Meet the Member Hayden Stump
story by Lindsay Humphrey This is only Hayden Stump’s second season competing in the OHSRA, but he’s adjusted well to stiff competition in both the […]
story by Lindsay Humphrey
It’s been a long time coming, but Meadow Burns is finally competing in the OHSRA. It’s both her first and last year in high school rodeo, so she’s taking in every moment the best she can. “I love the atmosphere and the friendships I’ve made in high school rodeo,” said the 18-year-old from Inola, Oklahoma. “I feel like I’ll have ties to those friends for a lifetime. Nobody knows what we’ll end up doing later on or how we’ll stay in each other’s lives. High school rodeo has been a great learning opportunity – how to deal with different ground, different arenas, and anything else that comes at me.” It was the Eufaula Roundup Club Queen Contest that first introduced Meadow to barrel racing, and she fell in love almost instantly.
“My dad [Dusty] actually entered me in the contest for the princess title because he was a member of the roundup club. He even made a trophy to give me in case I didn’t win. His friend Clifford McElhaney brought it out to me in the arena and I thought I won the world.” Until recently, Meadow believed that trophy was in fact an award from the roundup club, not her dad. She found it quite comical that he kept it a secret for almost 14 years. “Horses were on my mind since I could walk and talk. I rode until I was about 8 and we moved from Checotah. I took a break from horses for a few years to play basketball and golf. I finally realized I would rather be barrel racing.”
It’s taken a couple of different horses to find the right one. Meadow found that in SKB Frosty Express. “We call him Prince and that name fits him well. He knows he’s pretty and likes attention. He nickers at me every morning. I know he loves me.” The palomino gelding came from Bobbi Ward who ran him in barrels at the palomino world show multiple times to earn both a world and reserve title on him. “He’s a really great horse and we’re starting to get along well. I think I can take this horse anywhere and as long as we’re on the same page, we can make solid, clean runs together. He has a lot of heart.” Last summer Meadow was in between horses and found herself on a 10-year-old mare from a friend. “She was a solid 3D horse, and we did pretty well together. She taught me a lot and gave me the confidence I needed to be ready for a better, faster horse like Prince.”
Hailing from the roundup club is Gale Burdine whose known Meadow for almost her entire life. “She’s always been friends with my parents through the roundup club. She’s helped me through a lot of my lows and every time I get nervous, I call her. At the high school rodeo in Guthrie this fall I probably called her 10 different times. I think of her as my second mom.” Even though horses aren’t her thing, Meadow’s mom [Kaci] is her number one supporter. She’s the support Meadow needs at home that can’t be replicated. “My dad has played a huge role in my time as a barrel racer. He’s a big motivator for me. He pushes me hard and wants me to be good. If he was in charge of my rodeo schedule, I’d be running somewhere every weekend. He has the confidence in me that I lack.”
Now that Meadow has her horsepower figured out, she’s set some goals for herself in the spring season. “I want to place at a high school rodeo on my new horse, that’s my biggest goal. Other than that, I just want to be one with my horse and be confident with him. Even if I don’t place, I’m just glad I get to run at the high school rodeos. They’re so much fun.” Other than rodeo, Meadow keeps busy by competing for the Inola FFA Chapter in livestock judging and cattle grading. She’ll graduate from Inola High School this spring and has a few ideas about what she’d like to do next.
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