Cougar Cowgirl: ‘Tis the season

Professional and college rodeoing for 2023 has begun



Joy Wanja-Muraya and Josie Goodrich at the 47th annual Murrow Symposium.

JOSIE GOODRICH, Reporter/Copy Editor

I drove around 17 hours within three days last weekend, and that means rodeo season is back.

April 5–6 was the 47th Murrow Symposium, an event hosted by the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication. This was an amazing event, and I learned so much from experts in the field of journalism about what I can do to be successful.

I had the opportunity to hear from the former executive editor of the Los Angeles and New York Times, Dean Baquet. I even got to tell him all about rodeo and what I do, which is always so fun getting to share with people.

I also had the chance to tell people more in-depth about my trip to Kenya, alongside the other Backpack Journalism Program group members, as we had our own panel at the symposium. We all got to share what we are working on, as well as our highlights of the trip, and I was shocked and thankful at how many people showed up to listen.


Before I continue, I wanted to include a little personal mid-life crisis that happened to me on Monday night, the night before the symposium. This really started a week before Monday, when I decided to let my friend help me dye my hair from bleach blonde to dark brown with a color conditioner.

For about a week, my hair was a beautiful brown, and I loved it. However, after showering on Monday, my hair turned a greenish turquoise — a color I was horrified to see — and I had no idea until I was on campus and a friend said, “what did you do to your hair?!”

After spending way too much money on more hair product, there was nothing I could do to fix my green problem. I eventually had to ask my roommate to cut out the hair extensions that were tied into my hair, and I sprayed my hair brown with a temporary spray for the symposium.

In my mind, this was the absolute worst thing that could have happened to me the night before meeting with experts and being part of a panel, but thankfully I survived (at the cost of five years worth of blonde).

Anyways, after the panel on Wednesday, I got in my little tangerine car and headed back to my hometown so that I could get in some last-minute practicing for a weekend of rodeoing.

Thursday morning, my mom and I headed to Redmond, Oregon, for the first professional rodeo of the season. The rodeo definitely did not go how I hoped considering 1) I have not practiced since October 2022 and 2) my main horse Ruby is out after knee surgery, so I had to ride a horse I had never even sat on until that night.

The next morning at 3:45 a.m., my mom and I drove to my first spring college rodeo, where I also did not do any good. I could name so many reasons as to why I did not do well, but it simply is because I have not practiced as I should have.

I have really tried to be so much more involved with WSU this spring, spending more time doing my assignments and enjoying Pullman as much as I can, so my roping has taken a huge hit.

With about three weeks left in Pullman for my junior year, I am okay with my decision. I have so much more time to rodeo and such little time to enjoy college.

That being said, getting to be back on the rodeo trail last weekend reminded me how much I missed rodeoing, and I am ready for the summer run. I have another college rodeo this weekend in Walla Walla, and I really hope roping the practice dummy will be enough for the Cougar Cowgirl.