Sherri Mell 2004 CA
was truly born a cowgirl.
In fact, her
mother put her
on a horse the day she
came home from the hospital!
By 19 months Sherri won her first rodeo trophy - "Best Appearing Cowgirl."
Born on a cattle ranch in California, Sherri
has rodeo in her
father was a profession calf roper, and her
mother won national barrel racing titles well into her
60s and still wins many team-roping events - often with Sherri
began competing in junior rodeos at age 4 and has never tired of the challenges and thrills of the arena.
At 13 she
first saddle, and over the next 30 plus years she
has claimed wins in a number of rodeo events.
While many cowgirls specialize in just one or two key rodeo events, Sherri
enters and often wins an array of rodeo and horse show competitions: keyhole and steer daubing, tie-down calf roping, steer undecorating, breakaway roping, team roping, cutting, stock horse, jumping, rope race reining, Western riding, English pleasure, figure eight, hunter over the fences, hunter back, barrels and poles.
In fact, on one day Sherri
might be calf roping in her
cowboy boots and hat, and the same day, often on the same horse, she'll wear dress boots and a hunt cap for English jumping.
is best known for her
success as a calf roper.
is the only woman to win a championship at the National and World shows in calf roping - an event dominated by men.
Since 1990 she
has led the nation in non-pro calf roping.
also the first woman to win a National Finals Rodeo Championship title riding an Appaloosa, her
has won more than 100 world and national rodeo and horse show competition titles, and has competed in 24 consecutive Women's National Finals rodeos and 21 World Championship Appaloosa horse shows.
But Sherri's successes are not limited to the arena.
has taught physical education at a San Antonio elementary school, earning the Teacher of the Year in 1996.
was also nominated as San Antonio's Hometown Hero in 2000 for her
work with youth.
As a Special Olympic volunteer for 11 years, Sherri coaches kids and adults in a number of rodeo events, as well as track, basketball and bowling.
She also serves as the only Equestrian Coordinator for the Inner-City Games All Star Program, which provides after school and summer activities for inner-city students.
has established two organizations to introduce horseback riding to children and adults with disabilities.
"I am proud to be a cowgirl and have been blessed by God to be able to share my horses and knowledge with those that are not so fortunate," says Sherri