Staci Russell is a first-generation rodeo athlete born and raised in the Detroit metro area. She never imagined herself being a “cowgirl”, but she is glad the world of rodeo found her. Growing up, Staci played basketball and softball. She went to Tuskegee University on an academic and athletic scholarship for softball. She made the 2005 SIAC Softball All-Conference team and had the highest GPA on the team. After graduating with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration and Sales and Marketing, Staci continued her education earning a Master’s in Teaching from Hampton University, a Master’s in Information Systems from the University of Phoenix, and a Master’s in School Administration from Wayne State University. Currently, Staci is an Instructional Technology Coach for a local school district.
Staci did not grow up around horses. She started riding horses at 28. She was introduced to her horse, Reese’s Cup, and the world of rodeo by her trainer, Keith Morrell. Shortly after, she began competing in barrel racing and pole bending at rodeos and jackpots. In 2016, Staci and Reese traveled and competed in the Midstates Rodeo Association (MSRA) and International Professional Rodeo Association (IPRA) circuits. She clinched a spot for the 2018 IPRA top 20 barrel racers. She is a three-time MSRA finals qualifier (2017, 2018, 2021) and the 2017 MSRA Barrel Racing Champion, becoming the first African American to win an MSRA title.
Rodeo is a way of life that is forever in her heart. She is glad to have had the opportunity to meet great guys and gals across the US and Canada. Those people have made an impact in her life by being supportive and helpful along the way. Staci’s goals are to win an IPRA title and qualify for the NFR. This is not an easy task to accomplish, however, Staci knows that with dedication, hard work, practice, and a good horse…anything is possible. Furthermore, Staci wants to open an equestrian center for urban youth, passing on the love of equestrian sports to our young people.
On this episode of the Dripping in Black Podcast, we are Dripping in Barrel Racing Brilliance with Staci Russell. Ms. Russell shares her unique journey from Detroit girl to student-athlete to a self-proclaimed “cowgirl”. Alon...