Madison Outhier had only roped about five calves out of the box on her 2019 home-raised gelding Nifty Wildcard before pocketing $25,000 for a go-round win at the Roping Futurities of America Slot Race in Abilene, Texas, Feb. 1.
“I missed my first calf, but was 2.83 for the fastest run of the whole deal on him in the second round,” Outhier, 19, said. “That colt was so good-minded there, and he took it all really well. He reminds me of my good horse, Rooster, a lot.”
As a bonus, Outhier nominated the Division 1 event for the World Champions Rodeo Alliance leaderboards, shooting her up the standings in that association as well. She’s already a two-time Women’s Rodeo World Champion in the breakaway through the WCRA.
“It’s not often that we get to go to a Division 1 event,” Outhier said. “They can really help you to get to the top on the leaderboard, and the top of the leaderboard gets a huge advantage by jumping past the qualifying rounds into the final rounds at the majors and Women’s Rodeo World Championships. Everything I’ve won at the WCRA, it’s always been from the bottom up, so this time I’d love a chance to get in at the top—even if I was riding a 3-year-old.”
Outhier wasn’t on just any 3-year-old though. The colt (that technically turns 3 next month) is by the family’s stud Wild Card Dunnit, out of Colonel C Boonie, a granddaughter of Boon Bar. The family’s LA Waters Quarter Horses raised “Nifty” before selling him to regular customer Amy Leonard. Leonard started him in the reined cow horse, but when the Outhiers found out about the high-stakes breakaway slot race offered by the RFA, they bought him back.
“My dad (Mike Outhier) probably only put 60 days total on that horse from the time I got him back to when I roped on him in Abilene,” Outhier said. “A majority of that was a lot of slow work, keeping him real broke and just riding him. I don’t think Dad put him in the box until about two weeks before the futurity—it was crazy, and I was getting a little worried. We wanted to just take it real slow with as little pressure as we could. He’d track and rope 20 a day on the horse, but only one or two a day out of the box. We put up a handmade barrier in our lane and we’d rope and run through it, so he didn’t associate it with the box. We just got him real broke through the barrier with a string and flag not near the box so he didn’t have any fear associated with the box and the barrier. About a week before that deal, we put him in a box with a barrier once he was calm with it. We tried to keep it slow on him. It was all my dad for sure. He did a great job on him.”
At present, Outhier has 1,783 points to sit fifth in the WCRA’s Rodeo Corpus Christi leaderboard, on which qualification closes April 10. She’s also second in the Pro division of the Women’s Rodeo World Championship leaderboard with 3,860 points.