Updated: Jun 13
And she's is only 21
Hat tip Valerie Clarkson
Did you know that Huntington County is home to a real-life cowgirl? I recently had the privilege of spending time talking to Emily Freise and learning all about this remarkable young lady. She’s not only a horse trainer, riding instructor and award winning, world ranked rodeo contestant, she’s also a college student and successful small business owner. And she’s accomplished all of this before turning 21 years old!
Emily was born in the small town of Greensburg, Pennsylvania, southeast of Pittsburg. She lived in Borger, Texas near Amarillo, for two years. She then moved to Indiana and attended Huntington North High School for one year until she opened Circle E Performance Horses in 2020.
She was one of those girls who wanted a pony when she was little. It all started after a trip with her parents, Ed and Carrie Freise, to the zoo. She wanted to ride that pony so bad, but we all know that is not possible at the zoo. Emily’s parents knew nothing about horses and had no idea how to go about getting her a horse let alone how to teach her to ride. They finally found a person by the name of Jim Dettmer that could give Emily riding lessons. For Emily’s 5th birthday her parents got her those riding lessons. That’s when her life changed and Emily became a Cowgirl. She said, “Ever since that first time I swung a leg over that lesson horse, I knew I wanted to ride the rest of my life.” Through the years of lessons and seeing what Jim could do with horses and learning how to train her own horse, Emily knew she wanted a business where she could work with horses.
Emily’s first rodeo was when she was 12 years old in Cloverdale, Indiana, where she could only do the Barrel Racing. She started training horses when she was 15 at different farms. During high school, Emily was ranked 5th in the world of rodeo in barrel racing. When she was 16, she was ranked number one in the nation for her age in goat tying. Her high school activities mainly centered around horses. She was active in high school rodeos, FFA, 4-H and the National Honor Society which she maintained a 4.0 in high school. Before she opened Circle E Performance Horse, LLC, she worked at Bit of Spurs Training Stables located in Roanoke, Indiana, Z Animal Crossing located on State Road 5, and various other horse farms in her area. Her favorite high school memory was winning fifth in Barrel Racing at the World Finals Rodeo on a horse that she trained at her business, Circle E Performance Horses. Emily’s hero she looks up to is Hailey Kinsel, who is a four-time World Barrel Racing Champion.
Since graduating from high school, Emily has attended Frank Phillips College in Borger, Texas where she received an associate degree in science carrying a high GPA. During this time, she went on round-ups as part of her schooling. Round-ups are where you take your horse and ride out to where the cattle are and round them up to bring them back to the catch pin so they can be taken to be sold or slaughtered. She has also been working at the college level and semi-pro rodeos throughout the years and is classified as a Collegiate Athlete while in college. Last year Emily was ranked top in the nation. This fall, Emily will be attending Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas where she will enter her junior year, working towards her bachelor’s degree in Ag Business and Animal Science. Her plan is to complete her bachelor’s degree, stay in Huntsville and continue to grow circle E into a nationwide horse training operation. She also plans to compete in pro rodeo and win the world title in barrel racing.
Her mom Carrie said, “My husband and I are both proud of Emily and what she has done with Circle E Horse Performance, LLC”. She also said that Emily has truly loved horses since she was a little girl and believes she has a God-given talent, desire, and ability to work with them. “It’s incredible to see her share her passion with other people through her business. Emily has a work ethic that is incomparable, so it’s neat to see that all come together with Circle E. and for Emily to be a successful small business owner at 21”, said Carrie who can attest to the blood, sweat, and tears Emily had to shed to get there.
Emily’s accomplishments over her young years:
Circle E became an LLC in February of 2020
Won the all-around title at MYRA in 2020
Won the goat tying, trail course and breakaway roping title at MYRA in 2020
Won the all-around title at IJRA in 2020
Won the pole bending and goat tying at IJRA in 2020
Won the goat tying, breakaway and barrel racing title at MLBRA in 2020
Placed top 5 in the nation at the NLBFR in 2021
Won the goat tying and trail course at MYRA in 2021
Won the all-around title at MYRA in 2021
Won the College Challenge Championship all around, barrels, goat tying and breakaway in 2022.
2022-2023 College All conference Academic Award
Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society Member
Over the summer, Emily will be helping young people with riding lessons, plus she is holding two clinics. Circle E Performance Horses held a Barrel and Pole clinic 2023 starting June 10 at 10 am – 5 pm, plus Goat tying clinic starting on June 17th from 10 am – 8 pm. Circle E Performance Horses is located at 225 E 400 S, Huntington, Indiana, phone 260-388-4773. Website: sites.google.com/view/freise-emily-portfolio/home. Circle E Performance Horses does have a Facebook page as well , so be sure to check it out.
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