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Meet the Member Mackinzee Dermody
story by Lily Weinacht
Rodeo has been a Fischer family tradition for four generations, and goat tying is the event of choice for three sisters from Eagle, Colorado, including 13-year-old Mackinzee Dermody. She finished tenth in the nation’s Rookie of the Year standings, qualifying for ribbon roping, goat tying, and breakaway roping her first trip to the NJHFR. “There’s more competition in junior high, and you have to work for your spot to go to Nationals,” says Mackinzee. She and ribbon roper Reece Wadhams finished 12th in the nation in ribbon roping, while she was just out of the top 20 in the goat tying.
“Mackinzee is a very passionate goat tier,” says Dele Hobbs, Mackinzee’s mom. “I have her and her sisters get off different horses every day to keep their competition up. My oldest, Mariah, has been very successful in goats, and Mackinzee and Makaylee are following in her footsteps. I think that’s where the passion comes from.” Mackinzee additionally competes in pole bending, barrel racing and team roping, heeling for Cactus Barnes. They enter NLBRA rodeos together, where Mackinzee also competes in trail course. She qualified for the NLBFR in barrel racing, goat tying, breakaway roping, trail course, and ribbon roping. When her breakaway horse wouldn’t back into the box at the NJHFR, Mariah (19) sent her best college rodeo horse for Mackinzee to ride in the Little Britches finals. “Mariah was injured and had to red shirt for college rodeo this year, so her decision to send her horse down for Mackinzee to use was a huge deal for us,” says Dele.
“I look up to my big sister, Mariah. She’s helped me through my rodeo career and taught me most of things I know about rodeo,” Mackinzee explains. “She’s helped me with my horses when they aren’t cooperating, and she’s going to college in La Junta on a full ride rodeo scholarship.” Mackinzee rides her mare, Dolly, in the goat tying, her favorite event. “I like how fast I can get off and get my goat down and tied. I also use Dolly for barrels, so I can’t practice on her too much.” Dunny, formerly Mackinzee’s breakaway horse, is now her main barrel horse, while she’s roping on Mariah’s horse, Mia, and training her colt, Sis, for roping as well. Mackinzee and her 11-year-old sister, Makaylee, practice daily with the help of their mom and Mariah. Makaylee is entering her first year of junior high rodeo, competing in barrel racing, pole bending, goat tying, team roping, and ribbon roping. The sisters also compete in 4 Eagle Ranch rodeos and Beaver Creek rodeos, hauled by their mom and step-dad, Brian.
Along with their 11 horses, which Mackinzee and Mariah are in charge of riding, the Dermody family has roping calves, steers, and goats. “I tie the goats, and we’re also breeding them so I have more to tie next year, and we sell some of them,” says Mackinzee. She and Makaylee are members of 4-H, and both the sisters’ steers won their weight classes at the county fair this summer. “Our family steer won grand champion, Makaylee’s steer was reserve champion, and mine took third. I’m going to sell my extra steer I brought home and give the money to a cancer society, Crawling For A Cure.”
An eighth grader at Eagle Valley Middle School, Mackinzee enjoys gym class, and her basketball team, The Eagle Valley Pirates, took home the girls basketball trophy for the 2015 season. She enjoys a variety of other sports, such as water skiing, wakeboarding, downhill skiing, and snowboarding. Rodeo is a chief favorite, however. “I’d like to win my first saddle,” she finishes, “and win first at state in one of my events to qualify for Nationals.”