Saddle up: Keizer woman one of the best barrel racers in the cou - KPTV - FOX 12

Saddle up: Keizer woman one of the best barrel racers in the country

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KEIZER, OR (KPTV) -

In just three years, a Keizer woman has become one of the best barrel racers in the country.

Amberleigh Moore was the Columbia River Circuit Rookie of the Year in 2015, and has gone on to place 2nd and 4th in the world of barrel racing in the past two seasons.

"Love the sport, the speed, the thrill," said Moore. "Love the adrenaline rush."

Moore is one of the best barrel racers around and she has the belt buckle to prove it.

"There is nothing better than running down that alley way at the Thomas and Mack (Arena) at full speed to a sold out house with music blaring, my favorite announcer announcing. It's awesome," said Moore.

Moore is a two-time qualifier at the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas where she recently placed 4th.

"Just getting to the NFR is simply amazing. It's every little girls dream so being from the state of Oregon, I've fulfilled a lot of kids dreams as well as my own," Moore said.

As the lone female competitor from Oregon at the NFR, 49-year-old Moore is a late bloomer on the national circuit, turning pro just three years ago.

"Paige, it takes the right horse to take you down that road," she said.

The dusty trail of buying her mare, Paige, took Moore to Blackfoot, Idaho.

"I told my husband I was going shopping, and I went over and tried a bunch of horses out and ended up coming home with Paige," said Moore. "She wasn't running, she was just a prospect and maybe, what if? Just went and got myself a new baby to start a new prospect, start playing."

For Moore, it was love at first ride.

"I had a black horse that I rode for years that was a winner, and when I got her it was like stepping on him," she said.

Laid back and easy going, that's her prized Paige. The nine-year-old Quarter Horse, whose full name is CP Dark Moon, is a bit of a diva.

"She gets acupuncture, massages and trips to the vet, and anything the princess wants, the princess gets," said Moore. "Purina dairy treats are her go-to product."

A third generation owner of Emerald Outdoor Living in Salem, a pool, spa, fireplace business her grandfather started in 1955, Moore is back to the road with her partner in crime.

"The rodeo life isn't an easy road for them or us, because of the miles," said Moore. "Horses like her are once in a lifetime, they're blessings."

Moore and Paige are leaving Friday for the long haul to Texas to begin her fourth professional season, which will start with two months on the road. Moore's top six performance in Las Vegas also puts her into the prestigious Calgary Stampede in July.

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