Meet the Member Eli Woodyard
story by Jet Toberer Second-generation team roper, Eli Woodyard, of small town Max Meadows, Virginia, has been roping since he was 8 years old, and […]
by Kyle Eustice
Born in Mooresville, North Carolina, 14-year-old Logan Alexis MacQueen moved to Kannapolis, North Carolina in October 2014 along with her parents, Heath and Christina and younger brother Christian. Growing up, Logan’s great-grandfather had a horse and that love for horses was passed down to Christina, who passed it on to Logan.
“We kind of started a whole horse life,” explained Christina. “We sold our house and everything fell into place. I always wanted a farm and my husband wanted a lot of property, too. God worked his magic. We had no intentions of being out here at all, but we bought the farm and rodeoing fell into place, too.”
Logan started lessons in September 2014. They initially thought it would take a while to get horses. Miraculously four months later, she got her first horse, Laila, one she’s been using since her barrel horse, Peanut, is on pasture rest.
“We nursed her back to health,” said Logan. “She was three hundred and fifty pounds underweight when we got her. I’ve seasoned her on the pattern and she’s doing really well. She’s done really good for me. It wasn’t as hard to season her as I thought it would be. I just had to show her how to do it. I’ve been riding her since last September.”
Logan’s close friend Cheyenne was also another huge influence on Logan. She had been doing rodeo her whole life.
“I thought it looked cool,” said Logan. “I went to a few shows with her and I saw people doing barrels and poles, and I really wanted to do it. I started going jackpots then went to rodeo events. I ran JRSRA and ran NCYRA.”
Last March was Logan’s first JRSRA rodeo and she only had the horse she rode for four days, which was both fun and scary for the young rider.
“I was finally running with the big dogs,” said Logan. “I was such an amateur, but I’ve gotten way better. I can ride way better now even though sometimes my nerves get the best of me.”
It didn’t help that one of Logan’s first horses was (as she said) “crazy” and would buck her off all the time. Those memories sometimes resurface when she gets ready to compete.
“I feel like sometimes it’s because I am scared of falling off or getting hurt while running,” admitted Logan. “It can be so scary.”
“The first time she was bucked off, she just rolled off,” added Christina. “The other times were more violent. She hurt her back a little bit and fell off at the JRSRA finals.”
Of course, Logan got right back on, a testament to her sheer will to succeed and master the sport. Her tenacity got her to the 2016 finals in Lone Hickory, North Carolina, where she competed in the barrel racing event.
“I was so excited because that was my goal for the year,” said Logan. “Not everyone makes it to finals. They only take the top twelve.”
Although she didn’t make the finals in the poles event, her goal for this year is to make it for both barrels and poles, where she hopes to pull 11th place not 12th like she did last year. However, she knows it takes more than just practice to make it.
“First you need to be polite and be a good sport,” said Logan. “But you also have to be really good at it, and put in work five out of seven days a week.”
During the lighter season, she participates on the South Rowan High School swim team, but during the summer, she’s in the arena every day for at least an hour getting ready for the next rodeo.
“I like that they’re fun,” said Logan. “There’s a lot of people to hang out with. People are really uplifting and it’s always a positive experience. I really like to sing in the car on the way there to get ready. I love the smell of it and riding. Everyone helps everyone, and there’s a really strong faith in the rodeo community. I am so grateful for my trainer Kember Goode of Daniels Creek Farm, and my Memaw, Papaw and Grandmommy for always supporting me and cheering me on.”
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