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Meet the Member Makaylee Fischer
story by Michele Toberer
As a rising freshman, Makaylee Fischer looks back fondly on the three years she spent in the junior division of the Colorado State Junior High Rodeo Association. Starting in the association as a 12-year-old 6th grader, she competed over the past few years in barrel racing, pole bending, goat tying, breakaway roping, and ribbon roping. Her 8th grade season was filled with all of those events except barrels, and she was happy to qualify to nationals for the first time, competing in goat tying and ribbon roping at the 2019 National Junior High Finals Rodeo in Huron, South Dakota. “It was really fun at nationals, I loved competing in the big arena and seeing the large audience. I also really liked all the friends I got to meet from all over the country. It’s a big honor to finish in the top 4 of the state, and I really appreciate the opportunities that rodeoing in the CSJHRA gives, like competing at state and national finals.”
Makaylee was born in Eagle, Colorado, and has spent her 14-year-old life there with parents, Brian and Dele Fischer. She has two older sisters, Mackinzee Dermody, 16, and Mariah Dermody, 22, that competed in rodeo before her, and Mackinzee is a current CHSRA competitor. “My sister’s dad, Bill Dermody rodeoed and got my sisters into it, and they helped me get started in rodeo. Bill also helps train horses for us, and he started the gelding, Jeans, that I ride.” Brian owns Fischer Technologies, and Dele works in real estate, flipping houses; purchasing, remodeling, and selling the homes. The family has an arena at home for the girls to practice, and they keep cattle and goats for them to use for practice also. “Every day we have to ride our horses, and we feed, water, clean their pens, and do any work needed in the horse areas. We also help care for the cattle and goats.”
Makaylee rides Jeans, a 6-year-old grulla gelding that was born on their farm, in breakaway roping and pole bending. And, she has ridden a 12-year-old buckskin mare named Sally for goat tying the past two years. She and ribbon roping partner, Colby Runner, were the 2019 CSJHRA Ribbon Roping Champions, and had a great time, but no luck, at the national junior high finals. “We were in the first performance in ribbon roping, and it was so muddy; I had to tie my boots on so they didn’t come off!” In goat tying, Makaylee finished 13th in the first round at nationals, but had a heartbreaking 2nd round, with her goat getting up after tying it in a time that would have put her into the short go in 6th place. “I learned a lot and I’m looking forward to next season in the high school division. It will be fun to compete in the high school association with Mackinzee. I’ll be competing in barrel racing, goat tying, pole bending and breakaway roping.” Makaylee appreciates the help she gets in her favorite event, goat tying, from trainer, Jill Francis. “She is in Alamosa, Colorado, so that’s about 3.5 hours away from us. We try to go there once a month for a tune-up.”
Makaylee was homeschooled for her 8th grade year and will use the same World Academy online curriculum for her freshman year. “It is really difficult, but so much more convenient with my rodeo schedule.” Besides rodeo, Makaylee has been in 4-H for the past 4 years and is involved in raising and showing Angus-cross steers, and Boer goats. “I have learned a lot of responsibility through both 4-H and rodeo.” Looking to the future, Makaylee isn’t certain what she wants to do for a profession just yet, but looks forward to competing in the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association while she attends college.