The Road to the Calgary Stampede can be a long one. It involves a lot personal sacrifice, dedication and training.

Magen Warlick from Stephenville, Texas competed in the Cowboy Up! competition for the first time at the 2017 Calgary Stampede.

She started riding “English” style when she was only 2 years old, however, she changed riding styles when she was in her late teens after her trainer in Washington State was killed in a riding accident.

“That really turned my horsemanship career around, because at sixteen you think you are invincible, you think nothing can go wrong,” said Warlick.

“I kept riding and kept going along but it is was just too much to keep riding English, so I moved down to Texas and started riding Western, worked for Clinton Anderson for five-years, which tremendously helped my horsemanship obviously.”

“After that, I left that and I still teach clinics, but I also started barrel racing and rodeoing and roping and starting colts and decided Stephenville needed to be home and that’s how I kinda ended up being here.”

“Here” being the 2017 Calgary Stampede, where she took home the title of Reserve Champion in the Cowboy Up competition.

“The Calgary Stampede is ‘off-the-charts’ good, everyone is fantastic to you, you’re a celebrity walking around and I’m like, I’m not a celebrity you know, they put on a great show they make it great for us it’s totally worth coming back to.”

Warlick’s partner in the competition was her Quarter horse Gelding, Collie, whom she has had for five years.

“I’ve done a little bit of everything on him.”

“He came from Tarleton State University and they raised him started him, he sold in a sale for $600 and then I bought him as a five-year-old for $2000 and they thought they were getting a heck of a deal of that, what ended up happening is that I got the steal because he’s the best horse I have ever ridden.”

Warlick doesn’t stop there in her description of one of her best friends.

“He’s so smart, he’s so sweet, he’s willing, he tries anything, he gives everything he’s got everytime I ride him.”

The 2018 Cowboy Up! competition takes place over three days at this year’s Calgary Stampede.