Nine-year-old INFR Women’s Barrel Racing Champion and Colville tribal member Rocksie Marchand recently competed at The American Rodeo in Fort Worth, Texas, this past month all due to big dreams and little spurs.
The 63 & ½ pound Native girl gets the job done. How?
Good old-fashion hard work.
“I had a great experience. It was fun and exciting,” she said. “It would be nice to live there because there is no snow and I could ride all the time.”
For Rocksie Marchand The American Rodeo was just another ride.
Miss Rocksie qualified for The American Rodeo in women’s barrel racing after winning the 2017 Indian National Finals Rodeo (INFR) women’s barrel racing competition last November in Las Vegas, Nevada, taking home a saddle, buckle, and a handful of eagle feathers.
“There were lots of people and it was fast and slow.” She giggles over the phone.
“Fast and slow?” I asked.
“Yes, fast because there were lots of people and slow because there was lots of waiting.”
Winning the INFR also qualifies Rocksie for 2018 The Rodeo All-Star at the National Western Events Center in Denver, Colorado, April 13 and 14.
Rocksie and Roo practice during the winter months by training at the Creston Equestrian Center’s indoor facility. With three weeks off school and a thick packet of homework, she was ready to roll.
“I was able to complete all of my homework with an added week and a half after I got home.” After winning the INFR, Rocksie had to give a lecture to her classmates about her time in Nevada. She was relieved that was not a requirement this go-round.
Both Rocksie and Roo and family stayed at friend Dale Moomaw’s ranch in Weatherford, Texas, which was thirty minutes from the Fort Worth arena. That suited Rocksie as she said, “Dale cooked breakfast and we made chocolate chip cookies.” That was a bonus!
On Rocksie’s first qualifying ride, she and Roo hit the second barrel, and two days later in a buyback round where competitors have the opportunity to repay their entrance fee for a second try at qualifying, Roo turned the first barrel a bit too wide. Both rides knocked her out of The Americas.
“The first barrel was okay.” A heavy sigh buzzes over the line. The hit barrel, “Kinda got me down,” Rocksie said. “But I kept moving forward.” All in all, Rocksie is proud of her accomplishments. And she should be.
Rocksie’s fastest time was 15.022. She plans on working hard and returning to The American Rodeo in the future. I’d say her future looks bright.
While young girls look up to Rocksie, the professional barrel racer she favors is Fallon Taylor. She first saw Taylor at the Omak Stampede in Washington State.
Rocksie says, “Everything about The Americas was fun and exciting.”
This summer, I plan to hook up with the duo and write a children’s book entitled, Rocksie and Roo, under Rocksie’s supervision, of course. The book is now a part of her “schedule:”
- Train ponies
- Have fun
- Work on book
A portion of the proceeds will to Rocksie’s college fund and travel expenses.
Rocksie and Roo will ride in the Rodeo All-Star:
Rodeo Semi-Finals 1 | Date: April 13, 2018 | Time: 7:00 p.m.
Rodeo Semi-Finals 2 | Date: April 14, 2018 | Time: 2:30 p.m.
Rodeo FINALS | Date: April 14, 2018 | Time: 7:00 p.m.
Follow Rocksie and Roo: Facebook
Ticket’s for Rodeo All-Star