Meet the Member Tyler Fish
story by Lindsay Humphrey Both rodeo and life have thrown Tyler Kash Fish some curve balls early in life, but he’s made the best of […]
story by Lindsay Humphrey
“The most important people in my life are my family and I’m just so thankful for them,” said 13-year-old Maggie Dooley. “My parents (Ryan and Misty) do so much for me and I just love them so much; they’ve helped me accomplish a lot and I wouldn’t be where I’m at today without them.” One of Maggie’s siblings has played a significant role in her rodeo career so far. “My sister (Emily, 19) has always been there for me and helped me through some of the roughest times of my life. I look up to her so much.” Of course, Maggie’s other siblings–Shane, 16, and Rowdy, 6–are also key contributors to Maggie’s success inside and out of the rodeo arena. “My brother and dad help me with roping and my mom and sister help me with poles and barrels.”
Between all her events–barrels, poles, ribbon, team and breakaway roping–Maggie can’t choose a favorite. “I don’t really have a favorite event because I like them all about the same. When I have to choose one to focus on later in life, it will probably be barrels. That was the first event I learned.” A natural talent for barrels has lent itself to making the event extra fun for Maggie. The first time she ran barrels she was only 5 years old after learning to ride a horse just two years before that. “My earliest memory of rodeo I was probably 8 or 9 and I had a pony. I took her to a youth rodeo and competed. I had lots of fun on her at that one.”
Maggie and her siblings quickly climbed the ranks in youth associations based in Iowa where the Dooley family lived up until last year. “Moving states is one of the hardest things I’ve had to do: leaving my friends and the place I grew up was hard. It was hard in the beginning because I felt out of place sometimes. I’m finally starting to make friends and meet more people.” The transition from Iowa to Oklahoma rodeo didn’t actually begin until this fall. Maggie and her siblings started last season in Iowa, and they were accumulating quite a few points before they headed south. “I was placing really well in all my events in Iowa and I didn’t want to have to start from scratch in Oklahoma. I actually qualified for nationals on team Iowa and even though we didn’t get to compete I was just happy that I made it for the first time.”
Even though Maggie is just getting to know everyone in the OKJHSRA, she’s quickly finding it’s a good fit for her and her family. “People here really treat you like family. They don’t care who you are or where you came from, they treat you with respect and take you in as their own. It makes me feel good knowing that I have people around that are always willing to help me if I need it.” Despite continuing junior high rodeo in Iowa last fall, Maggie did start entering open rodeos in the red dirt state. She was pleasantly surprised by how competitive she was against some stiff competition. This was the confidence boost she needed for her last few rodeos in Iowa this past summer.
“My favorite win was at my last junior high rodeo in Iowa this last year. It was the last day and I had a good weekend, but I knocked in the barrels earlier in the weekend. On the last day I managed to win the round in barrels.” Every time Maggie enters an arena, she’s giving it 120% effort. This wise eighth grader has some sage advice for rodeo competitors of all ages when it comes to the always important mental game. “I just want people to know that you can do your best, don’t take anything for granted, and don’t let it pass by that you miss it all. Have fun and don’t let people bring you down or tell you who you are, just be the best person you can be.”
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