Corah Brunson from Terry, Mississippi, is the 2022 Little Wrangler All Around Champion for the National Little Britches. The 9-year-old is also the 2022 Goat […]
NLBA World Champion Mason Elder
Written by: Lindsey Fancher< Back to Articles
Through the July 1-11 NLBA championships in Guthrie, Oklahoma, Mason Elder became the world champion cowboy he has dreamed of becoming since he was a kid. The fourteen-year-old competed in the flag races, roping events, and rough stock events. After the long week, he returned to his hometown of Benton, KY with the bull-riding championship, all-around championship, two saddles, and nine belt buckles. Having grown up on his family’s ranch, Mason remembers watching bull riding on his television. At seven years old, he was inspired to attend the little rodeo school down the road where he learned about all that goes into the eight second ride. Here he was introduced to the NLBRA and Mason has been hooked ever since. “It was a big deal for me back then,” he said, “we started traveling to all these different places to rodeo. Jason Hoffman, one of the coaches at bull riding school, is who Mason credits for teaching him all he knows, “He pushed me to be the bull rider I am today.”
Once he got the hang of what to do on the back of buckers, Mason began tying goats and roping calves. He has grown up with horses thanks to his mom, Blaine, who ran barrels and poles when she was his age, and his older sister, Brooke (16), who ties goats. Mason has had his roping horse, Doc, for two years, “He’s done amazing,” praises Mason, “Bull riding has taught me how to ride my horse better.” Along with his mom and sister, Mason also idolizes his dad. Matt has been helping Mason with his rodeo passion from the very beginning. Another idol of Mason’s is PBR cowboy, Cody Nance. Mason met him at one of the bull ridings that Cody hosts. Cody’s genuineness is what Mason admires, “Even though he’s a big deal, he’s a nice guy. He’ll help you with anything you need.”
Since he is homeschooled, Mason can devote his time to a consistent practice routine. Daily he will exercise his horses, practice on the drop barrel, tie goats, and rope the dummy. The consistent practice paid off in the eight-month season leading up to the finals. “It was stiff competition the whole year, but I knew I had a shot at the bull-riding and all-around going into it,” he said. The race to the championship was close. 10,000 kids were vying for championship titles in Oklahoma and many of Mason’s closest friends were also his closest competitors. Mason’s steady mindset got him through the pressure. “You can’t worry about what could go wrong,” he asserts, “think about what can go right. Nerves won’t help you ride well, but consistency will.”
Although he was calm in the chute, the announcement of his win still took him by surprise. “My parents knew, but they didn’t tell me, so I didn’t know until they called my name. It was shocking. I was so grateful all my hard work had paid off.” With four years left in National Little Britches, the glory Mason has experienced this summer is something he plans on continuing. “I want to win more world titles and just keep doing what I’m doing,” he declares. Although he has enjoyed the memories, friends, and moments in Little Britches, his ultimate dream is to become like the top fifteen Pro Rodeo cowboys he once saw on television.