The 4-H Club strives to teach youth life skills such as communication and responsibility. More often than not, youth indirectly pick up some extra life skills along their journey. Brady Higdon is an example of just that. Brady, a Marion County 4-H Horse Project Group member, is also a roper turned saddle bronc rider. After some discussion with individuals not familiar with the sport of rodeo, Brady realized he could be an advocate for the sport and educate people along the way. While spreading his love of rodeo and saddle bronc riding, the opportunity presented itself for Brady to compete in the 4-H Horse Communications Contest. This required dedication like no other. Researching, writing, and memorizing his 11-minute speech while remaining active in Horse Club and Honor Club showed this young man’s dedication. Due to his hard work, Brady won the State Horse Communications Contest, earning him the right to compete at several national-level contests, including the All-American Quarter Horse Congress in Columbus, Ohio. Brady delivered a near-flawless presentation at Congress, earning him a second-place finish against competitors from across the nation.
While medals and recognition are great, Brady is most proud of the fact he was introduced to and able to network with several well-known individuals in the rodeo and Quarter Horse world who heard his speech. He also realizes he has brought a voice to the world of rodeo and advocated for it on a national platform.
We always say, “Hard work pays off.” If you don’t believe it, ask youth like Brady Higdon. Success stories are always earned, not given.