Breakaway Rookie of the Year

rule Outhier Carries on Family Legacy
Winning Resistol Rookie of the Year

By Joe Kusek

Madison Outhier has always loved roping. She never imagined she’d be able to make a living at it – and she never thought she’d win a prestigious title and write herself into the history books either.

But she’s done exactly that – Outhier is the first official Resistol Rookie of the Year for breakaway roping. Earlier this year it was announced that breakaway would be included in the Rookie of the Year awards and although she said she thought it would be a great achievement, she didn’t think she had much of a shot.



Madison Outhier


“My dad (four-time National Finals Rodeo qualifier and two-time Linderman Award winner Mike Outhier) was the Resistol Rookie of the Year in saddle bronc riding in 1998 and having him win that has always been a prestigious award for my family,” she said. “It was always a goal of mine. Since last year (2020) was the first year breakaway was included officially, I figured that a lot of girls would be rookies this year with Covid and everything last year. And they didn’t have rookie standings for us to follow, so I had no clue. I didn’t really think I’d have a chance.

“I was outside of making the top 15 and I figured that someone in that top would be a rookie. So I was so excited to win this. My family cried!”

Outhier etched her name into the history books. It’s something she and so many of her fellow competitors have gotten pretty used to in the past couple of years, as breakaway ropers have experienced so many firsts. She said it’s been an extremely exciting time to be in rodeo.

“Three years ago, none of us had competed on huge stages except in the forms of amateur rodeos or big jackpots,” she said. “Even the veterans who have been in breakaway for so long, this is new to them, so it’s really evened the playing field and I think that’s helping the sport grow so much. It gives even more confidence to all of us. And it’s motivating to young girls too.”

Outhier grew up surrounded by rodeo and horses. Her dad was a professional cowboy and her mom was a professional polo player, so she began roping at a young age and also ran barrels and poles. She was playing polo and loved it, saying that she thought that was what she was going to pursue … until a horse named Rooster came along.
Her family had bred and raised Rooster and she began roping on him while her dad was still working on some training. It was that relationship that moved everything up a notch.

“My dad wouldn’t let me do too much on him in the beginning because he was green and would stop so hard,” Outhier said. “But it’s when I really took to roping a lot more, and that brought me to the next level. I was learning how to rope while he was learning how to be a breakaway horse and we came together in the perfect combination.
“I’ve grown my roping through him, for sure. I knew the first time I rode him that I wanted him – I think my dad was training him to sell him for probably a lot of money but I wanted him. He’s been my number one from a young age.”

Outhier said she really started to experience the feeling of being a role model after success at The American two years ago. Still a teenager at the time, she won the first breakaway roping title there and collected $110,000 for her success.

She quickly saw that breakaway roping was about to go places, and she couldn’t wait to be along for the ride.

“It’s awesome. It’s such a crowd-pleasing event I think,” she said. “It’s fast, it’s another female event and it’s really easy to understand so the fans can follow it. Getting to rope against these great girls everywhere is amazing in itself, and with them adding so much money now, it’s awesome. Little girls can look at it now and want to be a breakaway roper!

“So many rodeos are adding us to their events, so that’s awesome to be a part of. And I’m getting to rope at some of the rodeos that my dad competed at which is really cool. When I was young I never thought of breakaway as a profession I’d be able to make a good living out of – and now it’s a possibility.”