story by Michele Toberer Maddie Branum is a 13-year-old cowgirl from Taylorville, Illinois that has competed in the International Miniature Rodeo Association for the past […]
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Meet the Member Adalynn Tilley
story by Michele Toberer
The 2018 International Miniature Rodeo Association Pee Wee Barrel Racing Champion, Adalynn Tilley, was extremely excited for her second IMRA finals and having a shot at a back-to-back title in January. She left Guthrie, Oklahoma full of smiles after winning 1st in the first-go, 2nd in the second-go, and clinching the reserve champion pee wee barrel racer title after the shootout round in front of a packed IFR50 audience. The 8-year-old cowgirl from Salem, Missouri is small in stature but big in heart and has been a ball of fire in the rodeo arena since she was 4 years old. Adalynn started out competing in barrel racing, pole bending, and goat tying when she was barely big enough to pick up the goat. She’s had plenty of support from her parents, Jennifer and Aaron Tilley, who both have their own rodeo backgrounds as well. Jennifer, a licensed professional counselor, also started competing in rodeo when she was 5, and helps Adalynn with her events. Aaron, who works both as an EMT and in a custom cabinet shop, stepped into the rodeo scene as a bullfighter in 2003, while he was stationed at Cherry Point, North Carolina as an enlisted Marine. He fought bulls full time until 2010 and still steps in to assist at the Ozark Rodeo Association when help is needed. The IMRA has been a wonderful addition to the family’s rodeo schedule and Adalynn has enjoyed her second season with the association.
“I loved getting to run in the short-go during the actual IFR and it was awesome being in the arena with all the big girls.” Adalynn competed in the Pee Wee division of the IMRA for kids 6 to 7 years old; and qualified for the short go on her special 16-year-old dun paint mare, Montana. She was excited to run her barrel pattern in front of the packed IFR crowd, and winning the title last year, and finishing as reserve-champion this year made the experiences even better. “I won money and received several other awards, it was great! It was great to see some of the friends I made last year and make new friends this year. One of my friends, Coy Reed, finished as the reserve champion junior bull rider.”
As a third grader at Northwood R4 School, Adalynn loves reading, math, and science classes. “When I grow up, I want to be a large animal veterinarian, so you need to learn lots of science to be a vet.” For the second year, Adalynn has been a 4-H member, showing goats. She also plays soccer and used to participate in gymnastics until her rodeo schedule took over. Not only does Adalynn compete at multiple IMRA sanctioned rodeos produced by Keith Wooten, but she also competes in the ORA, where she was the 2019 9-and-under champion pole bender and reserve champion barrel racer, goat tyer, and reserve champion all-around cowgirl. “Montana ran so good for me all season and won 2nd place at every rodeo, you can’t ask for more consistent than that!” Adalynn also recently won the title of 2020 Little Miss ORA and she is excited to watch the IPRA queen competition and fashion show at the IFR50.
Adalynn is thankful to Ashley Jennings who helps her move past barrel racing obstacles when she needs it. She looks up to her favorite barrel racer, Amberley Snyder, and pays attention to the important lessons that Amberley shares with young girls in rodeo. “It’s exciting to see how many seconds I am off the big girls when I run. They’re all so nice at the IFR and it’s fun getting to warm up with them. I’m usually two seconds off their times when we run!” The Tilley family, which also includes Adalynn’s 3-year-old sister, Hadlee Jane, is appreciative of the opportunities the IMRA provides. “We’re super grateful to Keith and Lori Wooten for all they do. Giving the kids this opportunity to compete alongside the professionals makes such an impact on their young rodeo careers.”