Murphy Sisters Show Great Success in Rodeo Arena
Anna Marie and Ellie Schreck said, “We started riding horses when we were babies.” Their father, David Schreck had always been involved in rodeos with his family. When he saw that his daughters enjoyed riding, he taught them how to compete in rodeos too. The sisters competed in their first rodeo when they were six years old. They did barrel racing in the eight and under category. During this event, Anna Marie earned her first belt buckle and Ellie earned her first trophy.
Their mother, Carole Schreck said, “From September to March each year these girls compete at THSRA rodeos against other girls to finish in the Top 10 in their region to earn the right to compete at the state level. There are ten regions in Texas, so the top 100 in the state of Texas advance to state finals. Both girls just recently completed their state finals.”
Ellie competed at the junior high level this past year in breakaway roping and goat tying. At the conclusion of regional finals, she was the Region Champ in goat tying and won a saddle. She finished 5th in the region in breakaway roping and earned a spot on the regional team in both events. Ellie competed at the state level in Gonzales and earned a buckle in her first round on breakaway roping.
Anna Marie competed at the high school level as a rookie in breakaway roping, goat tying and cutting. At the conclusion of regional finals, she was champion in cutting, reserve champion in breakaway roping and finished 11th in goat tying. She competed at the state level in Abilene, in cutting and breakaway roping. The top 15 at the end of the two rounds progresses to the Short Go. At the end of the 1st round of breakaway roping, she was fourth in the round, and in round two of cutting, Anna Marie finished first. By the end of the competition, Anna Marie finished in the top 10 in breakaway and second in cutting advancing her to the Nationals Team in cutting representing the Texas team. Based on her success in both events, Anna Marie was named Girls Rookie of the Year for the State of Texas. The nationals is July 15 – 22, in Rock Springs, Wyoming.
In order to prepare for the nationals competition, Anna Marie went to train with her uncle John Schreck and cousin Michael Schreck at their ranch in Iowa, has competed in additional rodeos and added extra practices with her trainer.
Ellie explains the object of goat tying, “Ride in (into the arena) on a horse as fast as you can, get off the horse while it’s still running and run as fast as you can to tie it’s feet together. The goal is to be as fast as you can. This is a timed event.” (Carole mentioned that the goat is not harmed during this event.)
Breakaway roping is explained by Anna Marie, “The rider starts in a box while on a horse. The calf is in a shoot. When the rider nods their head, the calf goes out and the rider rides in behind the calf. The rider ropes the calf and the rope breaks off the cattle horn and the calf keeps running.” This is also a timed event.
Anna Marie explains cutting: “A little group of cattle is brought into the arena. The rider walks up to the group and separates a calf from the group. The calf wants to get back to the group. The rider must stay aligned with the calf to keep it from returning. The rider can’t use their hands and can only use their feet and the horse.”
Anna Marie said her favorite event is roping and cutting. Ellie said her favorite event is whatever she is doing well at that weekend.
Ellie said a person trying this sport for the first time will be surprised by how much you have to trust you know what you’re doing in the 2.5 seconds of the breakaway roping event. They said if they are not in school, they are with their horses in all weather conditions. Anna Marie’s horse is Thumper, a 13-year-old gelding Quarter Horse who likes to dance. Ellie’s horse is Pinky, a 12-year-old mare Quarter Horse, who she describes as a perfectionist.
The Schreck family has a cattle ranch near Waco, and the skills they use in rodeos are also used at the ranch.
The sisters said their dad, mom, uncle and cousin are their rodeo mentors. Carole did not grow up around rodeos, but through competition technique research and a lot of physical effort, she is a huge part of the successful Schreck team.
They voiced appreciation for Rick Brewer, who owns the Double B Ranch; Michael Akins, their roping coach; Dean Domann, cutting trainer; and Charlie Ashcraft and Case Crouch, competition assistants.
Both sisters will attend McMillen High School in the fall. Anna Marie is 15-years-old and will be a sophomore. Ellie is 14-years-old and will be a freshman.