Congratulations to Hayley Madison Danley, the Whatakid of the month from Region 3! Hayley is a senior who resides in Graham, Texas. She competes in the barrel racing, pole bending, goat tying, breakaway roping and team roping. This is her fourth year of high school rodeo competition, and she has made plans to continue her rodeo career on the collegiate level at Tarleton State University. Until then she is working toward another THSRA state qualification along with a few other things.
Before she entered the high school division, Hayley was a competitor in the youth and junior high divisions as well. “I’ve really grown up in this organization, and competing here feels a bit like coming home,” Hayley said. She currently serves as the Region III President, and she is the reining goat tying champion. She has also been an event director most of her high school career.
Throughout her involvement, Hayley said she has had the opportunity to pick up some valuable life lessons and character traits. “Competing has taught me to improve by learning from my mistakes, persevering through difficulties, and developing a hard work ethic,” Hayley said. “You get out of rodeo wat you put into it. Nobody can practice for you; you have to work at it yourself.”
In addition to the lessons the sport of rodeo brings in itself, the people within the industry have made a lasting impact on Hayley as well. “Being involved in rodeo, you become part of a culture larger than yourself,” she said. “The rodeo world contains a subculture of honest, hard-working people with old fashioned values.” A few of the people Hayley said she looks up to the most include Amberly Snyder, and Hayley’s coaches: Ed and Martha Wright, Lynn Smith, Jeff Copenhaver and her dad. “Without their help, I would never be where I am today.” She also mentioned how thankful she is for the sacrifices her parents have made to help her pursue her dreams. While she said there are no major sacrifices she has made herself, she explained how there are small sacrifices she makes every day.
“You have to decide whether you are going to go to a goat tying clinic or stay home due to below freezing temperatures; are you going to choose to eat healthy or not….Success comes from making small sacrifices toward your goals every day,” Hayley said. While a strong support system plays an important part in just about every aspect of life, a strong team of equine athletes plays a vital role in the sport as well. Right now Hayley said she has three rodeo horses. Tamie, her barrel and pole horse; D.B., her 25-year-old goat tying horse, and Booger (AKA Boo), her calf roping and heeling horse. Each one holds a special place in Hayley’s heart, and “I am very grateful to my parents for mounting me on such highcaliber equine athletes,” she said.
Outside of the rodeo arena Hayley is part of a dance company called ‘Renee’s Dance Factory’. She is in the senior company which holds multiple recitals and dance competitions, she is a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success, and she is a 4.0 student. Through it all, Hayley explained how her goal is to stay optimistic no matter what. “Throughout live there are plenty of opportunities to become negative and upset, but it’s important to maintain a positive attitude.”
Hayley said she is honored to be selected as this month’s Whatakid and she is proud to represent Region III. We hope Hayley continues to embrace the optimistic way of life as she prepares to enter the next chapter in her life, and we wish her all the best!