Walk. Ride. Rodeo. is a 2019 American biopic directed by Conor Allyn from a screenplay by Sean Dwyer and Greg Cope White about the life of Amberley Snyder, a nationally ranked rodeo barrel racer who defies the odds to return to the sport after barely surviving a car crash that leaves her paralyzed from the waist down. It stars Missi Pyle, Spencer Locke, Bailey Chase, and Sherri Shepherd.
19-year-old Amberley Snyder (Spencer Locke) is a nationally-ranked rodeo barrel racer who spends most of her time training with her horse Power at her home in Utah. On her way to Denver, Amberley loses control over her truck and crashes; she is thrown from the vehicle and hits a fence pole, leaving her paralyzed from the waist down.
Amberley is rushed to hospital where doctors confirm she will spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair. She is later taken to Utah to begin a six-week rehabilitation programme. Amberley is initially despondent and lashes out at her mother Tina (Missi Pyle), knowing she will never be able to do all the things she used to do, but over time she pushes herself to find balance and strength in her upper body.
She returns home to an e-mail from Tate Watkins with the FFA, who asks if she’ll still be participating in the event. They communicate via video call over a number of weeks and grow closer. Amberley struggles to adjust to daily life but later, with determination and passion, learns to drive and realises she can still ride a horse if she attaches a seat belt to her saddle. She also starts college at Utah South.
Over the upcoming months, Amberley becomes more and more confident on her horse and takes part in the Spanish Fork Rodeo where she comes second place, less than twelve months since her accident. She continues training in preparation for The American Rodeo, but fails to tell her family about an infected pressure sore on her back. One afternoon Amberley collapses and is rushed to hospital to be told she is critical.
Six weeks later, Amberley has recovered and begins training again, fuelled by positive fan mail and letters from people in similar situations. At The American, Amberley and Tate share a romantic kiss. Tina expresses how proud she is of Amberley for how far she has come in the last eighteen months, saying “You may have lost the use of your legs but it’s opened up your heart”. Tina tells Amberley to ride like the wind as she makes her way out.
Amberley is a professional barrel rider to this day, and also tours the country as a motivational speaker.
On July 29, 2018, it was announced that production had begun on a new Netflix film entitled Walk Ride Rodeo about the life of paralyzed rodeo champion Amberley Snyder. It was also announced that Missi Pyle, Spencer Locke, Bailey Chase, Sherri Shepherd, Raleigh Cain, Mitchell Hoog, and John-Paul Howard would star in the film.
Principal photography began in New Mexico in July 2018.
Snyder acted as her own stunt double for all of the post-crash riding sequences in the film, while her younger sister Autumn performed the pre-crash stunts.
Amberley Snyder – Real Life
Amberley Snyder (born January 29, 1991) is a championship barrel racer. She also competed in pole bending and breakaway roping. In 2010, Snyder suffered a car crash that paralyzed her from the waist down. She overcame the injury and kept competing. In 2015, she competed at a high level when she won a fan exemption to compete at the American Rodeo. Snyder is now a motivational speaker.