MEGAN MORRISON - A Shift in Priorities
If you find yourself at a WSTR Qualifier anywhere near Colorado, our cover girl Megan Morrison, is the one to watch. She’s been tearing it up, roping in a total of $11,135, at just three recent WSTR events.
One year ago, two weeks after she had her daughter, Morrison entered her first World Series Qualifier. That wouldn’t be so unusual, had she not been on bed rest for the final two and a half months of her pregnancy. And before getting pregnant, she spent six months sidelined from a discectomy (surgery for two ruptured discs in her lower back). Before all of that, she was just too young to enter.
Originally from Rock Springs, Wyo., Morrison, 24, now calls Eaton, Colo., home. Her husband, Mark, is a civil engineer and professional team roper. They have a 1-year-old daughter, Clancy, who might be partially to blame for Megan’s recent success in the arena.
“Clancy is definitely my priority now, my family comes first, and roping comes second. I don’t know, maybe that helps, because I’m not overthinking my roping as much as I used to. She’s a good distraction.”
In 2006, Morrison (Schrock), was the National High School Rodeo Association Breakaway Champion and spent the next four years on the rodeo team for Casper College in Casper, Wyo. Her life-long rodeo roots run deep, and she would occassionally prefer backing in the box in the breakaway, making fast rodeo runs or running barrels, but nonetheless, Morrison is more than content with the way the jackpot team roping world is treating her right now.
“I used to try and jackpot like I rodeoed—FAST—and it just didn’t work out for me. Yes, I might win a fast time, but rarely did I make a short round. In the last year I’ve really focused on differentiating between the two types of runs. Slow down and be consistent at jackpots, and take my first good shot at the rodeo.
“Out of everything that I’m capable of doing, I feel like I’m the most competitive roping. I’ve been the most successful at it, and for me personally, I enjoy doing things that I’m better at versus something that I’m not as good at.”
Morrison has a promising barrel racing prospect on the side, but when it comes to team roping, she definitely doesn’t need to worry about whether or not she’s ‘good enough.’ A #5 header, and a #4+ on the heel side, she can easily rope both ends.
“Heeling is a ton of fun if you’re catching, but I definitely feel like I’m much more consistent heading, which stands to reason because that’s what I focus on most.”
Consistency has literally paid off for Morrison, who will be heading to her first World Series Finale this December. Her game plan is simple.
“If I do my part and go left on every steer, I’m very confident that my heelers will do their job.”
Her overall roping philosophy, “You have no control over other people, the steers, the weather, just yourself, so be the best you can be and let the cards fall where they may. And, most importantly, have fun. If you’re not having fun then why are you doing it?”
JODY SARCHETT - A Lifelong Passion
As Vice President and shareholder at Lovitt & Touché, Inc., one of the largest regional insurance brokerage firms in the Southwest, Jody Sarchett, of Desert Hills, Ariz., has not forgotten her passion of horses, roping and competing. She recently took home $14,135 at the WSTR Dynamite Arena Title Fights in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Sarchett (formerly Petersen) grew up in the small town of Three Forks, Mont., (her mom is renowned saddle maker, Nancy Petersen of Three Forks Saddlery) and it’s not at all surprising she found herself in Texas, competing first at Vernon Regional Junior College and then on the Tarleton State University rodeo team. She is a three-time National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association Texas Region Breakaway Champion, and qualified for the College National Finals Rodeo in the team roping in 1997, winning the reserve champion title.
Before heading to college, Sarchett graduated high school early and spent three months in Japan working for a Wild West show.
“I did every event. I was one of only two people who could rope. We were in this dinky little arena trying to rope a dairy calf, and if you missed, you circled around until you caught. We performed, rain or shine, at least five days a week.”
She married team roper, Nick Sarchett, who is a past NFR qualifier and AQHA World Champion, and now works as a sales rep for EquiBrand, Corp., BEX Sunglasses and Cowgirl Tuff/B. Tuff. They have one son, Ryker, 5, who is starting to compete at local youth rodeos.
With a demanding career that requires 50-plus hours of work a week and a vast array of night and weekend client commitments, as well as acting on the board of directors for Homeward Bound, a local non-profit that assists homeless and abused women with children, and being a full-time mom herself, it’s next to impossible to find time for the practice pen, but if you’ve never seen Jody Sarchett rope, there’s no one with more intensity and grit.
“Since I don’t get to practice a lot, when I compete I really focus on my mindset. You have to be aggressive and not be afraid to miss. I’ve really worked at being consistent and taking smart shots, but also not safety-ing up. I find I do worse the more I safety up, the more I swing. I like the World Series start because I can be aggressive on the line, get out and be on ’em. I’m more comfortable in that phase, as opposed to running them down the arena.”
In 2012 Sarchett finished third in the WSTR Finale #13 with Paul Brashears, collecting a sweet $61,500—the most she’s won at a single event—but she continues to win paycheck after paycheck, weekend after weekend. More importantly, she uses the sport as a break from the harsh demands of her career.
“Roping is a release for me, it’s something that I really enjoy, and I enjoy the social aspect. I don’t take it for granted. When I get to go to a roping it’s such a fun experience, I’m just excited to be there, and that I’m able to compete.”
NIKKIE GOSNEY - Keep On, Keeping On
Nikkie Gosney, of Scottsdale, Ariz., is the kind of woman you’d want in your corner—the corner of the heading box that is.
A calm, collected attitude has taken Gosney to the pay window at countless World Series events, including her biggest win at the 2013 #12 Finale where she earned $26,500 with Colorado heeler, Wade Masters. Most recently, she split $20,000 at the Dynamite Arena Title Fights in Scottsdale, Ariz., winning the #13 with long-time friend and team roping partner, Kyon Sayer.
“I’ve roped my entire life,” said Gosney, whose parents, Larry and MaraShane Miller, produced team ropings in Nevada. Her family also ranched in Austin, Nev., and farmed in nearby Fallon.
Learning to rope around guys like Speed Williams, Allen Bach and Jake Barnes, she developed the confidence and skills to rope in the higher-number ropings early on, and she enjoys the speed that comes with competing at that level. And, while she might have those partners lined up, perhaps her favorite, now, is competing with her 14-year-old son, Robert, who she ropes with in the #8.
“Now that my son is roping, I’ve really enjoyed the #8 (Warm-ups) at the World Series because I’ve gotten to rope with him and we’ve had some good wins.”
For the Gosneys, roping is a family affair. Nikkie’s husband Ross is a #6 header and she rides his horse, Lex, in the #12 and #13 ropings, and it’s that horse that helps keep her the cool competitor she’s known to be.
“He keeps things a little tighter, and facing he picks up an extra second or two. In the higher-number ropings, he’s just so much better for me to rope on. I have my horse, JJ, that I ride in the lower-numbers. Well, really, Ross kicks me off his horse when he ropes,” she laughed.
Gosney recently had her number raised, but she doesn’t even think twice about it. In fact, she has some sound advice if you’re ready to take your roping to the next level.
“I got my number raised, and to me it’s not a big deal. Now I’m going to rope to be a #5+ and if they make me that, I want to be a #6. I’d say, don’t be intimidated by your number. And, don’t be afraid to ask people to rope. I think that happens a lot, especially with females. People aren’t always telling you, ‘No,’ because they don’t want to rope with you, they might actually be full. Say, ‘That’s ok,’ and just ask the next guy. The only way you reach that point is to keep asking, keep entering and keep roping.”