency exam bed into the hospital room.  The left side of my sinus was fractured, and my shoulder and leg were banged up.”

Besides the plates in her face, Showles had to do physical therapy for six weeks on her shoulder.  She also had permanent nerve damage in her face. “I can’t eat on the left side, and I have trouble pronouncing certain words,” she says. “I really consider myself fortunate, though, and it is only with God’s grace that I’m here to work and ride again.”

Showles is back at work at MGCCC and says she is thrilled to be able to return to riding horses. “I have learned to consider safety now that I am back in the saddle.  I wear a helmet.  And as far as riding goes, I will continue doing it until the good Lord tells me different or my body does.  I’m not the rider that I used to be; my response time is slower, but with God’s grace I’ll continue to ride.  I just can’t imagine not doing it.”

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