Meet the Member Mattie Johnson

by Rodeo News

story by Chiara Bacque

Mattie Johnson of Choudrant, Louisiana punched her ticket to her first National Junior High Finals rodeo by securing a third-place finish at the LJHSRA Finals and capturing the rookie pole bending title. “I was proud of my horse, Dunny. She’s the main reason I won Rookie.” The twelve-year-old, third generation cowgirl is no newcomer to the rodeo way of life. “I’ve been around team ropings and rodeo since before I could walk and started competing in rodeo when I was four.”
Mattie competes in several events, including pole bending, goat tying, and barrel racing. She also runs ribbons for her partner, Grant Foster. “Running poles is my favorite because of my horse, Dunny. He was passed on to me from my sister.” Mattie’s sister, Lena, is a 15-year-old LHSRA member, and she competes in break-a-way roping, barrel racing and pole bending.
The Johnson family operates a successful rodeo stock contracting business, J2 Productions, producing junior and high school rodeos and team ropings in Louisiana. While the rest of the family is busy producing the rodeos, Mattie gets her horses ready to compete. “Being the daughter of a stock contractor is very rewarding because I know a lot of people because of my dad.” Mattie has learned a lot from her parents, who are both NHSRA Alumni. “My Dad coaches my roping events and my mom coaches barrels and poles.” When they’re not competing, Mattie and Lena help their mother time the team roping competitions.
Growing up in a rodeo family has taught Mattie a lot of responsibility. The Johnson Ranch is home to Mattie’s parents, Natie and Carrie, and her sister, Lena. The ranch lifestyle is something that she is blessed to live. Mattie describes a typical day at home, “I usually tend my horses and feed the goats, but pickings stalls is my least favorite thing to do on the ranch.” Most days, you can find Mattie riding her horse and roping calves with her sister, who is a great role model. “My sister is all that and a bag of chips,” Mattie says. The encouragement and support of her Grandparents also plays a major role in her life.
Traveling to rodeos is always fun with her dog “Dally” by her side, and her favorite snack on the rodeo trail is gummy bears. She enjoys hanging out with rodeo friends and would love to spend time with Fallon Taylor. “She is my idol because she’s not afraid to dress how she wants to and be who she wants to be.”
Not only is Mattie successful in the rodeo arena; the Choudrant Elementary sixth grader also excels in the classroom as an honor student. Learning new things and hanging out with friends are some of her favorite things about school. “My favorite school subjects are math and science. I also like PE because you can run around and don’t have to sit in a classroom.”
When she’s not at a rodeo, you can find her playing basketball or softball. Once she has finished chores at the ranch, rodeo practice, sports and homework, Mattie still finds time to watch Food Network, her favorite television channel, and prepare some of her favorite treats in the kitchen. “I love to bake brownies cookies and cakes. I love to watch people bake and cook on Food Network.”
Mattie hopes to continue rodeoing in the future, and she also dreams of attending Louisiana Tech to study biomedical engineering. “I want to design artificial organs or prosthetic arms and legs.”
Maddie is excited about her future in rodeo and looks forward to her first NJHSRA Finals. “I live by the bible verse Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

© Rodeo Life Media Corporation | All Rights Reserved • Laramie, Wyoming • 307.761.9053

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