Cougar Cowgirl: The Instigators

She watched her parents compete, competed with them; Josie now shares their help with her dreams



Josie with her parents Brad and Jodi, younger brother Gator and horse Keeper at the 2020 National High School Finals Rodeo in Guthrie, Oklahoma.

JOSIE GOODRICH, Reporter/Copy Editor

I love talking about myself. Who doesn’t? The whole reason I started this column was so I could share my life with everyone and talk about my rodeos, my horses, when I win and unfortunately even when I don’t win. 

After a month and a half of talking about myself and sharing my life with you, I figured I should talk about someone else … boring, I know. (Kidding).

I grew up with parents who rodeo, so it was self-explanatory that I was going to grow up in rodeo and being involved in this type of lifestyle. So with that being said, I want to use my column this week to talk about the people that made this lifestyle possible: my parents. 

Side note, I sat here for about 10 minutes trying to figure out what to say and how to start this article because there are so many things I could say about my parents, mostly good. 

For starters, my dad is a tie-down roper and my mom is a barrel racer and breakaway roper, just like me. My parents were team-roping partners in high school and after a handful of years rodeoing in their own separate lives, they eventually came together to be the dynamic duo that they are.

My dad has made it to the National Finals Rodeo on six different occasions in the tie-down roping, which is where my dreams of making the NFR have stemmed from. I have actually already been on the stage at the NFR with my dad when I was a baby, so I basically am already famous. 

Tie-down roping is the same concept as breakaway roping in terms of scoring, swinging the rope and then roping the calf. I cannot begin to ever thank my dad for teaching me how to rope and being hard on me from the time I started roping to this exact day. 

When I was first learning how to rope he always told me that I had to throw my rope before a certain mark in the arena, and if I couldn’t, I had to just come back and try it again. When I was little and learning how to rope I was mad because most of the time I could not throw that fast and thought that it was impossible for anyone.

However, now, you cannot even ask me to try and throw further down the length of the arena. By implementing in me at a young age to get my gosh darn rope out of my hands I am so much more competitive and confident in throwing my rope fast.

Not only does my dad drive all of the day shifts, night shifts, and pretty much every shift, but he is willing to help anyone in the rodeo world. Any cowboy or cowgirl that needs a place to sleep, practice, hold their horses, leave their trailer. etc., is welcome at our house by my dad without ever asking for a penny in exchange.

My dad will stand in the box with anyone that asks, he will give advice on the best way to enter certain rodeos, he will tell you to your face that you need a new horse because the one you have sucks, but he does it all because he wants to help everyone.

Okay Mom, your time has come. 

I am struggling with where to start because there is nothing my mom has not done for me. When I quit rodeoing in high school and randomly decided one day that I wanted to start again, my mom was immediately on the phone trying to find a barrel horse for me.

She wanted to find a horse that was going to be great, so she did just that. Once we got my new barrel horse, Keeper, she drove me to every single barrel race, qualifier and national finals event there was so I could chase my dreams with this horse.

Here is an example. A few years ago I was trying to qualify for the Jr. World Finals, and we had a qualifier at my very own house in Stanfield, Oregon. Do not even ask me how, but I made one of the worst barrel runs of my life and did not qualify, in my own arena! 

I was so upset and bummed that I blew the perfect chance to qualify for the Jr. World Finals on my home turf, that my mom dropped all of her weekend plans and drove me seven hours the very next weekend to Pocatello, Idaho, to try and get me qualified. 

I ended up winning the qualifier and a few months later she drove me down to Fort Worth, Texas, to compete in the finals. That same year we went to Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Guthrie, Oklahoma, chasing my dreams of being a barrel racer.

Then, when my horse was not on his A-game during the college rodeo season, she let me ride her insanely nice NFR barrel horse because she wants me to succeed more than I even want to. I also pretty much stole my dad’s old rope horse, which is now my baby, Ruby. 

Not only have my parents helped me do everything and anything they can do to support my dreams, but they still professionally rodeo themselves. I grew up watching my parents compete in professional rodeos, and now we all get to travel and compete together, which has been an experience I would never trade for the world. 

There is so much more I would love to share about my awesome parents who give up so much time, money and patience for me to rodeo and chase my dreams, but I would never be able to stop talking about them.