To say she grew up like everyone else just cannot be said about this professional horsewoman. Karen was given opportunities to work with horses right from the start, as she grew up surrounded by her dad's (Ralph Schappacher) "Diamond S Rodeo and Wild West Show". She was trick riding at the early age of eight, when most girls are just taking the training wheels off of their bikes. By her early teens she had mastered the art of Roman Riding and training horses to do tricks She made guest appearances on "The Wonderful World of Horses" to demonstrate her Roman Riding ability and showed her trick riding skills on "The Mike Douglas Show". Eventually her dad sold the show, but Karen had no trouble finding work on her own. In 1981 Karen was hired by Longhorn Rodeo Co, (Bruce Lehrke) as one of the "Longhorn Pony Express" trick riders because she was one of very few women who performed what is known as "groundwork", vaulting from one side of the horse to the other.
Working at the rodeos and competing in them are two entirely different things and eventually the desire to compete would win Karen's heart. Her first barrel horse, "Red", she bought from Wilburn Bicknell, who had used the horse as a rodeo pick-up horse. Karen spent several months training the horse herself and even though this was her first time training a barrel horse, she was getting good results. In 1978 they qualified for their first MSRA Finals. Unfortunately "Red" was stolen and the duo never got the chance to reach
their full potential. Over the next couple of years, she purchased a calf roping horse that she named "Taco", and trained her to run barrels. They finished their first year as Reserve Champion of the MSRA.. Sadly, tragedy again prevented Karen from achieving her goals, as "Taco" died of colic the next season. In the summer of 1980, her vet told her about a horse that his brother was racing. This horse had a 86 speed index "AA" but was injured with a broken coffin bone. The vet was confident this injury would heal, so he offered to donate veterinary care if she would take him and pay his brother $600.00 so he wouldn't send the horse to the killers. After six months of rest, she felt "Joe" was ready to begin his new career and as a result, discovered that her purchase had produced what she calls "the best horse I've ever had". For the next nine years, the team of Karen (Mostoller) and "Joe" would go on to win numerous awards. As you will see in her list of accomplishments, they were an amazingly consistent team, especially when you consider they only hit twelve barrels in those nine years. Joe was 33 when Karen had to make the painfully decision to put him down.
Karen's interest does not end with competition however. She spends countless hours working to promote the sport of barrel racing. She served as the Barrel Racing Director for the IPRA for two years and spent two years as the only woman President of the MSRA in its forty-year history. She was also the Founder and President for five years of the Buckeye Barrel Racing association. Karen's interest in futurities has led her to form the " Eastern Barrel Futurity Association" that started on December 1, 1999. As the EBFA started to grow, she also formed the "International Barrel Racing Association" which is a subsidiary of the EBFA. Both associations are very well respected and have a lot to offer the professional barrel racers along with the first time beginners.
When not at home, Karen can usually be found at a show or rodeo. She has been very fortunate in developing young horses into winners. Some of the horses she has owned and competed on were JB Absolute, Frosty Peppy Olena, Less Return, Four Forty Project, The Money Merger, A Talented Gentleman, Hears The Deal, Oklahoma Jack and Smokem Rainey just to name a few.
Karen Mostoller Accomplishments
I.P.R.A. - International Professional Rodeo Association
National Champion - 86
Qualified for Finals - 82-83-84-85-86-87-88-89
Northeast Regional Champion -82-84 -85-86-87-89
B.B.R.A. Buckeye Barrel Racing Association
Champion - 89-93-96-97
Reserve Champion - 90-91-92-95
Finals Average Winner - 93-99
W.P.R.A. Great Lakes Circuit Qualifier - 97
American Quarter Horse Congress
Junior Horse Barrels Champion - 99 "Less Return"
M.S.R.A. - Mid-States Rodeo Association
All Around Cowgirl 89-90-91-92
Breakaway Roping Champion - 90
Goat Tying Champion - 89
A.R.A. - American Rodeo Association
Champion - 84 -85-86
Finals Average Winner - 84 -85
Southern Rebel Futurity Champion - 98 on "Less Return"
Tri-State Champion - 98 on "Less Return"
Southern Buckeye Champion - 99 on "Four Forty Project"
Winfield Champion - 99 on "Hears The Deal"