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Meet the Member Morgan Northcutt
story by Kyle Eustice
Seventh grader Morgan Northcutt wanted to follow in her parents’ footsteps as far back as she can remember. The horse-loving National Junior Honor Society member watched her parents — Chris and Julie Northcutt — participate in various rodeos over the years and she knew that’s what she wanted to do.
“We’ve had horses for my whole life and I’ve always been drawn to them,” explained Morgan. “Rodeo just seemed the most logical choice for me.”
Right now, the Hobbs, New Mexico native runs barrels and poles, breakaway ropes and runs ribbons, but she admits she doesn’t really have a favorite event. “They all have different challenges,” said Morgan. “That’s what I love about it.
“Rodeo and ranching are my life, so I don’t really consider my sport dangerous,” said Morgan. “You just have to be alert and aware of what’s going on.”
The Houston Middle School student also has two brothers, Clay, the older brother, and Cole, who is younger. Although Clay isn’t involved much in the sport, the rest of the family plays a role in some way.
“My dad team ropes,” said Morgan. “My mom used to rodeo, but now she helps me with my barrel and pole horses. My little brother also junior rodeos, where he ropes.”
In 2016, Morgan made it to the 2016 National Junior High Rodeo Finals in Lebanon, Tennessee in two events as a sixth grader. It was one of her proudest moments since joining the NMJHRA that same year. Despite her already extensive experience, for her, this is just the beginning.
“I hope to continue rodeoing through high school and hopefully in college,” said Morgan. “I figured this would be my best route. I’ve also been a member of the Lea County Junior Rodeo Association for the last three years, and the Eddy County Junior Rodeo Association for the last seven years.”
When she’s not working on her homework or doing her chores, Morgan polishes her skills about four days a week in a practice pen, but she’s also committed to helping out on the family ranch whenever she has free time. However, she can’t wait to get to her next rodeo event. “I enjoy the rush I get out of making a good run,” admitted Moran. “But I also enjoy watching my friends and encouraging them.”
In addition to Tooter, Morgan uses her most beloved horse, Magic, to run strictly barrels and poles, and he’s taught her more than she could have imagined in the nearly two years she’s owned him.
“He’s so sweet and gives me all he has every time we walk up the alley,” said Morgan. “My other horse is Tooter. My grandpa raised him and handed him down to me to rope on. That earns him a special place in my heart, too.”
Morgan, who recently finished the first NMJHRA event of the year, is looking forward to the rest of the rodeos, and hoping to make it to nationals again. She also looks forward to spending time with her family.
“I’m excited for summer, where I can ride a lot more, and maybe start some young horses with my mom,” said Morgan. “I’m also going to work on my roping with my dad and brother. It’s truly a family effort.”