RL: Are your daughters (Payton & Hadley) showing any interest
in Barrel Racing? What are their favorite parts of the rodeos?
NM: Both of my daughters are horse crazy. We have a couple of
old horses they are able to ride around on. They love to ride and
they always say they are going to be Barrel Racers when they
grow up. But their favorite part of the rodeos is still the carnival!
RL: Who did you look up to when you first got into Barrel Racing?
NM: Charmayne James was my idol when I was a kid. Until
recently when I started meeting all these little girls at the
rodeos, I had forgotten how much I loved her and idolized her as
a kid. It is such a big deal for the kids to meet their hero and I am
so glad that I was reminded of that and that I am able to give
them what Charmayne gave me as a kid, which is someone to
look up to and aspire to be like.
RL: If you could advice from anyone, who would it be and
what would you ask them?
NM: Looking back, I wish I would have asked my grandparents
a lot more while they were alive. I feel like that generation was
so strong. I have a lot of motherhood and parenting questions
that I would like for them to answer but I guess they had to figure
things out for themselves they didn’t even have Google!
RL: What advice would you give your twelve-year-old self
when you first started Barrel Racing about the sport?
NM: If I had to give advice to my twelve-year-old self I would
probably say take risks and don’t be afraid. I was pretty cautious
as a child and still tend to be in some aspects so it was hard for
me to go out on a limb and do things I wasn’t comfortable with,
but that is how we grow as people and experiences, good or
bad, are what make us who we are.
RL: What is your favorite rodeo to compete in and why?
NM: It is so hard to choose a favorite rodeo because there are
so many and I have a lot of good memories. Salinas is definitely
at the top of the list, it is such a vacation to get to go there and
hang out for several days with all of your friends in the cool
ocean weather and eat the good seafood. Another one I always
enjoy is St. Paul because I have always had such good luck there.
I have placed every time I have entered so it’s always nice to go
to rodeos that you have a lot of confidence at.
RL: What were your first thoughts when you were announced
as the 2017 World Champion Barrel Racer? And when Sister
was voted AQHA/WPRA Barrel Racing Horse of the Year?
Which title were you more excited about?
NM: It was such a blur when I won the world that I didn’t know
what to think about it. I couldn’t even process what that meant
or how it had happened. When Sister was announced the horse
of the year it was such an awesome feeling because we love our
horses so much and to have all of my competitors think that she
was deserving of such an award was so rewarding. To have all of
the years of hard work be rewarded was an amazing feeling.
RL: What are your goals this year for both you and Sister?
NM: This year our goals are to make great runs and stay
healthy. Though we all have big end goals we want to
accomplish, I hate to put too much emphasis on them, it works
better for us to keep things simple and just think about making
that next run no matter where it might be.
Rodeo LIFE 15