THREE FORKS — Montana State women’s rodeo was a force to reckon with this past season, and a big piece of its success came from freshman Tayla Moeykens.
The national champion barrel racer was lights out at CNFR and is continuing to build on her success this summer during her rookie season in the WPRA.
“It’s competitive wherever you go," Moeykens explained. "You have to bring your game every single time, but the WPRA is something that I’ve waited for many years to be able to compete at, so to actually be doing it is really a great feeling because I’ve waited so long for it.”
How long was that wait? Nineteen years to be exact.
Some of her first childhood memories are watching her mom compete at the Montana Pro Circuit Final and NRA Finals.
“I just had been around them my whole life," Moeykens laughed. "Technically, mom and dad brought me home from the hospital and put me on the horses, so I've been doing it for a long time. My mom and dad are the whole reason I am where I am. I started barrel racing when I was three, and it just kind of went off from there.”
On the current WPRA Tour standings, the Three Forks native is the highest-ranked rookie coming in at No. 29. To give you some perspective, that list has nearly 200 members.
“I’ve learned that you’ve got to bring your A-game every time because there’s a lot of nice horses here, and you’ve just got to be in there, and consistency is a big thing," She added. "You have to be consistent and ride to the best that you can every time.”
Luckily for her, her teammate Blue, whom she started running with last year, has the same mentality.
“She just has a really big heart and a lot of try," Moeykens smiled. "I just can’t say enough good things about her because she just decided one day that this was what she wanted to do, and she gives it her all every single time, and I can’t thank her enough for that. It means so much to know that I have a partner when I’m out there in the arena.”
Moeykens' goal this summer is to qualify for the Montana ProRodeo Circuit finals, where she currently sits in 14th. Only the top 12 qualify.