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“My whole family likes going fast,” says Taylor Earnhardt. “Everyone else runs on 800 horsepower, I run on one.”

The Horsepower of One

Taylor Earnhardt-Putnam, the 2015 All-Around Cowgirl at the Southern Rodeo Association was born into racing royalty but today, she has begun to leave her mark on a different kind of racetrack. When she won top honors as Champion of the Junior Southern Rodeo Association, shortly after earning the title of North Carolina National Barrel Horse Association (NBHA) Champion, it was clear that the daughter of the seven-time NASCAR Champion Dale Earnhardt had inherited his competitive spirit.

Born the youngest daughter of Dale and Teresa Earnhardt, Taylor continues to carry the tradition of the family name to the winner’s circle, only she prefers fast horses to horsepower. “My whole family likes going fast,” says Taylor. “Everybody else runs on 800 horsepower, I run on one.”

As a young girl, Taylor spent much of her time around the family stables with her parents where she eagerly learned to ride horses, leading to her development as a highly skilled rodeo competitor and becoming the training grounds for her barrel-racing career.

Her extraordinary performance at the Southern Rodeo Association (SRA) Finals demonstrates that Taylor has a unique talent, all her own. In November 2015, she won the All-Around Cowgirl title at the SRA Southern Finals Rodeo in Asheville, North Carolina in addition to placing third in breakaway roping. Taylor has also gained much recognition after being named the NBHA South Carolina District Champion in 2010. Taking notice of her exceptionalism, The Ross Nye Stables in London invited Taylor to participate in their prestigious equestrian training program in 2009, following her All-Around Champion title at the renowned Josey Ranch the previous year. In 2003, Taylor won top honors as Champion of the Junior Southern Rodeo Association, shortly after being named Champion of the North Carolina National Barrel Horse Association (NBHA).

Her horsemanship is founded on the appreciation of nature and love of animals she acquired as a child. According to Taylor, her father instilled in her a love of the outdoors. She said, “You must be respectful of Mother Nature and then take that and apply it to your life. You’ve got to be respectful to everyone around you, even if they’re not respectful to you. That’s a big thing that Dad taught me and a life lesson that I apply to this day.”

With a competitive spirit, complemented with a deep-seated understanding and respect for the horse, it is not surprising that Taylor has earned a CESMT (Certified Equine Sports Massage Therapy) certification. Her thorough understanding of the anatomy and physiology of the horse’s bones, joints and muscles helps her look at the horse as a whole and consider all aspects of the animal’s well being. Her understanding of the effects of massage and its benefits has a profound outcome on the long-term health and performance of these great athletes. She now provides this service around the country.

An innovative businesswoman, not only has Taylor earned respect as a successful rodeo competitor, her credentials and experience have allowed her to create a platform for endorsement and sponsorship opportunities for those who wish to communicate with fans of these sports.

When she is not training or competing around the country, Taylor also lends her talents as a spokesperson for the Dale Earnhardt Foundation, a charitable organization founded in honor of her father that is dedicated to Children, Education and Wildlife Preservation. She is in high demand for her special appearances, interviews and participation in environmental and preservation efforts throughout the year.

Today, 26 year old Taylor Earnhardt-Putnam resides in North Carolina with her husband Brandon Putnam, also a talented rodeo competitor and splits her time between barrel-racing, charity work and her passion for hunting and the outdoors.