Merrill Adams-Ellis began riding horses at the early age of two on her family’s Hill Country ranch in Medina, Texas. She entered her first rodeo at the age of six and continued to rodeo in youth, college and in the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA) rodeos.
Merrill won numerous awards in the Texas Youth Rodeo Association, the Texas High School Rodeo Association, 4H and various junior and high school rodeos throughout the state of Texas.
As a National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA) competitor she was a Southern and Southwest Regional Champion and Runners-up to National Champions and NIRA National Finals Qualifier for four years.
Merrill is a former NIRA Rodeo Coach and was the first NIRA Female Faculty President. She also served as the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) Women’s Event Director for several years. Her duties included the openings of the CNFR, all women’s events and she was a CNFR TV commentator.
In the WPRA her highlight included Texas Circuit All Round, calf roping and goat tying champion. She also qualified for the WPRA All Girl Rodeo Finals five years and was in the top five consistently.
She continues to promote rodeo and the western way of life by serving on numerous boards and raising funds for the organizations. Merrill and her brothers John and Jimmy Adams award a scholarship in memory go their parents, Logan and Mabel Adams to a deserving Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame Recipient. Merrill also awards yearly the Merrill Adams-Ellis Scholarship to an Eastern New Mexico University Collegiate Rodeo Athlete.