CollegeMontana State Bobcats


Three Forks' Tayla Moeykens always wanted to represent Montana State rodeo; now she's leaving a legacy

Tayla Moeykens CNFR
Posted at 4:07 PM, Apr 11, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-11 18:07:28-04

BOZEMAN — Montana State senior rodeo standout and Three Forks native Tayla Moeykens always knew she wanted to represent her hometown Bobcats.

She's already built a legacy for MSU as the 2021 CNFR national champion barrel racer, women’s rookie of the year and a member of the Bobcats' national championship team. She was also the 2023 reserve national champion in barrel racing, helping lead the Cats to a reserve national champion team finish last year.

"Ever since I was little, I wanted to be a Bobcat. Mainly one the main reasons was the runout onto the football field," Moeykens said, referencing the MSU rodeo team's tradition of leading Bobcats out of the locker room before kickoff for home football games.

"But just the community support, wanting me to be a Bobcat. I wanted to be a part of it too because MSU has such a legacy in rodeo."

Tayla Moeykens Rodeo Football
Tayla Moeykens leads the football team into the stadium on Game Day in their tradition of the rodeo team running out the players.

What has been unparalleled since Moeykens arrived on campus is the unwavering support from the community for the rodeo team. It’s a pillar of Montana State, which is unlike many other college teams.

"I know a lot of friends that are on other rodeo teams, where it’s not as big a part of the university, and to have that support from them and that camaraderie, it’s mind blowing," she explained. "I stutter because I don’t have quite the words for it."


MSU's annual spring rodeo, under way this weekend at Brick Breeden Fieldhouse, is her favorite, not just because her team has the advantage of hosting but also for the way it is put on.

"Just the production as a whole, the setup, all of it, it just resembles a pro rodeo, and that’s where my heart lies, so that’s why I love it so much," she explained.

Moeykens, one of the top barrel racers in the nation, takes after her mom, Deena, who is an accomplished barrel racer of her own, seeing success at the pro level. Now Deena is her daughter’s biggest support.

"She’s taught me everything, her and my dad," Moeykens said. "I wouldn’t be where I am without them today. Just having her support and having her there.

"Even this week, she has to haul horses back and forth for me because I have class and other obligations to take care of. Having her in my corner, I can’t even explain how much it means to me."

The spring rodeo runs Thursday through Sunday at Brick Breeden Fieldhouse, and is being broadcast on the MTN channel.