Cougar Cowgirl: Daddy of ’em All

Josie Goodrich will compete Saturday after making top 12 in wildcard round


Josie Goodrich and Ruby winning third out of 140 girls in the Wildcard Round at the Cheyenne Frontier Days in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

JOSIE GOODRICH, Reporter/Copy Editor

Well, the Daddy of ‘em All has not disappointed me yet. 

As I mentioned in my last article, I am currently in Cheyenne, Wyo., at the Cheyenne Frontier Days, better known as the Daddy of ‘em All.

This is its 126th anniversary, one of the biggest and most sought out rodeos of the year for all cowboys and cowgirls. To be able to succeed here is so exciting, let alone even compete here.

The unique thing about Cheyenne is the score. I explained in my last article what the barrier is and how you have to see the calf out of a chute before you can start your run. It is usually a 2 to 4-foot range. However, here in Cheyenne, the barrier is set at 30 feet.

That means you have to let your calf get pretty far out in front of you before you can even think about going, making the times much longer and the run more difficult. 

All 200 breakaway ropers who entered got the chance to rope in the qualifying round on Tuesday, where they were split into two sections of 100. In each group of 100, the top 30 get to come back in the performances next week for a shot at another calf and winning some moola.

I was in the first section of 100, 96 actually, and I roped my calf in 5.8 seconds. He was a quick lil’ sucker and was not waiting around for me by any means. 

With four girls left to go, I was sitting 29 immediately after my run. I did not think that I would even be in the top 30 with that long of a run, and I honestly thought that with four girls left to go my odds of making it were not too bad. 

I was thinking to myself, “please do not let these next four girls move me.” This is a rodeo I have dreamed about competing in forever, and I finally had my shot to make it back to the performances. 

The girl immediately after me had a run in the four-second range. Then the second girl missed. Then another miss. One girl left to go, I am holding my breath and begging the odds worked in my favor as I sit on the literal line of 30. 

She had a five-second run, just a tick faster than mine. So I was out. I felt so discouraged and thought, “of course, I would be the one who is just one hole out of making it back.”

But my chances were not over. All 140 girls who did not make it back the first day got a chance the next day, Wednesday, in the wildcard round. However, out of 140 girls, only the top 12 get to come back to the performances.

I knew that the odds were not great. I actually only had a 0.085% chance of making it back, so I kinda just planned on roping the best that I could and hoping it was fast enough.

The wildcard round brought the scorching hot heat. With a broken arena record of 3.0 seconds and a ton of 3-second runs, which is very uncommon in Cheyenne, everyone was slinging their ropes and going balls to the walls. 

My turn came at 76, a little over halfway through, with a lot of tough girls still to go. I drew a good calf, but I knew I needed to be on the barrier, whether I broke out or not if I wanted a chance to make it back.

I nodded my head and started to let Ruby do her thing when I heard the guy behind me telling me to slow down. Ruby is running at ‘em and I am trying to pull her up just enough to make it by the barrier, but there really was not much I could do at that point.

I caught up quickly, took my shot as I approached and pulled my slack. I’m surprised I did not give myself whiplash for how fast I turned my head around to see if I broke the barrier, so much to the point I really did not even stop my horse after I roped.

Awesomely enough, I was clean at the barrier with a time of 3.4 seconds, just four-tenths of a second off the arena record. I split third and fourth place out of 140 girls and made it back to the Saturday performance at the Daddy of ‘em All.

I tried to act cool, but the grin I had could be seen from a mile away. This is my first big rodeo, and for the goals I have set for myself, this is exactly what I was hoping I would get out of it.

All in all, Cheyenne has treated me nicely so far. I have potentially — and hopefully — three runs left, but one for sure on Saturday. 

I am sweaty, tired and have nothing to do for the next two days until my performance, but I would rather be here in this trailer than on my way back to Oregon.

Last Friday in Chelan I won second in the round with a 2.9-second run, keeping me at my number two spot in the Columbia River Circuit. 

I am so happy with how far my roping has come, and every time I do well I look forward to writing about it and keeping you all up to date on my journey. 

Next week I hope I can tell you that I did good in my performance and am coming back to the semifinals. Until then, tune in Saturday night live on the Cowboy Channel to watch the Cougar Cowgirl get it done at the Daddy of ‘em All.