Shawn was raised in west Texas on a working cattle ranch. He inherited his love of horses and showing from his grandmother, Judy Hays, who successfully bred and showed AQHA halter and all-around horses. Shawn competed in all-around events as a youth before leaving west Texas to apprentice with JD Yates of Pueblo, CO. Shawn spent six years training and showing rope horses first for JD, then for Jay Holmes of Sarasota, FL, and finally as the in house trainer at Carousel Farms in Sulphur, OK.
In the spring of 2004 Shawn and his wife of two years, Tammy moved from Sulphur and Shawn set up a training operation in Saint Jo, TX. It wasn’t long before Shawn realized he had a talent for the cowhorse events.
He started spending time with legendary cowhorse trainer, Don Murphy and earned his first check in a NRCHA limited aged event in the spring of 2005 at the Circle Y Derby in Stephenville, TX. He would end that year with a top ten finish in the Limited Open at the Snaffle Bit Futurity. Since 2005, Shawn has amassed over $250,000 with titles that include Reserve Champion World’s Greatest Horseman, Holy Cow Bridle Spectacular Champion, SBF Open Bridle Champion, AQHA World Champion, Reserve Champion World’s Richest Stockhorse, and finalist and top ten finishes at the NRCHA Stakes, Hackamore Classic, Derby, and Snaffle Bit Futurity. He has also helped numerous non pros achieve NRCHA World and Reserve Championships in the Non Pro Bridle classes. He now resides near Nocona, TX with his wife and sons, Bryce and Hunter. Visit www.shawnhays.com