story by Julie Carter Hailing from the Steer Wrestling capitol of the Navajo Nation, Crownpoint, NM, the 17-year-old Tsosie twins, Tyra and Tydon, have made […]
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Meet the Member: Bailey Masse
Story by Lindsay Humphrey
Pinned to the visor in Bailey Massey’s pickup is a quote she clings to as a rodeo athlete: “Even if you work hard, it doesn’t guarantee that you’ll have success; it’s more about how it forms you and who you’ll become along the way.” As the 18-year-old high school senior enters her final season with the NMHSRA, she’s keeping this quote in mind despite setting her sights on a second appearance at nationals. “The first day of nationals, the goat ran right and I let my nerves get to me. Then my horse ran over the rope and we added ten to our time. I didn’t handle my goat very well in the second round either. I learned some very valuable lessons and had a great experience, but we’re working towards redemption this season,” said the Las Cruces, New Mexico, breakaway roper and goat tier.
Even though Bailey appreciates how Dubba performs in the goat tying, she recognizes how much of the performance rests on her shoulders. Perhaps that’s why changing up her dismount technique has been one of the most challenging aspects of her rodeo career so far. “When I was first tying goats, I was stopping my horse at the stake to dismount. Learning how to dismount while the horse kept moving made a huge difference for me. The hardest part was keeping my feet moving when I hit the ground. Once I quit being scared of face planting and really committing to the dismount, it got a lot easier.” That’s not to say Bailey doesn’t hit the dirt every once in awhile when old habits creep up on her, but she consistently remains upright both in practice and on the road.
Forging a path into rodeo was a team effort by Bailey and two of her sisters – Jocelyn, 19, and Alexis, 17 – about 14 years ago. Their grandpa, Larry Hooper, was and is a team roper, which helped give the girls the idea in the first place. Larry gave the girls one of his horses to compliment the pony their parents – Kris and Tamie – got them to get started. After hitting high school, both Joslyn and Alexis pursued sports over rodeo and their younger sister, Addison, 14, followed suit. Bailey inherited all their horses as a result.
When the girls were first getting started, their parents pursued knowledge and advice from the individuals who were winning the rodeos since they were also new to the sport. This trend has continued over the years. “Nicole and Brice Baggarley gave me a lot of lessons in both events for the last three years. But Brittnay Striegel started me off in the goats. She went to the college finals and got us on the right track to be successful 8 or 9 years ago.” As a roper himself, Bailey’s uncle, Will Hooper, has been instrumental in the progression of her breakaway career. “He built me an arena, specifically a calf lane, so I could practice. He’s always helping me talk through my problems and asking people for advice for me. Without any of these people, and my parents, there’s no way I’d be where I’m at today.”