Cougar Cowgirl: Wrapping up the Season

Read Josie’s thoughts about rookie season coming to end



Josie Goodrich and Ruby placing fifth at Pendleton Round-Up

JOSIE GOODRICH, Reporter/Copy Editor

As my rookie season comes to an end, I am happy to say I accomplished my one goal for the summer: make the Columbia River Circuit Finals.

I breakaway roped a little bit during my freshman year of high school, but I stopped rodeoing for a few years and did not care about the sport much. Then, my senior year, I started rodeoing but was only focused on my barrel racing.

During my freshman year of college, I was not too concerned with roping either. However, last year I decided I wanted to give it a little bit of a shot. I still was not practicing every day or entering every rodeo, but I gave it more of a chance.

However, this year I really applied myself and dove headfirst into the breakaway world. As a rookie this year I definitely accomplished a lot of great things, especially considering this was my first time really applying myself.

Because I am a girl and have outrageously high expectations, the things I accomplished this year were not quite enough for my standards. But, I need to take a step back and look at my growth as a whole.

I hit the Columbia River Circuit rodeos hard, spending almost all of my time practicing and traveling, and spending thousands of dollars chasing this dream. I mean, I seriously blew through my savings. 

I started the year with the goal of making my very first circuit finals, which is not an easy thing to do in your first year. I placed at a handful of rodeos, getting big and small checks.

I won my first check of the season at one of the first rodeos in Grand Coulee, where I also won second in barrel racing. 

Then, I won breakaway checks in Newport and Lakeview, Oregon, Meridian, Idaho, Big Fork, Montana, and in Cheney and Chelan, Washington

I won the Women’s All-Around buckle in Newport for winning the most money of someone entered in two events, and I split the win in La Pine, Oregon, also getting a buckle there. 

I went to the biggest rodeo I have ever gone to, which was the Cheyenne Frontier Days in Cheyenne, Wyoming, where I competed against 120 of the top breakaway ropers and placed third. 

Likewise, at the Pendleton Round-Up in Pendleton, Oregon, last weekend, I placed fifth against 100 of the best ropers.

Ruby gave me her all with every single run, and I would not have been able to win what I did with certain calves or in certain setups if it weren’t for her amazing abilities. She is such a little rocket and loves her job, which makes every run so much more special with her. 

I barrel-raced on Keeper a little bit, but not as much as I did last year because I wanted to focus on my roping. Keeper won us a few checks here and there, and I seriously love that horse for always giving me such a fun ride. 

That being said, I would not have had the season I had without all of the support I got from my parents, traveling partners and friends. It takes a lot of encouragement and help to travel and compete this much, so I am extremely thankful for the people helping me in and out of the arena. 

I went to 30-something rodeos, which is half as much as girls who full-time rodeo go to. I am excited to go hard in the next year or two and see what it is all about, but I am definitely a bit nervous. 

All summer I have been going to rodeos in the Columbia River that count for the circuit finals, which takes the top 12 money earners at the end of the year to compete for more money and the chance to rope at the NFR Open. 

I ended the season with $7,104.89 in circuit money, putting me sixth overall in the circuit. One girl above me did not go to enough rodeos to get her rodeo count, so that puts me fifth high call coming into the circuit finals in Redmond, Oregon, on October 20. 

I have the next couple weeks off, and I definitely am in need of a break. I am excited to spend some more time in Pullman with my friends and go to my first football game on Saturday. I probably won’t be roping the dummy this weekend, so don’t tell my dad.