Meet the Member: Kali Carpenter
Story by Ruth Nicolaus The Mid States East Rodeo Association member lived in Texas for five years before moving back to her parents’ farm in […]
story by Michele Toberer
As a first-generation rodeo athlete, Madison Iager got started in rodeo after first being interested in the rodeo queen life. “I didn’t have anyone in my family that rodeoed but in high school I wanted to be a rodeo queen; and while I was the Maryland High School Rodeo Queen in 2013 and 2014, I started barrel racing. I figured I could surely run a barrel pattern, but never really thought I would be a barrel racer, I was mainly interested in queening. To my surprise, I fell completely in love with running barrels once I started!” Madison ended up holding four queen titles before focusing completely on barrel racing and rodeo.
“I’ve always loved everything about a horse! When I was younger, I tried it all: English, jumping, western pleasure, dressage, foxhunting. But once I started barrel racing, I knew that was the event for me. I had saved money to buy a vehicle when I was 16 but decided to buy a barrel hose instead. He was a big brown gelding named Nae Nae, and I rode him through the last of high school. That is when I bought Perks Lovet Alive as a 3-year-old. I walked into the arena to try her and she literally took my breath away. Lovet is a bay mare with a big heart marking on her forehead, and she is absolutely amazing.”
Madison bought her first Mid-States Rodeo Association card last year and qualified for the MSRA finals, however she did not have much luck at the MSFR. “I had been rodeoing pretty hard and my Lovet was tired, so I sent her home for rest. I rode my second horse at finals, and we had some bad luck, tripping in the second round, and knocking a barrel in the third. I actually won the tough luck award at finals. It may have been a rookie mistake to not have my good horse at finals, but I do not regret making the right choice for her. I won most of my money on her in the MSRA and we just qualified for the American Semi-Finals, so I’m excited about that too!”
Rodeo has now become a family affair, and her younger siblings, Harrison and Miranda, are also competing. “My brother and sister compete in roping, and I’ve done barrels, poles, goat tying, and light rifle. Three objects sitting still are hard enough for me, I wasn’t interested in trying to rope moving objects!” The family also owns Lady Long Ears Ranch & Arena, where they give riding lessons and hold rodeos and events such as bull ridings and barrel races. “My dad, Mark, used to milk cows, but now he and my uncle have beef production show cattle. My mom, Elisha is a ranch wife and helps with hosting events at the arena. Mom’s brother, Jered Harrison, was killed in a farming accident when he was young. He was a mule man who loved coon jumping; and our small, supportive community went out and bought mules after his death in remembrance. When you drive through our community, you will see a mule in just about every pasture you pass. That is also the reason behind the name of the arena, and we hold an annual mule days event each year in memory of him as well.”
After graduating from an online high school in 2016, Madison went to school to obtain her cosmetology license. She now works for Creative Edge, in Woodbine, Maryland. “I’ve always loved making people feel beautiful, so my work as a certified makeup artist and hair stylist is very fulfilling.” Madison also does spray tanning at the salon.
“My family has been fantastic; rodeo creates such a group effort. I am so appreciative of them all helping so much to keep everything going when I am on the road at rodeos. I’m excited about the new MSRA season and how far we can go this year, it’s already off to a great start.”
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