Cox headed to rodeo nationals

Published 12:03 am Tuesday, June 23, 2015

When Casey Cox made it to the National High School Rodeo Finals last year, she made it a goal to go for the next three.



Cox will make her second-straight trip to the finals next month, when she’ll be competing in the reined cow horse and trap shooting events at the week-long event, which will be held in Rock Springs, Wyo., July 12-18.

“In my freshman year when I found out I was going, my automatic goal was to go each year,” Cox said. “I’m very excited.”

Cox will be joining 1,500 other contestants from 42 states, five Canadian provinces and Australia at the event.

Cox will be competing in the reined cow horse and trap shooting events.

She said the cow horse event is similar to cutting, but a bit more complex.

“You have to do a horsemanship pattern to show that you can keep your horse collected, and then you have to move a cow around the arena,” Cox said.

There are cones set up around the arena, laying out a pattern that competitors must follow, she said.

“It’s a new high school event,” she said.

Cox said trap shooting is like skeet shooting, and she’ll have 25 rounds to shoot with her 20-gauge shot gun.

At the state rodeo finals last week, Cox finished outside of the qualifying top four in each of her events. However, because those who qualified chose not to go to nationals, Cox took advantage.

Cox just finished her sophomore year at Cross Roads Christian School, a private school in Moody, Ala. She’ll be attending Sparta Academy in Evergreen next year.

The Red Level native will leave for Wyoming on July 8. It takes three days to get to Rock Springs.

Cox said she’s looking forward to meeting other competitors from around the country.

“That was the best part about it last year was meeting so many different people,” she said.

Her goal during nationals is to make it to the short round in the reined cow horse event.

“That would definitely be the best part about it,” she said.

When asked if she still gets nervous, Cox said she does but usually she’ll pray with her best friend, Erica Johnson, before performing.

“I always get nervous going into the arena because I don’t know what the outcome is going to be,” Cox said. “I know that I have God by my side, and He’s going to keep me safe no matter what happens.”

Cox has a GoFundMe account set up to help pay for trip expenses. Go to

“I really just want to thank my parents and thank God to have the opportunity to go back out west this year,” Cox said. “It’s definitely a blessing to be able to rodeo and to be able to see your friends, and to excel. I’m thankful for the support I do have.”

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