story by Lily Weinacht Brad Bates started riding bucking horses on a bet with his roping partner. In high school at the time, the pair […]
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Meet the Member Madison Byrd
Madison Byrd, 11, is very independent. “She likes to do things on her own,” explains her mother Lindsey Byrd. But Lindsey is quick to add that Madison will still ask for help when she needs it and maintains good sportsmanship cheering on friends and fellow competitors as she barrel races in the Tri-State Rodeo Association.
Rodeo is a family thing for the Byrds. Madison’s grandfather is Chuck Sullivan, president of TSRA, and both her mother and her dad, Chris, competed in high school rodeo. Chris still competes, as do Madison’s uncles, and even her little sister Kyndall, 7 is getting involved.
When Madison was around the age of 6, she got her start in Little Britches Rodeo Association where she also pole bends and ribbon ropes. Though Lindsey laughs that before, the family would go to Tri-State rodeos to see her parents, the Sullivans, who keep busy in all things TSRA, after a few years, Madison’s barrel racing skills had evolved to the point where she could compete on that level, so her parents bought her card. Now Lindsey, who is a teacher, and Chris, who works with the telephone company, spend weekends hauling Madison and Kyndall around to rodeos. Madison even won her first round money in Tri-State this past season.
“We like it because she gets to talk to the more seasoned barrel racers. They’re really nice to her and give her great advice and encouragement, and then when she does well some of them are like ‘man you beat me,’ and it makes her feel good. Competing in TSRA has really built up her confidence,’’ Lindsey says.
Madison is in the fifth grade, her favorite subject is math, and she likes country music, but she loves rodeo.
“I get to spend time with my friends, and I really love to ride horses. I ride two horses, one of them is named Bucky and the other one is Tag,” Madison says.
She gains inspiration from professional barrel racer, Taylor Jacob, but it’s her dad Chris who is Madison’s biggest hero.
“He teaches me how to do barrels and poles and never give up,” she says and adds that to keep her mental game strong she tells herself positive things before competition. “I think, whenever we go in the gate, we’re always going to be good and try our hardest.”
One day, Madison would like to own a feed store and be a professional barrel racer, but for now, she’ll just enjoy growing up while she keeps running down the alleyway in the TSRA.