Endorsees

Madison MacDonald

Professional Trick Rider
Born: 1993
Accomplishments: 5X Selected NFR Contract Act 2011 through 2015
Current Residence: Stephenville, Texas

HB: When did you start riding horses, running barrels and trick riding?
Madison: As a family we always had horses around since the day I was born, it was around the age of 3 years old that I began to ride. I had a white Shetland pony named Snowball. At the age of 5, I was determined to become a trick rider. I used to hang all over my saddle for hours outside on that pony. Once we finally got me a trick riding saddle the addiction began. The white pony was out in the yard every day helping me learn the steps to become a trick rider. It was until around the age of 8 years old that I really started to get serious about the trick riding because that is when I got a little palomino horse named Pal for my birthday and he became my first trick riding horse. This horse made me the rider that I am today. I got into the rodeo events around the age of 12 where I did gymkhana and this little palomino excelled as my barrel horse and pole bending horse. Pal took me all the way through to my senior year of high school rodeo winning countless belt buckles, championships and checks along with trips to the National High School Rodeo Finals in New Mexico.

HB: Who has been or is your favorite horse?

Madison: Looking back my favorite horse has to be Pal the little horse with a huge heart. We were a team! He gave me my start in everything them and help me build a name for myself. This horse was a reject cutting horse and never made it easy on me. Once we finally built a bond we were unstoppable in every event that we did. I lost him to colic the year after my senior year in High School Rodeo. He has a special place in my heart that I will never forget because if it was not for that horse I never would be where I am today.

HB: Tell me about your parents and how they have been influential in your life in and outside of the arena?
Madison: My parents are my support system, they are my pillars and I would not be where I am today if it was not for my mom, dad and my grandparents. There are too many ways they have been my influential in my life to talk about. I can say though I owe them everything. Looking back at all the times my dad has spent hours and hours practicing with me, helping me become the best I can be. They have always given me opportunities to learn from the best and gave me the support to allow me to be where I am today. I cannot thank them enough for all that they have done for me throughout the years of high school rodeo and traveling all over Canada and thru the USA going to different PRCA rodeos. It has been an experience of a life time and I am a very lucky girl to be able to call them my parents because they have allowed me to follow my dreams.

HB: Who are your idols / heroes?
Madison: I always have and still do look up to Niki Flundra. She gave me my very first trick riding lesson and introduced me to the best trick rider in the world Tad Griffith. Tad has instructed me for the past 10 years and gave me the tools to become the trick rider I am today. Niki also helped me get my start at the NFR. I always watched her at the Calgary Stampede and she was the girl that got me hooked at the beginning and has helped me over the years to pursue my dream!

HB: Where do you see yourself in 5 years / 10 years?
Madison: In 5 to 10 years I see myself being graduated from university, starting a family and slowing down with the trick riding. I do not see myself trick riding for the rest of my life as it is hard on the body. By slowing down with that it would give me the opportunity to start back up riding and training barrel horses as well as starting back to breakaway roping and team roping. I am still trying to figure out “what I want to be when I grow up” since trick riding has been my life for years. I know though when one door closes another one will open so I have faith that an opportunity will come my way when the time is right.

HB: What would you tell someone just getting started in rodeo if you could share one thing that has helped you?
Madison: If I could share one piece of advice is don’t give up and keep chasing your dreams. I am proof that dreams really do come true and hard work really does pays off. There will be ups and downs put just keep on pushing and you will get where you want to be!

 

 

Jessie Kuka

Professional Mounted Shooter
Born: 1986
Accomplishments: 2011 CMSA World Champion
2012 CMSA Reserve World Champion
Current Residence: Maple Plain, MN

 

HB: When did you start riding horses, Barrel Racing and Mounted Shooting?
Jessie: My grandpa bought me my first pony when I was 6 months old. My family would hold me up on the pony and lead me around. I always had a passion for horses. We always had a lot of horses around and would ride all the time. I probably ran my first barrels at age 8 and started the mounted shooting at age 14.

HB: Who has been or is your favorite horse?
Jessie: I have had many good horses. Each horse I have had has helped me get to where I am today. I am very fortunate to have been able to train my own horses and have a great relationship with each one. My current horse I am running as my main horse is a 2001 AQHA Red Dun Gelding named PLC Nute Driftwood "Hickory". He is the horse that I won the (2011) World Championship on and set multiple World Records. I love his style and he is the perfect fit for me.

HB: Tell me about your parents and how they have been influential in your life in and outside of the arena?
Jessie: My parents are Mike and Bonnie Kuka. They have always been my biggest fans and I have had amazing support in everything I have done. They always pushed me to do my best and I am so blessed to have an amazing family. I also have two younger brothers that are always there for me, Mike, who is also my business partner in Kuka Quarter Horses, he is also a PRCA Steer Wrestler and Team Roper and Tommy who has a degree in Music Production.

HB: Where do you see yourself in 5 years / 10 years?
Jessie: I would like to still be at the top of the shooting world and continue with my training, sales, lessons and clinics.

HB: What would you tell someone just getting started in barrel racing if you could share one thing that has helped you?
Jessie: Get help from someone, don't just go into it without a little help. Be smooth and focus on hitting all your targets, you can always add the speed!