Growing up in Waialua on Oahu's North Shore, Shelby says, "While everyone was surfing big waves I was riding horses. I could ride before I could walk! My love for the sport of rodeo was greatly influenced by my mom who also competed in barrel racing."
During her high school days she was the wide receiver for the Waialua JV football team, team captain of the girls wrestling team all while competing in rodeos. Shelby also kept it graceful by dancing hula and in 2003 she claimed the title of Ms Hawaii Jr Teen. It wasn't until she moved to the Big Island to attend UH Hilo, where her desire to continue on the path of rodeo, in order to perpetuate our island's paniolo heritage, blossomed. In 2008, she was deemed Miss Rodeo Hawaii continuing onto Las Vegas to compete for the title of Miss Rodeo America and brought home the Most Photogenic award and scholarship!
Since then, she has competed in numerous rodeos trying her best to learn as much as she could while inspiring others along the way. "There is so much you learn from a horse, and through the sport of rodeo. It teaches you patience, respect and responsibility," said Shelby.
After college, Shelby joined the Hawaii Air National Guard as a munitions technician. Now a Sgt., Shelby has been on 2 deployments while still managing to compete in rodeos while on her home turf. She thanks rodeo for keeping her mentally tough and a strong work ethic needed for the military. "In rodeo you have no choice but to be tough because sometimes it's just you in the arena. You need to be both physically and mentally fit."
You can still find Shelby today competing in local rodeos around the Hawaiian Islands. She currently lives on a ranch in Maui with her fiance, breeding working stock dogs and training horses. She holds a degree in Environmental Studies and began her business 'Rocky Ridge' creating dog treats from invasive species like deer and goats who pose a threat to ranchers and farmers.
"I find inspiration through inspiring others not only through rodeo but life too. I will never stop participating in rodeos. I love the challenge of it, whether it's a new horse or up and coming talent; there is always something to learn and obstacles to overcome."
If she's not on a horse she could be out surfing or diving. Or off traveling the world as she loves adventures!
Favorite food? "Cucumbers with mayo/shoyu dip!"