A girl and a horse: Heart for horses leads to barrel racing pastime
By Constance Smith
When people visit the local Morgan Farmers Co-op on Highway 31, they might occasionally be greeted by a smiling young woman named Madison Clemons. She’s happy to ring up a customer or answer questions, but what she does outside of work might come as a surprise.
Like many young girls, Clemons had a love for horses as a child. Her brother got a horse and taught her to ride. Over time, the simple joy of horseback riding grew into something more.
She watched rodeos on television and watched competitions on social media, and she decided barrel racing looked like a lot of fun. She thought she might even be able to do it herself.
When she was 15 years old, she competed in a local barrel racing event at the Morgan County Sheriff Posse Grounds in Hartselle. That was all it took. Clemons said she knew it was what she loved to do.
Since then, she has taken part in many competitions, from regional ones in Limestone County and Cullman to far away events in places like Indiana.
Clemons is now 19 and is a graduate of Hartselle High School. Her parents, Jim and Debbie Clemons, support their daughter and her dreams, which include competing in barrel racing at the professional level. She is working hard toward that goal and said she hopes to qualify to compete in the nationals in Guthrie, Oklahoma, this year.
Clemons rises early to train, works, trains, sleeps – and rises the next day to do it again with her horse, Rookie. Many communtiy members have probably seen Rookie at some of the farm day events in the area, including the Christmas parade.
In addition to training and working at the co-op, Clemons is working to acquire sponsors for her racing. Just like racecar drivers and sports teams, rodeo competitors seek sponsors to help them with the tremendous expense of traveling to and from the competitions, entry fees and other costs. She has already received sponsorships from several local businesses.
While she loves racing and competition, Clemons said her general love of horses keeps another goal in her sights. She plans to launch a magnawave therapy business for horses. She said magnawave therapy is similar to TENS therapy for humans. It is a therapeutic treatment that eases inflammation, reduces pain and promotes healing on a cellular level.
So, whether it is riding on the back of a horse and taking the tight corners of a barrel race in an arena, or helping horses live a better life, Clemons has big goals.
If anyone can achieve their dreams, it is this girl and her horse.