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Amberley Snyder

Amberley Snyder (born January 29, 1991) is a championship barrel racer. She also competed in pole bending and breakaway roping. In 2010, Snyder suffered a car crash that paralyzed her from the waist down. She overcame the injury and kept competing. In 2015, she competed at a high level when she won a fan exemption to compete at the American Rodeo. Snyder is now a motivational speaker.

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Amberley Snyder was born January 29, 1991, in California to Tina and Cory Snyder. She is the second-oldest of her five siblings, Ashley, JC, Taylor, Aubrey, and Autumn.[1]

Rodeo career[edit]

Snyder first rode a horse at 3 and began competing in rodeo barrel racing when she was 7 years old.[2] After that, she spent summer weekends barrel racing, pole bending, and breakaway roping.[3] She won the 2009 All-Around Cowgirl World Championship in the National Little Britches Rodeo Association. She was the 2009–2010 Utah State FFA President.[4]

Car crash and recovery[edit]

January 10, 2010, she was driving from Utah to the National Western Stock Show in Denver, Colorado, and didn't fasten her seat belt after a gas station stop in Rawlins, Wyoming. Less than 10 miles from the gas station, she looked down to check her map, drifted into the other lane, over-corrected, and her truck slid off the road and rolled 7 times.[5] She was thrown from the truck and slammed into a fence post, which crushed her T-12 vertebra and left her paralyzed from the waist down.[6] With the help of physical therapy, and a seat belt on her saddle, she was later able to resume riding and competing in rodeo a year and a half later.[7] She transferred from Snow College to Utah State University where she was captain of the school's National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association team.[5] She also won the Shane Drury "Nothin' But Try" scholarship in 2014.[8]

In 2015, Amberley won a fan exemption[9] to compete in RFD-TV's The American Rodeo at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas,[10][11] and made a time of 15.3 seconds with her horse Power, only 0.6 seconds slower than the winning time.[2] In 2016, she was in the top 5 for the Rocky Mountain Pro Rodeo Association, and she also won her Women's Professional Rodeo Association card in 2016,[7] and now competes in the RAM Wilderness Circuit.

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