Amberley Snyder

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Amberley Snyder
OccupationRodeo competitor
DisciplineBarrel racing, Roping
Born (1991-01-29) January 29, 1991 (age 31)
Significant horses
Power, Wrangler, Legacy

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 adapted to 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.

Early life[edit]

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]

On 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.[12]

Later career[edit]

Snyder works as a motivational speaker,[6] and posts a weekly "Wheelchair Wednesday" video on social media to showcase everyday tasks that have become more challenging.[3] She has also written an illustrated children's book Walk Ride Rodeo about overcoming adversity.

Film portrayals[edit]

Snyder's story was portrayed in a Netflix biopic Walk. Ride. Rodeo., released on March 8, 2019. She performed all the post-crash horse stunts in the film. Because of the similarity of their riding styles, her younger sister Autumn performed the pre-crash stunts. She also made a brief appearance as herself in the 3rd season of Yellowstone.[13][14][15][16]


  1. ^ Schneider, R. (2006). Whatever Happened to "Super Joe"?: Catching Up with 45 Good Old Guys from the Bad Old Days of the Cleveland Indians. Gray & Company. p. 12. ISBN 9781598510270. Retrieved 2019-03-10.
  2. ^ a b "Amberley Snyder: American Cowgirl". New Mobility. Retrieved 2019-03-10.
  3. ^ a b "Amberley Snyder: A badass barrel racer you have to meet". AGDAILY. Retrieved 2019-03-10.
  4. ^ "Amberley Snyder, 2009–10 Utah State FFA President". Retrieved 2019-03-10.
  5. ^ a b "Despite being paralyzed, Utah State's Snyder continues chasing rodeo dream". Retrieved 2019-03-10.
  6. ^ a b "Rodeo champion offers message of inspiration to FFA members". Retrieved 2019-03-10.
  7. ^ a b "Walk Ride Rodeo – Cowboys and Indians Magazine". Retrieved 2019-03-10.
  8. ^ "CLN congratulates Casper, WY on celebrating their Sweet 16 with the CNFR". Cowboy Lifestyle Network. Retrieved 2019-03-10.
  9. ^ "And the winner is . . ". 2015-01-26. Retrieved 2019-03-10.
  10. ^ "Amberley Snyder Gets the Vote". Western Horseman. Retrieved 2019-03-10.
  11. ^ "Logan woman paralyzed from the waist down to compete in national rodeo event". Deseret News. Retrieved 2019-03-10.
  12. ^ "WPRA". Archived from the original on 2018-02-02. Retrieved 2019-03-10.
  13. ^ "Partially paralyzed Utah barrel racer's story to hit Netflix". Retrieved 2019-03-09.
  14. ^ "The true grit of Amberley Snyder". Tri-State Livestock News. Retrieved 2019-03-10.
  15. ^ "Utah woman — the only paralyzed barrel racer in the U.S. — stars as a stunt double in Netflix movie about her life". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved 2019-03-10.
  16. ^ "Amberley Snyder Featured on Yellowstone". COWGIRL Magazine. August 24, 2020. Retrieved December 20, 2020.