story by Siri Stevens Allie Cliburn is the incoming Louisiana High School Rodeo state president. Allie is from Prairieville, Louisiana where she attends Dutchtown High […]
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Meet the Member Mattie Johnson
story by Claire Vincent
Mattie Johnson is the 15-year-old daughter of Natie and Carrie Johnson from Choudrant, Louisiana. Her mom, Carrie ran barrels, poles, and tied goats in high school, and she college rodeoed. Her dad, Natie, was a team roper. Mattie’s big sister, Lena, ran barrels, poles, breakaway roped, and tied goats in high school. It’s obvious that rodeo runs in Mattie’s family, but they do more than just compete in the arena. Her dad has been a stock contractor for about ten years, and he is the owner of J2 Rodeo Company. J2 Rodeo Company contacts out most of the Louisiana high school rodeos, as well as multiple LRA rodeos, breakaway roping’s, and team roping’s.
Mattie has been a member of the Louisiana High School Rodeo Association since sixth grade where she competes in barrels and poles. She says her favorite thing about LHSRA rodeos is “Having the opportunity to rodeo with friends that are like family.” Mattie is eager to start the new rodeo season on her go to horse, Dunny. Dunny is the 21-year-old pole horse that the Johnson family has owned for about six years. Mattie says “Dunny may be getting up there in age, but he doesn’t act it. He is very consistent and easy going, that’s why he’s my go to.”
Most rodeo athletes have something unique they do, or tell themselves before every run. Mattie likes to keep it simple. She prays and hopes for the best possible outcome, and reminds herself to do her job because she knows her horses will do theirs. Mattie says “My mom is my idol, she is hard working and makes so many sacrifices for my sister and I.”
Although Mattie already has her future planned out, before she graduates, she hopes to make it to the National High School Rodeo Finals. After high school, she plans attend college at La Tech to become a physical therapist. While waiting on high school rodeos to start back up, Mattie has been putting her time into basketball and softball, but Hurricane Laura has put a hold on things. The Johnson family lives in north Louisiana, so they stayed home thinking they would not catch the worst of the storm. They were right, but Hurricane Laura was so strong they still got damage. The roof came off of all of their barns, and they lost power for a week. The Johnson family is remaining faithful and remembering Phil 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Mattie says, “We got lucky that our house and all of our live stock are perfectly fine. All of our damage is fixable, and we didn’t get hit near as bad as people down south.”