Holding onto the reins: Maddox Holder


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Maddox Holder As she competes at a rodeo with her horse “Chappa”.

Ava Babson, Staff writer

Maddox Holder is a sophomore who is passionate about horseback riding. She started this hobby when she was just 8 years old and her love for it continues to grow every day.

“When I was little I wanted to jump but I found out that wasn’t for me,” said Holder, “so I started doing barrel racing and doing rodeos, now I do competition.”

There aren’t a lot of people in high school that you know that do barrel racing and rodeos because it is not something that is common in Brunswick County. Most high schoolers around here play football, softball, and participate in water sports like surfing because we live close to the beach. There is a whole culture of equine sports and a lot of steps it takes to care for horses properly.

“When we get there, we set up, warm up and then we go around in a circle with little flags and get our barrels,” said Holder. “There are different categories like 1D, 2D, 3D, and If you are first in 1D you get the most amount of money, but if you are also first in 2D, you can get the same amount of money and you just place in the different categories”

Holder’s love of horses will always be in her but her passion for rodeos may fade as the years go on. Horses make good childhood companions and can put anyone in touch with nature, While horseback riding is a lifetime sport, barrel racing isn’t something most people continue as they get older.

“Most of the time I just do rodeos on the weekends or whenever I don’t have anything going on,” said Holder. “Whenever I grow up, I want my kids to do barrel racing and have the full experience but it’s not something that I personally want to do for the rest of my life.” 

As Holder’s barrel-racing career gets closer to an end, she’s thankful for all the connections she’s made through it and will continue to make. Making connections with people that love the same things as you is important because those will be the best bonds you probably ever make and they will be the most memorable.

“Doing barrel-racing also made me and my mom’s connection closer because we both have a love for barrel-racing, so it’s a way we can bond,” says Holder. “My favorite memory from barrel-racing is probably when I met my best friend; we just rode together one day when we were younger, and ever since that day we’ve bonded.”