Meeker alumna is tops at horse reining

bobby gutierrez Melanie Watt Wilhelm, a graduate of Meeker High School, takes a minute away from a reining horse competition at her home in Nazareth, Texas. Wilhelm was named National Reining Horse Association Professional Horsewoman of the Year.

bobby gutierrez
Melanie Watt Wilhelm, a graduate of Meeker High School, takes a minute away from a reining horse competition at her home in Nazareth, Texas. Wilhelm was named National Reining Horse Association Professional Horsewoman of the Year.

MEEKER I Meeker High School alumna Melanie Watt Wilhelm will be recognized June 27 for her recent selection as the National Reining Horse Association Professional Horsewoman of The Year.
The prestigious award “honors individuals who exemplify excellence in the NHRA community as a NHRA professional. This distinction is reserved exclusively for the elite individuals who, in all aspects of their career, consistently excel in perpetuating the growth of the NHRA, both in and out of the show pen, while maintaining the ideals of good horsemanship, sportsmanship and welfare of the reining horse.”
Wilhelm currently lives in Nazareth, Texas, where she owns and operates Wilhelm Performance Horses. She has been a NRHA professional since 2004 and is known for her freestyle exhibitions, becoming a 2011 NRHA Derby Open Finalist, as well as her involvement in local affiliates and 4-H clubs.
She has been president of the West Texas Reining Association and is currently the association treasurer and has always been a great advocate for various horse associations with which she was involved.
Wilhelm was an all-around champion in the National High School Rodeo Association, earning her scholarship to Eastern New Mexico University in Portales, N.M. She qualified for the College National Finals Rodeo in multiple events, as well as completed her education degree.
Horsemanship seems to run in Wilhelm’s family as her grandfather, Tom Watt, was quite a hand on a horse, her father, Harry, was a member of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and her sister, Elisha, also had a great deal of success in rodeo.
Wilhelm has never shied from hard work, and it has paid off as she and her husband, Wayne, have built an outstanding facility and operation in Texas, where she gets to do what she loves and many benefit from her labor.
She has a very unique talent in her horse training and has always loved to teach.

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