story by Michele Toberer At 13 years old, Lane Leeper has already marked earning world champion titles off of his bucket list. The Leon, Iowa […]
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Meet the Member Maddie Branum
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 two years, and proudly left Guthrie Oklahoma in January 2020 as the 2019 IMRA Reserve Champion Junior Barrel Racer. She is already excited about a new season and the addition of breakaway roping to the IMRA rodeos.
As a third-generation rodeo competitor, Maddie has members of her own family she can look up to and get help with her events from. Her parents, Jenny and Matt Branum both rodeoed and now own a stock contracting business, Branum Cattle Company, where they provide stock for IPRA rodeos as well as Illinois junior and high school rodeos. Maddie enjoys helping sort cattle and getting things ready before rodeos. The family raises Angus, Corrientes, Semmental, and Hereford cattle and they own and operate Branum Recycling Company. Jenny also is the assistant director of admissions at Greenville University. Maddie’s dad also works as a rodeo pick-up man.
Maddie has begun following her mom’s lead as a rodeo queen; Jenny college rodeoed in Missouri and was the 1998/1999 PRCA Miss Rodeo Illinois; and Maddie was the 2017 Illinois Junior Rodeo Princess. Maddie won the K-2 All-Around Cowgirl title for the Illinois Junior Rodeo Association in 2017 and was the 2019 All-Around Cowgirl and rookie of the year for the IJHRA for her 6th grade year. She is grateful to compete at the IMRA qualifiers held at the IPRA rodeos she and her family attends because she thoroughly enjoys the experience the IMRA finals offer to the competitors. “It’s so exciting getting to compete at the International Finals Rodeo. I used to go watch my uncle, Jason Stewart, competing at the IFR in steer wrestling and always hoped to get to compete there. Getting to run barrels alongside all the cowgirls competing there is so cool.”
Roany is Maddie’s 26-year-old red roan mare that she has ridden in barrel racing for the past two years. “She makes me laugh because she’ll look at me with really wide eyes!” Maddie is excited to get to ride Spider, her 21-year-old black gelding, in the IMRA breakaway competitions this season. “Spider has a bit of an attitude and likes to buck if he hasn’t been ridden in a while, but he’s always good to me. I hope to qualify for the IMRA finals in both barrels and breakaway roping this season. I like going to all of the IMRA rodeos because they have big crowds and really good music at their events.”
Maddie recently completed her 6th year at St. Mary’s Catholic School in Taylorsville, Indiana where she loved science and has played basketball since 5th grade. She is looking forward to her next chapter in life as a 7th grader at Taylorsville Junior High School. Although the family stays extremely busy, Maddie likes to fish, ride side by sides and 4-wheelers, and walk her pet goat, Gertrude, around the farm. She hopes to become a plastic surgeon in the future.
“I’m very thankful to my family; my aunt and uncle, Nikki and Jason Stewart, and my grandparents, Margie and Rich Stewart, and Nina and Max Branum, for all they do to support me and help me achieve my goals.”