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Iris Tuftin, a retired school teacher, has lived the rodeo life. Although she didn’t grow up with horses, she was introduced to them by her husband, Nels, and soon became a knowledgeable and proficient horse person. Over the years, the family involved themselves in gymkhana, 4-H and rodeo.
Both sons qualified to the National Finals High School Rodeo and went on to make names for themselves at the professional level, Daren as a bullfighter and clown, and Dean as a team roper, becoming the first Canadian to qualify to the NFR in that event.
Iris and Nels have competed in team roping, with Nels claiming a Canadian Senior championship, but Iris’ claim to fame in rodeo proved to be in the barrel racing event. She was a multiple amateur champion, a qualifier to the Canadian Finals Rodeo in the mid 80’s, and a Canadian Senior Pro barrel champion.
Iris and Nels live in central Alberta, Canada, hauling their horses south to their Arizona winter home for training.
Music has always played a major role in Iris’ life as she played and sang in family bands from a young age and still performs with an all-female band called The Hinge.