story by Lillian Landreth Thayne Elshere represented South Dakota and his family’s favorite event of saddle bronc riding at the 2022 NHSFR this summer, where […]
Association MemberJoin Rodeo News
SDHSRA Meet the Member: Mattee PauleyMeet the Member
story by Lily Weinacht
Mattee Pauley has followed in her family’s bootprints and competes in rodeo like her parents and older siblings. She joined the SDHSRA as a freshman and is now a senior. The 17 year old from Wall, S.D., competes in barrel racing, pole bending, goat tying, breakaway roping, and team roping as a header. Her favorite event is breakaway, especially since she and her horse excel at it together. Mattee’s motivation to rodeo comes from a genuine love for the sport and having a definite competitive streak. “My mom really pushes rodeo for us and has always gotten us where we need to go and made sure we practice and work hard.” She adds, “I also look up to my brother, Jesse Bail. He has made it to the NFR in the saddle bronc riding and bull riding, and I’ve gone to Las Vegas several times to watch him. It’s always been my dream to compete in the NFR someday, and I think what Jesse has done is awesome!”
Mattee, her sister Emilee, and their mom, Bunny, live several miles outside of Wahl. Bunny does day work for neighboring ranches. Their family time is often going to rodeos, which their mom always takes them to. Mattee has two older sisters, Tracy and Mazee, and her younger sister, Emilee, is 15. Emilee is starting high school rodeo this year, and the sisters often practice together, running the chutes or heeling for each other when they team rope. This year for high school rodeo, Mattee roped with Herbie O’Daniel. When it comes time to practice, the sisters have what they call a barrel patch to run their barrel pattern in, but for their other events they load up three or four of their horses and about six roping calves and take them to the arena in Wall. Mattee’s horses are Chubby, and Sleepy, who wakes up when he gets into the arena, according to Mattee. Her family raises and trains all their horses, and Mattee’s mom trained Sleepy and coached her when she was training Chubby.
When she’s not riding her own horses, Mattee loves to play basketball, and she also takes in several outside horses to train for rodeo events, although she does most of her training during summer break. In addition to SDHSRA rodeos, Mattee competed in 4-H and SDRA rodeos, and she and Emilee joined the NLBRA this year. Now that rodeo season has slowed down, Mattee is back to school at Wall High School. She admits that she enjoys seeing her friends more than being in class, but she does hope to start college next year. “I’d like to go to college either in Wyoming or Montana and college rodeo, and maybe even pro rodeo, but I’d like to see how college rodeo goes first. I’d also like to study for becoming either an elementary teacher or a special education teacher.”
Mattee has come very close to making the SDHSRA finals every year, and her hope is to qualify this year. She enjoys competing in the Fall High School Showcase Extravaganza, and especially loves competing in the rodeos in her hometown. “It might be because I practice at that arena almost every day, but I always do really well at the Wall rodeos!” When she is getting ready for a rodeo, Mattee says, “My mom will come and talk to me and remind me about what I need do, and then I just stay focused and do the best