By Amy C. Witt
From backing into the box to chasing around her little boy, Boone, Kara Moody is always full of grace, wit, humor, class, and she is real handy with a horse and rope too! Not to mention, she was this year’s California’s Richest Breakaway roping champion.
Kara Moody with her buckskin stallion, Ciscos Blue Junewood, who helped her win the West Coast NIRA Breakaway title in 2014.
Growing up in Texas, Kara had the opportunity to learn from some outstanding influences like Shot Branham. Because of Shot, she now owns her favorite horse, Ciscos Blue Junewood, who helped her win the West Coast Region National Intercollegiate Breakaway championship in 2014. Currently, Kara lives in the Central Valley and works for her fiancé Luke, at his trucking company, Luke Mathews Trucking, where she assists him with cattle hauling and secretarial duties.
Kara may not be a native to California, but she is respected as a top hand California cowgirl.
“Always be true to yourself, don’t let others or the success of others change you. To be a good winner you have to be a good loser. Every time you back into the box or walk down that alley into the arena it’s a new day a new run and the past doesn’t matter. Thank the Lord for another opportunity to do what you love!”
Tell us about winning this year’s California’s Richest Breakaway roping? Shocking... haha! I have been running barrels on my mare, Smash and had not roped a breakaway calf in over a year. I try to not miss this roping and I did last year and haven’t let myself live it down since. I drew great every round, a couple calves were a little strong but my mare just motors up to her spot. I’m very thankful she loves to run! She gave me my shot and worked perfectly. My short round calf was a weaker calf but I’m very thankful Rikki Perezchica was back there and let me know to see him out a bit more. I thought I won second behind Annie Houston who had a killer run, but unfortunately broke the barrier. She was the one who told me I won. I walked to her as she was going to collect her rope and shake her hand to tell her hell of a roping. I was instantly speechless when she told me I had actually won. I immediately thanked the good lord above for the opportunity to do what I love and the spicy little bay mare underneath me!
What does breakaway roping mean to you? It’s my happy place, a passion and an opportunity to do what I love. For many years I strictly breakaway roped and it becomes a lifestyle just like barrel racing. It can be a tad addicting. But really, I believe God gave me the talent to be able to rope with the best of them and I will definitely not let that go to waste.
Favorite thing about breakaway? The adrenaline, the rush. So many things have to go right so fast for you to get the W! And it is so cool when you get to be in that one-second margin. Talk about a cheesy grin plastered on your face when it all comes together.
How do you mentally prepare before competing? I make jokes that I’m kind of a loner and honestly, I will always carry on a conversation at anytime but I like to seclude myself. Envision my run, mentally make that picture perfect run over and over. Practice that calf going left practice him taking a step to the right. I walk in the box look at my calf watch him for a second turn around let my horse settle with their nose in the corner pick my rope up get a few aggressive swings then take a big deep slow breath close my eyes while I turn my horse around slowly back into the corner sit as still as possible I do not want to miscue my horse by wiggling around and miss my start. Breathe and be patient for my horse and calf to be standing correct, then it is game on.
Favorite place to be entered and why? Northside AKA Fort Worth Stockyards. I’ve roped my fastest times which are a 1.5 and a 1.7 there and it’s lightning fast!!
What do you feel is the most challenging aspect of breakaway roping? The start – hands down, that dictates everything in the run. I take it in steps – watch my cattle ping the barrier, take my shot, no second guesses. Trust myself and my horse. It’ll all come together.
Who or what inspires you and why? My dad, Robby, my son, Boone, and my fiancé, Luke. My dad and his work ethic is something I have always looked up to. His example of what a provider for a family is exactly what it should be. My son, because he brings me such joy and brightens every single day and drives me to provide the best life for him I possibly could. My fiancé has come into my life at a very trying time and been my rock who always pushes me to be the very best and has become an amazing role model for my son.
Who is your rodeo idol and why? It is without question, Shot Branham. He took me under his wing and taught me what it was like to be a hand with a horse and a hand with a rope. A one of a kind man and a best friend till the end, a true cowboy.
Tell me about your horses: Well, many people know I have a buckskin stud I call Cisco and I owe almost all of my success to that big hunk. I also have a little baby mare I call Smash. She goes back to Doc Tom Tucker. I’ve owned her since she was a green 3-year-old, she is now 12 years old. I have trained and seasoned her in everything. Head, heel, breakaway, barrels, and the best outside horse you’ll ever have. Doctor or sort, she can do it all.It makes winning the California’s Richest so much sweeter winning it on a horse I trained myself.
Any roping or rodeo goals? I’d love to win The Daddy of ‘Em All.
Career goals? I am hopeful one day they will add breakaway to the NFR in December and it sure would be a dream come true to be able to be among the top 15 in the world!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Roping and still killin it! Well... I hope!
Give me four things on your bucket list: I’d like to visit Alaska; enter Cheyenne in the breakaway; qualify for the American; have all my laundry put up and away at one point in my life, hahahaha!
Any closing comments or anything you would like readers to know? A huge thanks to Danielle Craig for such a good roping. Cactus Saddlery and Cactus Ropes – if y’all haven’t tried the Hooey CoreTX you’re really missing out. Darrick Hoskins, MY Cars, for the saddle sponsorship. Can’t wait til next year.
Kara Moody with her saddle from California's Richest All Girl Breakaway.
Kara Moody competing on her all around mare, Smash. Head, heel, breakaway, barrels, doctoring, you name it, Smash is Kara’s go-to mount.