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A&M student Madalyn Richards from Hereford wins at CNFR

Members of the Texas A&M University Rodeo Team recently captured national titles at the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) in Casper, Wyoming, including Madalyn Richards of Hereford.

The Aggie women’s team finished third in the country.

Richards ’25, an agricultural communications and journalism major, was named the 2024 Breakaway Roping Champion and earned the 2024 Women’s All-Around title.

The CNFR is the top rodeo of the collegiate season, sanctioned by the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association, NIRA. An estimated 400 competitors from more than 100 universities from 11 regions across the U.S. competed in Casper after qualifying in NIRA-sanctioned rodeos throughout the academic year.

Richards scored a total of 362 points in the goat tying and escape roping events, making her total double that of the person who finished second all-around. Richards’ best round in goat tying came third time, where she took first place with a time of 6.0 seconds, the fastest goat tying time all week.

On the first lap of the breakaway event, Richards split in third place with a time of 2.3 seconds. She and teammate Madison Outhier ’25, a junior business marketing major from Utopia, tied for second place in the second round by 2.0 seconds. Outhier continued his breakout performance with a solid run on the third lap, finishing fourth with a time of 2.3 seconds. Richards was able to advance to the final round, where she finished third by 2.5 seconds, securing the title as champion breakaway roper.

Richards’ horse, DuallysBeenCattin, was named the American Quarter Horse Association’s 2024 Breakaway Roping Horse of the Year.

In other Aggie honors, Tylie McDonald ’27, a freshman agricultural communications and journalism major from College Station, was named the 2024 Rookie Goat Tying Champion, and Gavin French ’25, an animal science major from Fredericksburg, placed fifth in the nation in bareback riding. .

The rodeo team is part of the Texas A&M College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Department of Animal Science competitive teams program.

“It was a great week at Casper, and I couldn’t be more proud of the team’s hard work and resilience,” said Al Wagner, Ph.D., retiring rodeo coach and food technologist in the Department of Horticultural Sciences. “It has been a privilege to represent Texas A&M at this level. I cherish the memories of every season during my tenure as rodeo coach.”

Wagner expressed immense pride in the team’s achievements and the memories he made during nearly three decades as coach of the rodeo team.

The four performances by Richards as well as Outhier, McDonald and Emma Smith ’24, a recent agriculture industry graduate from Pleasanton, put the women’s team third in the country with a total of 567 points.

“We are extremely proud of the members of the Texas Aggie Rodeo Team for their success in Casper,” said Clay Mathis, Ph.D., professor and head of the Department of Animal Sciences. “The team members represented our department and university with the respect and distinction that defines our competitive team program, and we are grateful to have the team as part of our department.”