Wynne natives Jaylie & Taycie Matthews among the best in the nation in barrel racing
WYNNE, Ark. (KAIT) - Wynne is synonymous with football. But did you know that The City with a Smile is also known for rodeo?
Wynne natives Jaylie and Taycie Matthews are among the best in barrel racing. The sisters say rodeo runs in the family.
“My grandfather and grandmother, they did it their whole lives,” Jaylie said. “And my mom used to do it, she got out of it. And then she always said that me and my sister were an excuse to get back into it. My sister was in 3rd grade and I was in 5th. And she’s like okay, you’re going to have to decide what you want to do with your life. We decided we wanted to start barrel racing. And then it eventually turned into rodeo. We started small, and worked our way to where we are now.”
“My grandparents, they trained and raised horses I guess all their lives,” Taycie added. “And that’s what I grew up doing. They used to live in Missouri, and I would go there in the summer time. And we’d ride ponies and just grew up riding. They moved to Wynne and we just took it from there I guess.”
The Matthews made an impact at East Mississippi Community College. They captured 20 Ozark Region barrel racing titles over the last 3 seasons. Jaylie was reserve champion in the 2021 College National Finals Rodeo. Taycie pulled off the same feat in the 2022 edition last month.
“It’s been pretty exciting,” Jaylie said. “Me and my sister, we’ve been super blessed to be on the EMCC rodeo team. Cause they’ve helped us so much. And it’s super exciting to be able to go out there and compete.”
“Pretty amazing,” Taycie added. “I was going into the short drill, I was not expecting that. I was just like God has a plan, whatever happens, happens. Just go with it.”
Taycie is currently 17th in the Pro Rodeo World Standings. “My plans are to go to the pro rodeos and just see how I do out here,” she said. “And if I’m doing good, I’ll stay. And if I don’t do good, I’ll probably go home eventually. But as long as the Lord keeps blessing me and taking care of me, going to try my best to stay out here.”
The sisters continue to compete and continue to root for one another. “Well we both want each other to do good,” Jaylie said. “But at the same time, we want to do better than the other one. As long as one of us does good, that’s all that matters.”
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