Cherokee Cowboy To Jr. High Nationals
Cherokee eighth grader Brody Cowan is sitting high in the saddle these days.
The local cowboy recently earned the 2022 State Championship in Saddle Bronc Steer Riding competition, and was also recognized by the Iowa Junior High School Rodeo Association as the 2022 Reserve Champion All-Around Cowboy.
Cowan has enjoyed a gratifying year competing in the junior high rodeo circuit, packing his saddle bags full of accomplishments, highlighted by his strong showing at the Iowa Junior High Rodeo Finals in Marshalltown over the past Memorial Day weekend.
Now the Cherokee County cowboy is excited and eager to competed in the National Junior High Finals Rodeo in Perry, Georgia June 19-25.
For area rodeo fans, you can catch Cowan in action streaming live on "Cowboy Channel-Plus."
"I was exposed to rodeo early on in life by my dad (Wade) and my sister (Becca), who both were competitive in high school rodeo," said Cowan. Becca competed in junior high and high school, and today is an accomplished barrel racer at Iowa Lakes Community College.
"Rodeo is something I'd like to continue to compete in throughout high school, college and maybe even someday the pro circuit," noted Cowan.
All early indications are there's no stopping this young cowboy from succeeding and fulfilling his dream.
"You really must have a clear mindset and not be nervous when you're competing," said Cowan. "It's not really any different from other sports in that you have to be confident. Confidence is everything in rodeo," he added.
Cowan competed in wrestling junior high level, and also is involved in the 4H, showing both cattle and sheep. "In our house growing up, rodeo was always kind of a big thing," he said. "So I became very interested at a young age. Now, I get more excited watching rodeo than a football game," he said.
In addition to Cowan's state title in saddle bronc steer riding competition, coupled with his reserve champion all-around honors, the eighth grader was the 2022 Reserve State Champ in bareback steer riding, and was fourth in chute dogging and fourth in boys' breakaway.
In junior high rodeo competition, contestants ride steers rather than bareback horses, for obvious safety precautions. "We use saddle bronc gear, but put the saddles on steers," explained Cowan. "It a safe way to learn without taking the chance of a serious injury riding broncs," he added.
As Cowan prepares for the National Finals in Georgia, he will compete against the top four athletes from 44 states, five Canadian provinces, Australia, Mexico and New Zealand competing for a World Championship Title.
According to the National Junior High Rodeo Association, some 1,200 will compete in the final which is dubbed, "The Largest Youth Rodeo in the World."
Cherokee County says, "Ride 'em Cowboy Cowan."