Instant cowgirl, just add 'try'
by Julie CarterIt's been a long, windy road from youth rodeo to high school competition and on to college rodeos. But now, it's all behind her.
Capitan, New Mexico cowgirl Staci Stanbrough has graduated from New Mexico State University College of Agriculture with Crimson honors and a trail of rodeo titles, belt buckles and championship saddles behind her as far as the eye can see.
Staci is headed to grad school, but her college rodeo eligibility is up and her desire for more of the rodeo road is gone. She's retiring.
She said the cost of fuel presents the first big reason to throw her hat in the closet and call it "the end." With no ranch to go home to and no cattle to work, she said her horses would have nothing to do.
"So why not just sell it all as a package deal? Another family could be ready to go next weekend," she said with a laugh.
Perhaps eBay, Craig's List or even Thrifty Nickel would bring her the buyer she wants.
"Complete rodeo package for sale: 2006 Dodge pickup current on oil changes, runs like a dream. Behind it, pull your own four-horse Sooner trailer. All the lights and the air conditioner works.
"Also in the package, one barrel horse, getting up there in age but she can still shag fanny and one gelding that can do it all - breakaway roping, goat tying and more.
"Package comes complete with trophy roping saddles, barrel saddles, saddle pads, goat strings, rope can (including ropes, some old, some new), bell boots, splint boots, skid boots, mud boots, headstalls, tie downs,
bits, whips, spurs, hoof pick, vet wrap, Bute paste, and other vet supplies. "Also included: duct tape, bailing wire, W-D 40, horse brushes, flashlights, water buckets of all sizes, water hose, blankets, halters, zip ties, fishing poles, folding chairs, rain coats, tire iron, spare tire, hydraulic jack...and many more item.
"P.S. Dog not included, must buy your own. Barry gets to stay with me."
Staci didn't wake up one day and become a champion cowgirl or a Crimson scholar.
What makes her a success is that she gives everything she does 110 percent.
She graduated with the highest honors from the NMSU College of Agriculture, was named Outstanding Student, had a 4.0 gpa and was on the Dean's List for five years running. Staci didn't ever know what it was like to get a grade lower than an A.
She excelled in the rodeo arena and her skills as an ambassador for the sport landed her other honors and titles with the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association.
Staci Stanbrough has wasted not one minute of her life. She is an inspiration and role model, not just for those following behind her, but for those looking back at her.
While this cowgirl is sincere about purging her life of rodeo for now, there are thousands of former hands, most not as successful as she, that know when it's in your blood, it never really goes away.
Whether she ever steps foot in a rodeo arena again or not really doesn't matter. The point is, she has figured out the formula for success. Cowgirl "try" is not for sale.
Julie can be reached for comment at email@example.com
Each year I give an original Curtis Fort bronze to the all around cowboy and cowgirl at NMSU. To win the DuBois Award you must have scored the highest number of NIRA points in two or more events.
The winner of this years DuBois Award for female athletes is the same Staci Stanbrough that Julie writes about. In addition to her outstanding academic record and her rodeo skills, her counterparts across the nation elected her as the Student President of the NIRA. We've been very proud to have Staci as part of the rodeo program at NMSU.
The DuBois Award was presented ten days ago.