stories by Siri Stevens Cheyenne Seaux started riding on a pony named Amy Lou when she was 1 year old. She graduated to a horse […]
Association MemberJoin Rodeo News
Meet the Member Mattie Waite
story by Michele Toberer
A freshman at Sulphur High School, Mattie Waite, leads quite a busy life as a 14-year-old cowgirl involved in multiple extracurricular activities. The Louisiana High School Rodeo Association rookie cowgirl, is not only a breakaway roping and goat tying competitor; but she also has played basketball and softball for the past 6 years. Mattie maintains a 3.7 GPA at school, where her favorite class is civics; while juggling rodeo, sports, school, and chores that go along with being a rodeo athlete with horses, cattle, and goats to care for.
Mattie started out going to dummy ropings and team ropings with her dad, T-Boy Waite, a self-employed rock hauler for Dunham Price, and finally stepped into competition herself as a 6th grader. Mattie was a member of the LHSRA junior division in 7th and 8th grade and is happy to be competing in an association that both of her parents once belonged. “My dad competed in calf roping, team roping, and steer wrestling; and my mom, Lynne, competed in barrels and poles.” Mattie has two older siblings, Nick Wolf, 30, and Brittney Breaux, 27; and they both also competed in rodeo. Mattie’s mom now works as a board operator at Westlake Chemical.
Mattie is happy with how her rookie high school season is going so far and appreciates the help she gets from her dad and her uncle, Joe DeKieser. She enjoys getting to see several of her friends and family members at LHSRA rodeos. Claire Vincent, the current LHSRA queen, is her practice partner, and she also receives help from her cousin, Clay McDaniel, a former LHSRA member. She likes getting to compete with her best friend, Kate Eiland. Mattie is very hopeful to qualify for national finals this season so that she can compete in Lincoln, Nebraska; and would like to also qualify to compete in breakaway roping in Las Vegas next December. Mattie competes on her two breakaway horses; an 18-year-old bay gelding named Vegas she got in 7th grade, and a 14-year-old dun gelding named Buster. “Vegas is on the chill side and Buster is more aggressive. Vegas is the first horse I ever worked with and competed on, and since I got Buster I’ve been switching back and forth between the two.” Mattie also competes on her palomino gelding, Whiskey in goat tying.
Jackie Crawford and Mia Manzanares are two of Mattie’s breakaway roping idols, and she looks up to Lynn Smith in goat tying. “I really like breakaway roping the most, and I like seeing all the opportunities that are opening up for kids and adults to compete.” When Mattie is competing, she likes to break things down into small steps in her mind as she prepares to go into the arena. “I normally rope the dummy and hang out and then I’ll try to isolate myself so that I can get my mind ready. For breakaway I just think about, rope…score…ride…and think about what I need to see. And, in goat tying I think…. hustle….step off….be smooth. I try to break it down, so I think about each of the small steps I need to do on my runs.”
College rodeo is something Mattie would like to experience in the future, and she hopes to gain a scholarship to McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana. While competing, she’d like to study to become a large animal veterinarian. “We’ve always had horses and I would like to become a large animal vet so that I can help my family if they have a problem with their animals and don’t know what’s wrong.”
“Being a part of the LHSRA is great and I like hanging out with all my rodeo friends and family. Everyone bonds like one big family, it’s a great association.”