With the NCHA World Finals on the horizon, Madison Melasky of Groesbeck, Texas, is sitting pretty in the 15,000 Amateur standings. As we go to press, with thirty shows under her belt and $6,701 won, she has found herself comfortably sitting at third out of the top fifteen. Third is a familiar placing for Melasky who placed in the top three in the Senior Youth this year, finishing the year with 109 youth points on two horses DR Cuzin and Smarty's Star. We sat down with Melasky to chat about looking forward to World Finals on the newest instalment of Western Twist Media's series, Haulin'.
Madison Melasky shows DR Cuzin at NCHA Western Nationals, the team finished third in the Senior Youth this year. Photo Credit: Ted Petit Photography
Tell me a little bit about the horse you have been hauling for world finals? His registered name is Smarty's Star, or "Smarty" around the barn, he's by Smart Lil Scoot out of a Smart O Lena mare. He can be really hard headed but he's a real sweetheart. What is your favourite thing about Smarty? I can trust Smarty to go in the pen and do what he is supposed to do! Smart gives everything he has when he shows. What class(es) do you show in? I show Smarty in the $15,000 Amateur class and I also show DR Cuzin, owned by Tim Murrell, in the Senior Youth. I also have a 4 year old mare that I will start showing now that Youth World Finals is over. Which class is harder? I think the youth is the hardest class that i've been showing in. There are so many good kids and really good horses!
Madison Melasky and Smarty's Star took home a major win at Houston when they won the 15,000 amateur.
Leading into this year, what was your biggest accomplishment or favourite moment in the cutting pen? I would have to say that my biggest accomplishment so far this year would have to be either making the Top 15 in the Senior Youth, or winning Houston in the 15,000 Amateur class.
When you started out this year what were your goals? I only really started showing Smarty in the 15 AM class since I was hauling with Cuzin in the youth trying to make Youth World Finals. Is this the first time you are going to be headed to NCHA World Finals? This is my first time making the world finals, hopefully I make the $15,000 Amateur finals in December! Do you ride with a trainer? I've been riding with Casey Crouch out of Corsicana, Texas for a year and a half now. What is the best advice your trainer has ever given you? Casey is always telling me to "breathe and just ride my horse", "up and clean", as well as "SIT DOWN"... i've heard that quite a bit in the pen too.
Smarty's Star and Madison Melasky competing in the 15,000 Amateur class at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
What has been the highlight of your year so far? Probably winning Houston, but i've made some awesome memories hauling this year! Have you had a low point, how did you get through it? Oh yeah. We all have low points at some time, that's just part of it. The only way to get through it is to keep cutting. Do you get nerves in the show pen? How do you deal with them? I like to listen to music while i'm loping. Music and visiting with my friends helps me stay relaxed. What was the best advice you received this year? One of the best things Casey has said is that there's always another show. Whether you've had a good run or a bad one, there's always another show. He also introduced me to the "two run rule" which is that you cannot have more than five minutes to be upset with yourself after a bad run and you have to be a good sportsman and not ever stay too proud of yourself. 2 runs and then focus on the next run.
Madison Melasky finished in the top three of the Senior Youth with DR Cuzin, pictured, and is now on the road to NCHA World Finals with her horse, Smarty's Star.
What's your number one tip for hauling down the road? Be flexible, sometimes we would still be deciding where we were headed as we were loading horses. Learn to sleep whenever and wherever you are and make sure you can get ready quickly. Have you had to haul pretty hard this year? We've hauled almost 40,000 miles since June 1, 2017! I live in Central Texas and haul a minimum of 2 hours to get to a show. Most of the time we haul anywhere from 4-22 hours for our shows. I think I've shown in over 12 states since then. It gets hard to keep track of it all at times and we have to keep a show binder to stay organized. What is your favourite show to haul to, and why? I really like showing in Gonzales, Texas. I like the arena and Marcy Blanchard, the show secretary, makes the shows great for the youth. West cliff, Colorado is a beautiful place to show as well.