Cox, locals ready for rodeo nationals

Published 12:01 am Saturday, July 5, 2014

0705 spt Casey Cox

Casey Cox competes in an earlier rodeo this season. | Courtesy photo

Casey Cox loves the thrill and adrenaline rush she gets when pulling the trigger of a rifle.

The Red Level native and ninth grader at Crossroads Christian will be experiencing the same thrill at the 2014 National High School Finals Rodeo in Rocky Springs, Wyo. July 13-19.

Cox has been shooting for the past two years, but tried her hand at shot guns in February.

“I love the thrill, the adrenaline rush it gives me,” she said.

At the NHSFR, Cox will be the only girl from Alabama competing in the light rifle and trap shooting events.

Cox and her family will hit the road on Wednesday for the long journey across the United States.

Such a long journey can cost a lot of money, and Cox said she’s currently raising money to help defray the cost of the trip.

The NHSFR features more than 1,500 contestants from 42 states, five Canadian Provinces and Australia, and is the world’s largest rodeo. Additionally, contestants will be competing for more than $200,000 in prizes, along with $350,000 in college scholarships and the chance to be named NHSFR National Champion.

Cowboys and cowgirls must finish in the top 20 based on their combined times/scores in the first two rounds to advance to the final round on July 19.

National champions are determined by their three-round scores.

Cox said she’s excited to be going, but did say that she is also nervous.

“I feel pretty confident,” she said. “But, I’m nervous going out there.”

Cox is the daughter of Rodney and Susan Cox of Red Level.

Other locals competing at the NHSFR are Florala’s Chase Hargrove, who will compete in bareback riding; Andalusia’s Gus Maraman, who will compete in tie down; Straughn’s Jordan Whitman and Dustin Hyson, who will compete in team roping; and Sparta’s Bailey O’Ferrell, who will compete in pole bending, goat tying, barrel racing and cutting.