story by Lillian Landreth Many a high school rodeo athlete has been shaped by Joe Stoddard’s contributions to the sport, from his blood relations to […]
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Meet the Member Madi Moody
story by Lily Weinacht
“I just love rodeo. The people in it are a big part of it, and it’s an adrenaline rush with every event you do,” says Madi Moody. “When you come out of the arena, no matter how you do, everyone is still smiling and saying hi, and they’re your second family.” The 17-year-old from Letcher represented her South Dakota rodeo family at the NHSFR this summer in the pole bending, and also enjoyed playing in the volleyball tournament. “I tipped poles both times, but it was an experience, and meeting people from everywhere was fun,” says Madi, who also competed in the NJHFR in sixth and eighth grade.
Along with pole bending, which is Madi’s second-favorite event, she competes in the SDHSRA in barrel racing, breakaway roping, team roping, and her favorite event of goat tying. “I feel like you and your horse both control it more. In poles and barrels, it’s a lot on your horse, and in goats, part of it is on you, and part of it is on your horse,” she explains. Madi also competes in all the same events in 4-H rodeo, along with ribbon roping. She ropes in the SDHSRA with heeler Sarah Hemmingson of Clark, South Dakota, and since the partners live several hours apart, they rope with their families and put it together at the rodeos. “I definitely look up to my family. My oldest sister, Logan, lives a half hour away, and during the summer she comes once a week and helps me with my barrels and poles. My mom, Tracy, went to practically every goat tying camp I went to and learned at the same time I did, and my dad, Perry, has helped me in breakaway, barrels and poles.”
During the fall, Madi keeps her horses legged up doing work on her family’s farm to give them a change of scenery and preparing for the 20X Extreme Showcase. She’s qualified for the event twice in goat tying, and is competing at the Black Hill Stock Show in pole bending this winter. Madi rides her horse Chilo in both pole bending and goat tying. The mare has been passed down through Madi’s older sisters, Logan and Bailey, over the years, while Madi heads on Buddy, runs barrels on Dandy, and competes on Little Man in breakaway and ribbon roping.
Along with her multiple rodeo events, Madi juggles her classes and numerous extracurricular activities at Sanborn Central High School. A senior, she enjoys her pre-calculus and trigonometry classes, along with college algebra. “I want to be a math teacher, and I go to Woonsocket School and help teach eighth-graders math. I love the one-on-one with the kids, and I love it when they get it and it sparks something.” Madi also plays volleyball and basketball and is involved in her school’s plays, along with choir and playing the baritone horn in band. “I’m the vice president of our school’s student council, and I’m on the quiz bowl team. We’ll answer questions over the phone with another team, and recently we went against Scotland. Doing it all is kind of hectic, but I enjoy it,” says Madi.
“I haven’t decided if I’m going to college rodeo—I’d like to get a new horse going, but I just take it year by year. I’m shooting for a 6 in goats, and right now I’m a 7.0,” says Madi. “And I’d really like to make it to Nationals in goats—that’s been a goal of mine since I was 8.”