angle-left The Making of ‘Short Go Makes the NFR’

The Making of ‘Short Go Makes the NFR’

One woman’s lifelong love for rodeo lives on through her charming children’s book.

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Lindsay (Domer) Keller’s childhood was spent on the backs of great American Quarter Horses in her family’s arena. Lindsay and her sister, Reagan, loved to pretend they were competing at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Their parents, Todd and Marilyn Domer, have gone to the NFR every year since the early '90’s. Being surrounded by these rodeo idols and their stories shaped Lindsay’s future and her rodeo dreams. 

After becoming a mother, Lindsay realized her childhood dreams could help inspire other children to love horses, cowboys and the sport of rodeo. Her son had a preference for books about horses and cowboys, but she realized many of the books were clearly not written by someone familiar with the western way of life. 

About the Book

  • Main Character: “Short Go,” a bay American Quarter Horse.
  • Supporting Characters: Elsie and Max, a sister-and-brother duo who own Short Go.
  • Plot: The children and Short Go pretend to compete in the timed events at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, much like Lindsay once played. But there’s a plot twist: They find out the next day that Short Go is needed at the real NFR in Las Vegas to help with a very special task. 

How They Brought the Book to Life: 

  • Lindsey drew from memories of her childhood to shape events in the book. 
  • They used bright colors and authentic “rodeo announcer lingo” that kids will love. 
  • They included a valuable lesson that parents will appreciate. 
  • They used official logos from the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, with the organization's permission, so that the illustration of Short Go at the NFR would be even more real. 
  • Lindsay’s mother, Marilyn Domer, provided the illustrations. She is a second-generation rodeo competitor and former Miss Rodeo Kansas.
  • They formed The Bell Mare Book Co. LLC to publish and launch “Short Go Makes the NFR” in October 2017. 

The Ultimate Goal

As Lindsay’s son has grown, he still loves books about horses and cowboys, including “Short Go Makes the NFR.” Nothing is more validating for Lindsay than having him bring her the book he simply calls “Short Go” for his bedtime story or watching him ride his bouncy horse in their living room while shrieking “Whoa, Short Go!” at the top of his lungs. 

When Lindsay and her mom decided to publish the book, their goal was to help more children fall in love with horses and rodeo – they consider this mission accomplished, starting with their favorite little cowboy.