Kaitlin Gustave: The Windy Ryon is a prestigious breakaway roping, what are your thoughts about this roping?
Maddy Goforth: For an event to go on for 44 years and continue to grow is something in itself. It’s an honor to get to compete against some of the best girls in the business.
KG: What was the set-up like for this roping?
MG: The box is really long and the arena is really open, almost like roping in a pasture. The calves run pretty hard and since the arena is so open, the calves never actually have a predictable pattern that they run. You really have to read the calves.
KG: What is the horse that you were riding?
MG: I rode my good horse Killer, the same horse that carried me to my third place win the previous year. He was actually my dad’s head horse and when my horse, Ax, got hurt, my dad was gracious enough to let me ride Killer. I have been riding him ever since.
KG: What did you do to prepare for this event?
MG: I really made sure my horse was scoring well and made sure he was free and running hard to cattle.
KG: What were your thoughts going into the short round against some tough competition?
MG: The short round line up was a tough one. The times from high call all the way to twelfth place weren’t very far apart. I knew that I just needed to keep doing what I had been doing all day—scoring and roping.
KG: You placed third at this exact roping a year ago. From then to now, did you feel any difference in your roping and mental game?
MG: Yes, I believe I have gotten stronger over the last year. I have gotten rid of a lot of self-doubt I think I had last year.
KG: What call back did you come into the short round and how did the short round end up?
MG: I came back second high call, Sadie Hairford was first out in the short-round and set the pace with a smoking run of 2.8. Several girls had some tough luck. I believe the wind played a big part in the roping that day. Also, Kelsie Chase made a great run so I knew that needed to get out good and throw the first opportunity I had to be in the race for first.
KG: What does this win mean to you and for your roping career?
MG: I still remember watching the breakaway at the Windy Ryon when I was younger, and I thought it was the most prestigious roping. I would envision what it would be like to back in that box and run a calf down in that huge arena. It’s an honor to not only get invited to this event, but have the opportunity to win it as well.
KG: What do you focus on during a breakaway run?
MG: During a run I think of two things: scoring and being aggressive. In the past, focusing on too much tends to have the opposite effect and I actually become unfocused and nervous.
KG: How do you put aside any nervousness that may be running through you before you rope?
MG: Its human nature to get nervous when you rope—it’s exciting. When I start to get nervous I try to open my mind to the bigger picture, win, lose, or draw. God has blessed each and every one of us with the gift of these animals and this sport, and if it doesn’t go good it just gives me something to work on in the practice pen.
KG: After buckling down this win, what are your plans for future events?
MG: Winning the Windy Ryon is definitely something that I can check off my dream list. However, being 19 years old I feel that I still have a lot of work to do. I will continue to keep working on ways to better my roping and continue to go to great ropings and rodeos put on throughout the year.