story by Siri Stevens Bella Kate (BK) is no stranger to the rodeo lifestyle. She started competing in her local riding club in Sulphur, Louisiana […]
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Meet the Member Mackenzie Floyed
story by Michele Toberer
“I love the Louisiana Junior High Rodeo Association because of my friends. In the long run, we are all here competing against one another and we’re all trying to beat everyone there, but when your friend wins, you’re still happy for them, you’re not mad about it,” says Mackenzie Floyed of Ville Platte, Louisiana. The 12-year-old rodeo competitor has chosen rodeo over other sports she’s been involved in because everyone supports each other as they work to make it to the top and they don’t all get a trophy if they fall short. “You have to practice and practice to get those 1st place runs, and you respect those that work hard enough to win. When you see someone win, it pushes you even harder to be better for the next rodeo.”
Mackenzie, a 7th grader at Sacred Heart Elementary School, is focused on improving her skills for her second season with the LJHSRA. “This year, I’m focusing on throwing my rope the first shot I have. When you don’t take your shot when it’s there you end up regretting it.” Her schedule is full, as she has rodeo practice nearly every evening after school. “We have a long goat tying and breakaway roping arena in the front of our house; we usually wait until the sun goes down, before my sister Payton and I practice.” Mackenzie breakaway ropes on a white, 23-year-old mare named Gigi, and Payton, 16, uses the same mare for goat tying. “Gigi is really powerful and stops very nice, so I like to rope calves on her.” For goat tying, Mackenzie uses a little black gelding named Reno she and her sister trained for goat tying themselves, but Payton uses him to compete in breakaway roping. “Reno is 18 now, and I’ve been goat tying on him for about 4 years. I like that he is always honest, he will run straight until we move our hand.”
Mackenzie’s dad, Robert Floyed is a Louisiana native and LHSRA alumni, competing in cutting and team roping through high school and college, at MacNeese State University. Ann Floyed, Mackenzie’s mom originally from a small town in Texas, didn’t have a rodeo background but is very supportive of her daughters’ chosen sport. The couple stays busy as owners and operators of a wholesale crawfish business, Central Crawfish. The crawfish season runs from January thru July and is a hectic time of year for the Floyed family. Not only does the family farm crawfish on 800-1000 acres of land, they also wholesale crawfish for local farmers, delivering live crawfish during the season, and have a packing plant where they peel crawfish and pack tail-meat. “We don’t eat a lot of crawfish because we are around it so much.” During the off-season, the family stays busy farming over 600-acres of rice, as well as running 1000 head of beef cattle with Robert’s dad.
Mackenzie was born with a love for horses that led both Floyed daughters to their involvement in the rodeo world. Her parents started bringing her to rodeos and soon that was all the family was doing. Payton is a junior, competing in the LHSRA this year. “My dad really helps me a lot, he’s taught me what I know about rodeo and roping. He also helps me with school; he helped me study for history last year and I ended up at the top of my class. He has a way of studying that makes it easier and helps me remember.” Mackenzie hopes to one day rodeo for MacNeese, like Robert did.
Mackenzie looks up to rodeo competitors like Mia Manzanares, Bailey Mudd, and Lari Dee Guy. “I love that Mia zones in and doesn’t care about anything else around her, and Bailey will just throw it right there where she should, and Lari Dee Guy is just really good and never gives up on it, she just keeps going.” Mackenzie is grateful for the help she gets from family friend, Mandy Habert, and is truly appreciative of the support of all her friends and family, “Sometimes I can be kind of aggravating, and I really appreciate that they all stick around and are always so encouraging to me.”