News

Fit to be tied

With the help of her horse Tequila, Megan Corey is ranked No. 4 in the collegiate rodeo ranks for goat tying. He’s wearing the saddle she won for being on top of the Grand Canyon Region’s goat tying ranks at the end of the college season. - Photo by Sean Lamphere
With the help of her horse Tequila, Megan Corey is ranked No. 4 in the collegiate rodeo ranks for goat tying. He’s wearing the saddle she won for being on top of the Grand Canyon Region’s goat tying ranks at the end of the college season.
— image credit: Photo by Sean Lamphere

For a top-ranked collegian, Megan Corey is enjoying a few quiet days at home in Bremerton to rest and relax. Soon she’ll be back on the road, heading east to Casper, Wy., for her third-straight trip to the College National Finals which gets underway on June 11.

It’s not a trip she planned on making. After she transferred at the start of the 2005-06 school year from Cochise College in Arizona to New Mexico State University on a scholarship to compete in rodeo and study animal science, the school decided to slash the rodeo team’s funding. It did fund travel to the 10 regular-season rodeos, but when it came time for the national finals the school decided it was up to the qualifiers to pay their own way.

“We’re ending up paying for everything, including mileage at $3.30 per gallon for diesel,” the 2003 Olympic High School grad said on Monday. “I wasn’t going to go because I’ve been twice (finishing 40th in 2004 and 45th in 2005 in goat tying). But I promised my parents I would go if I won the regional title.”

And win the title is what she did. After taking third in 2004 and second in 2005, Corey dominated the 2006 Grand Canyon Region standings by finishing with 893 points. Teammate Julie Etchegaray was in a distant second with 769. Points are accumulated throughout the season so that each rodeo counts evenly toward a national finals bid for the top three finishers in each of the 11 regions.

Those points place her fourth in the country behind the University of Idaho’s Tobi Osburn (1,880.5), Northeastern Junior College’s Tanaye Carroll (930) and National American University’s Jessica Painter (915).

After surviving the tough regional competition made up of teams from universities and colleges in Arizona and New Mexico, Corey says she knows what to do in the finals. “I’ve got to tie a couple of sevens (seconds to finish their goat tying run) or sixes and I’ll win easily.”

In goat tying, a rider charges up on their horse to a goat which is tied to a stake. The rider has to leap off their horse, grab the goat, flip it and tie up its feet. A clean score is made if the goat can’t stand up after it has been tied within six seconds. That’s what has hurt Corey’s scores at her previous finals and fueled her need to have an eight-hour daily practice routine.

“This year will be better because this is the second time I’ve taken Tequila (her horse) who is doing really good this year,” she said. “But once you get in the finals, everyone is equal. It’s all how you do under pressure.”

To alleviate that pressure, she brought back four ornery goats, including three from her boyfriend’s grandmother’s herd. They’re tough to get out of their pen, much less want to be tied up after being charged by a horse at full gallop.

“My goal is to make it back to the short round (at the college finals),” she said. “I have a good chance to win it all since I’ve been consistent all year.”

EMAIL NEWSLETTERS

Latest news, top stories, and community events,
delivered to your inbox.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the latest Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Sep 26 edition online now. Browse the archives.