CHASING DOWN A DREAM: Local cowgirl heads to national rodeo finals
Published 12:05 am Thursday, June 30, 2016
Casey Cox has been around horses ever since she can remember, and now the Sparta Academy junior is heading to Gillette, Wyo., for her third straight trip to the National High School Finals Rodeo with the Alabama National High School Rodeo team.
Cox earned a spot on the Alabama National High School Rodeo team after a strong showing at the Alabama High School Rodeo finals in Andalusia, and will be traveling to Gillette July 17-23 to compete in the 68th annual NHSFR in the girls cutting and trap shooting competitions.
“I’ve pretty much been around horses and rodeo my entire life,” Cox said. “It’s something that I’ve always really loved to do.”
Growing up in Red Level, Cox said that the rodeo is something she has just always known.
“I’ve been riding since before I could walk and started actually competing in the rodeo when I was in seventh grade” Cox said. “Mom jokes that I was born on a horse.”
Cox said the rodeo just came natural to her because it was something that all her family has done.
“My dad used to team rope, mom was on the drill team and my brother was also in the rodeo,” Cox said. “I guess you could say that it’s kind of a family tradition. We will all go to the arena or somewhere and just ride together. It’s a great way to hangout and have fun with the family.”
Cox said that as freshman she set out goals for herself that she is coming close to accomplishing.
“My goal as a freshman was to make it to the national finals all four years,” Cox said. “I’ve done it now for three years, so just one more year to go after this.”
As for the her third trip to the national finals, Cox she is extremely excited to get up there and compete.
“There are some people from all over that come to compete,” Cox said. “It’s fun going up against some of the best competition in the world.”
Cox said besides competing, there is many other opportunities that being in the rodeo allow her to be a part of.
“It’s a lot of fun doing rodeo,” Cox said. “We get to travel all over the place and meet so many new people that share the same interest as you.”
Cox said that she and her family would leave on July 13 in order to make it to the finals on time.
“It’s a 25 hour drive without stopping, but we have to stop a good bit to let the horses out and stuff,” Cox said. “It will take us a couple of days to get up there, but it is well worth the trip. You only get some many opportunities to compete out there.”
Cox said that trip isn’t a cheap one either, and has set up a Go Fund Me account so people could help her out with her trip.
“I’m so blessed to the parents I have that have given me the opportunities to do what I love, but it gets expensive,” Cox said. “My dad and mom have already helped me out so much, and I wanted to branch out and ask for support to get me out there and show off the great state of Alabama.”
Cox’s Go Fund Me account can be found at www.gofundme.com/xc5yb34m.
At the NHSFR, more than 1,650 contestants from 43 states, five Canadian Provinces and Australia will compete for more than $200,00 in prizes and also for more than $350,000 in college scholarships. They are also all competing for the chance to be named NHSFR World Champion.
To earn this title, contestants must finish in the top 20, based on their combined times/scores in the first two rounds to advance to the Saturday evenings final round. World champions will then be determined based on their three-round combined times/scores.
The Saturday championship events will be televised on RFD-TV, and all other performances will be live online at www.NHSRATV.com