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Texas A&M’s Madalyn Richards Dominates CNFR, Unlocks New Opportunities with WCRA

Madalyn Richards won the 2024 CNFR Breakaway Roping Championship with ease, using prior knowledge of the setup in Casper and a "marathon" mindset.

Madalyn Richards' consistency was rewarded at the 2024 CNFR, where she took home the Breakaway Championship and All-Around Championship.
Madalyn Richards' consistency was rewarded at the 2024 CNFR, where she took home the Breakaway Championship and All-Around Championship. Photo by Jackie Jensen

Madalyn Richards garnered the 2024 CNFR Breakaway for Texas A&M University with a business-like mindset and consistent performance that saw her rope four head in 9.2 seconds.

Richards was awarded the All-Around Championship, too, for her performance in the goat tying that included a Round 3 winning run of 6.0 seconds and a trip to the short go.

The junior majoring in ag communications and minoring in ag economics was surprised to find national success in the breakaway before the goat tying—especially since she finished No. 2 in goat tying at the CNFR in 2023.

“I’ve always had a lot of success in the goat tying, but my breakaway has been coming along really strong,” said Richards, who won the 2023 Greeley Stampede in breakaway. “Part of it is because of my horse Dually and the confident I have in him.”

Richards had her eye on another opportunity at the CNFR too; the WCRA’s College Rodeo Trifecta. If an athlete nominated to the WCRA, won their region, won a go-round at the CNFR and won the National Championship, they could take home $10,000.

“I am so glad the WCRA is giving athletes—especially at the high school and college level—an opportunity to win more money.” – Madalyn Richards

Madalyn Richards’ 2024 CNFR Breakaway journey

Headed into the CNFR, Richards was feeling confident. She’d won her region and been having success with Dually at ProRodeos—including a $3,632 payday at the Woodward Elks Rodeo in Oklahoma just a few weeks prior.

“I knew I just needed to score good and rope,” Richards, from Hereford, TX, said. “The setup there is not difficult, and I focused on doing my job and executing the fundamentals. Being at the College Finals before really helps too. It’s four head, and someone is going to mess up. It’s a marathon and you just need to keep executing.”

Richards noted the calves were soft, and she saw neck rope on her Round 3 and Short Go calves.

Round 1: 2.3 seconds

Round 2: 2.0 seconds

Round 3: 2.4 seconds

Short Go: 2.5 seconds

Aggregate: 9.2 seconds

“Going into the short go, I was 0.7 seconds ahead of second place [in the average] and second place missed right before I went so I knew I had a lot of time to play with,” Richards said. “I hadn’t won a go-round for the WCRA Trifecta deal yet, but I was leading [the average] by so much and there was already a 1.8-second time. So, I decided to make a businessman’s run and win the Championship.”

While Richards didn’t secure the $10,000 WCRA Trifecta with only two of the three qualifications met, she’s enthusiastic about her National Championship and summer full of ProRodeo opportunities ahead. Her WCRA points earned at the CNFR are going towards a Rodeo Carolina qualification—a trip Richards says she’d like to make in October.

“I helped out team win No. 3, too,” Richards said. “Our team just hired our first full-time coach ever, and we’re finally getting some funding and support from the University. Now it’s considered the equivalent of a livestock judging team in the Animal Science Department.”

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