April 26, 27, 28 - Minnesota State Fairgrounds
1265 Snelling Ave North, St. Paul, MN

Sponsored by the Minnesota Horse Council
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2024 MN Horse Expo Speakers/Demos

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Schedule is subject to change

Heather Sharp

Heather has enjoyed a unique life. Born into a family of rodeo champions, she became a Junior World Champion in Team Penning at age 13. Since Horse Trainer or Rodeo Star was not on the list during career day at high school, she checked the box for Flight Attendant. Thankfully, a teacher encouraged her to become a pilot. She flew the T38, C130, Boeing 747 and Airbus 320. In the military, her call sign was Notso. Get it? Not So Sharp. Maybe a more appropriate callsign would have been Hammerhead because she takes hard-headed to a whole new level.

She should have died from freak accidents (not related to airplanes or horses) that resulted in two brain injuries. After seven years off she got back flying for the airlines. In 2021, she retired early after a 25-year career and is now a motivational speaker about how important attitude is to us all. The author of Never Dull!, a biography and memoir of her family and life, Heather will do two presentations daily Friday and Saturday at Expo; one on Sunday.

Find her on the web at www.heathersharp.com


Life with Heather’s family was Never Dull!
Friday and Saturday  2:00-3:00
Sunday 1:00-2:00

DNR Building

Come see the outstanding outfits that barrel racers wore in the 1960s and hear hysterical stories about cowboys and cowgirls from the author of Never Dull! Heather will talk about the legends of the rodeo world and the life lessons that we can learn from them.

From a book review in the March issue of Cowgirl Magazine:
Will Rogers once said. “Everything is funny, as long as it’s happening to someone else.” Author,
Heather Sharp's book 'Never Dull', is a perfect example of that.

The stories of the lives and careers of legendary rodeo stars are the focus of Never Dull! Sharp’s entertaining and hilarious book spans more than five decades and includes comical tales from the clothing women were required to wear in the 1963 National Finals Rodeo, to humorous anecdotes of
the talented horses who made rodeo history.

Never Dull! is witty and inspirational and has been endorsed by members of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.

Come to Expo to see these vintage barrel racing fashions at Heather Sharp's booth.
Author of the book Never Dull!

Heather writes:
In the 1960s, record crowds were attending rodeos. Over ten days, 130,000 people paid to watch the events at the Cow Palace in San Francisco and rodeo became a spectator sport.

Bull riding was and still is a crowd favorite. However, in very close second place was the barrel race. The crowd loved it and wanted more. Unfortunately, the cowboys were not so impressed. Cowboys called the cowgirls can chasers and felt barrel racing was all for show and had nothing to do with skill. The cowboys thought the barrel horses were crazed. "Unsafe at any speed” was the common refrain.

The cowgirls wanted to be recognized for their horsemanship but understood this was a way into the arena. The GRA or Girls Rodeo Association would become the WPRA or Women’s Professional Rodeo Association.

To  please the crowd, the rodeo producers enforced a strict dress code. The cowgirls wore brightly colored ‘candy straw’ cowboy hats, statin shirts with rhinestones and itchy skin-tight lamé pants. To get an idea of their outfits, picture a Las Vegas showgirl costume but with long sleeves.

Rodeo Stock Contractor Jack Sparrowk said, “Look at those ‘shiny-hineys.’


Attitude is Everything
Friday and Saturday 10:00-11:00
DNR Building

Hear how helping her dad, a large animal veterinarian, load Rodeo Stock on a 747 bound for the American Rodeo show in Japan lead Heather to become a pilot.

She will talk about what her uncle, World Champion cowboy calls ‘heart’. He said, “No matter where they come from or what they do— Olympics, golf, ping-pong, whatever—people who succeed have heart. They will not quit until they get what they want. All they think about is getting better.”

Heart is often used to describe a racehorse. It doesn't matter the pedigree or how good looking the horse is. A horse with heart will find an extra something deep down that pushes the horse’s nose across the finish line. A long shot that beats the odds and surprises everyone.

Heather had a lot of heart when she wanted to become a pilot. After her two near death experiences, she used that same trait. All she thought about was getting better.

She has faced many challenges and is passionate about sharing her remarkable story of grit and determination. Heather will help you realize that you have the same trait inside you too. If you are a horse person, you have heart.


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