Meet the Member Jace James
story by Lindsay Humphrey At just 11 years old, Jace James has his sights set on redemption at the upcoming AJRA finals. He finished as […]
story by Laramie Dearing
A competitor not to be dealt with lightly is none other than Madison Neal. 17 years young, Madison is one of four daughters in their brimful household. Madison, is often called Maddy by her friends and family. She and her family live in the Cowboy Capital of Texas, Stephenville.
“Goat tying is, without a doubt, my favorite event. It motivates me daily to push myself past my limits to be better and continue to become better with each day.” Maddy competes in goat tying as well as breakaway roping. “ My A-team consists of my goat horse, Kate, and my breakaway horse, Caesar. I bought Kate back in February of this year and within only a few weeks of riding her, we traveled to the San Antonio Youth Rodeo and won the Senior Girls Reserve Champion Goat Tying. I then knew that we would make a good team.” Maddy plays a large competitive role in the Texas High School Rodeo Association and the American Junior Rodeo Association.
Maddy has qualified for the Mike and Sherrylynn Johnson Tuffest Junior World Championship Goat Tying in addition to the Junior American Semi-Finals. The only time Maddy looks back in life is to check the barrier and to reflect on her accomplishments. “ My biggest rodeo accomplishment has been competing at the Texas Junior High Rodeo Association State Finals my eighth grade year and winning the State Championship in Goat Tying. From there I was blessed to compete at the National Junior High Rodeo Association Finals.”
When Kate and Caesar are enjoying lush, green pastures in their off time, Maddy is juggling an everyday life outside of the saddle. “A typical day for us is waking up at 8:30 and heading to school. We stay until 12 and then workout. I then go home to practice goat tying and rope. After we get done working with our horses, we take care of them, eat dinner and go to bed.” In her spare time, Maddy enjoys setting aside time to hang out with her close friends and go shopping. She also likes traveling.
Maddy is a current senior at White Horse Christian Academy in Stephenville, Texas. An A-Honor Roll student, Maddy works hard towards her good grades so that she can thrive for the future she is looking forward to. “When I was younger I had this big plan that I would become a fashion designer and live in Paris, France. I used to flood my room with Paris decorations! After growing older and out of that weird stage I decided that I plan to attend a junior college for my first year or two then transfer to Weatherford College. I want to study biology and pursue a career as a surgeon to help others. Throughout my college years I would like to compete in college rodeo.”
As every competitor does before their runs, she takes time to herself to prepare. “I usually stretch really well and get warmed up. I try to practice my get off for goat tying. For breakaway, I just rope my dummy before.” A treasurer of great advice, Maddy has one specific quote that she often thinks of before competing. Cory Solomon, National Finals Rodeo Calf Roping Qualifier, once said, “Someone else took the same situation you’re in and won with it. It’s never the situation that determines the success, it is the mindset.” Other than a tough and crucial mental state, Maddy also believes in having strong faith. “My favorite Bible verse that I look to often is Phillipians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
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