Reeds, Missouri cowgirl Emma Charleston is no stranger to the rodeo world, competing since she was just 4 years old. While some people feel pulled toward specific disciplines, Emma had her heart captured by both barrel racing and breakaway roping. Thus, she grew as an all-around competitor from a very young age. Emma has been highly competitive as she rose through the ranks of junior rodeo, high school rodeo, amateur and college rodeo, and finally, to the world of professional rodeo where she’s on track to compete at the NFR.
Emma’s early success has come through a combination of hard work, great horses, and good horse management—including adding SUCCEED Digestive Conditioning program to her system.
Emma Charleston’s Unique Path to the Top
Emma didn’t grow up with a barn full of high-caliber barrel and rope horses. Instead, her dad tended to buy horses with issues in need of fixing. Riding these problem horses taught Emma how to win on anything.
While most rodeo athletes devote their early years to junior high and high school rodeo, Emma chose a different path. “There are a lot of great amateur rodeos around where I live that were much closer and cheaper to go to than high school rodeos. The people are great, and they are good rodeos.” While she primarily competed in amateur rodeos, Emma did win the Missouri high school state championship in barrel racing her junior year, earning a trip to the National High School Finals Rodeo.
Emma’s last year of high school ended on a sweet note when she acquired a new roping horse called Dude who would transform her experience out of the box. Dude became Emma’s main man, taking her through college rodeos and then onto the professional level.
“Roping had always been a struggle for me, and it was never fun until my dad bought me Dude.” It’s safe to say Dude changed Emma’s world when it comes to breakaway—and he continues to do so today.
Following high school graduation, Emma went to college at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M for two years before transferring to Tarleton State University to finish her collegiate career. Emma competed in college rodeos, and while they might not have gone in her favor in terms of big wins, she learned valuable lessons and grew her skills along the way.
Taking Professional Rodeo by Storm
After graduating college, Emma knew she wanted to jump head- first into the world of professional rodeo. This came with many big decisions, the most pivotal of which was purchasing a young barrel horse named Makana. The name Makana means “blessing” in Hawaiian, and a blessing she has been.
It takes some new teams years to get their first professional rodeo win under their belt. However, it only took Emma and Makana a couple of months to snag their first win in Weatherford, Texas in 2021. With the confidence from this win, they headed out for the summer.
Emma had a fairytale circuit finals, winning the first two rounds and the average. This success gave Emma enough of a boost in earnings to get into the limited-entry winter rodeos.
It would have been natural for Emma to struggle with rookie nerves her first time competing under the bright lights of these iconic rodeos. Instead, she had ice in her veins.
This momentum carried Emma throughout the winter rodeos, giving her a jump towards the top of the world standings.
It seemed everyone had been talking about Emma the barrel racer. Then at San Antonio, Emma had an outstanding showing in both of her events and notably set the breakaway arena record, reminding everyone she’s indeed an all-around competitor.
“To even have the opportunity to compete in both of my events at San Antonio was a dream come true, but to set the breakaway arena record is a pretty surreal feeling.”
Emma went on to win her super series at the prestigious Rodeo Houston pocketing about $9,000 in earnings. “Houston is one of those experiences that you can’t explain. It’s so big and loud that nothing prepares you for it. Some horses love it, and some hate it. My mare Makana loved it, and I am so thankful for that.”
When the dust settled on the winter rodeos, Emma had won money, or made the finals at nearly all of them. “I had a great experience at the winter rodeos. I got into the buildings because I had a blessed circuit finals, and it was off of current world standings. I got into Houston because I placed in the average at the WPRA finals. Thank you WPRA for that opportunity!”
SUCCEED the Key Ingredient in Emma’s Management Program
Emma’s interest in SUCCEED Digestive Conditioning Program peaked as she heard from fellow barrel racers who had positive experiences with it. She also had two horses struggling with various issues that had her in the market for a digestive supplement. After being gifted a few cartons of SUCCEED at the circuit finals, she decided to give it a try.
After seeing these results, Emma immediately started all of her competitive horses on it.
After eight months of using SUCCEED, Emma’s officially a firm believer. Her horses maintain their weight easier and are much calmer while hauling and in a run. She also notes their haircoats look shinier and healthier.
Maintaining Digestive Function on the Road
Like many other SUCCEED users, one of Emma’s favorite things about SUCCEED is that it helps her horses when she’s hauling. In addition to their daily SUCCEED, Emma feeds her horses an extra serving 15 minutes before loading on the trailer so her horses take the hauling better.
Emma’s primary concern while traveling is her horse’s health. It is natural for hauling thousands of miles to adversely affect your horses, especially over time. Emma was concerned about how her horses’ digestive health may be affected by the many changing elements they experience out on the road. She trusts SUCCEED to mitigate further stress on their gut health.
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