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Meet the Member Joby Bush
story by Lindsay King
“I think my biggest accomplishments are in front of me still. I have not done everything in rodeo that I want to yet, but I am working on it. My time is coming,” said Joby Bush, Yale, Oklahoma, native. The humble 18-year-old OHSRA tie-down roper knows the sweet taste of success against some stiff competition. Joby found himself roping in the short round of the T McGee’s Fall Frenzy Calf Roping last September against some of the top PRCA calf ropers. “They had a 25-foot score, so you really had to run the calf down and have some horse power. It fit my style and was a lot of fun.”
The athleticism required by horse and human makes calf roping the most challenging and interesting event in Joby’s mind. “You can’t just pick it up; you have to put in a lot of time in the practice pen. You have to work on the fundamentals as well as your mental game to compete at a high level.” His dad was a calf roper, meaning Joby can get expert advice when he hits a slump. In fact, Joby credits his parents, Justin and Shannon, with getting him to the level of rodeo he competes at today. “My parents have sacrificed a lot so I can rodeo. But I also have supportive grandparents on both sides. You need that kind of support to be successful.” Joby’s brother Brayden, 20, also grew up tie-down roping, but has slowed down after recently getting married and as a he works on a bachelor’s degree.
Though Joby’s immediate family has influenced him significantly, Brent Lewis is the guy he works every day to emulate. “He is a smaller guy like me, but he is just a cowboy – he is tough and gritty. He is someone I want to compare myself to one day. He is an outstanding horseman and the kind of guy I want to be when I grow up.” As a senior at Yale High School, Joby has signed to rodeo at Western Oklahoma State College. He has sights set on the NHSFR, but not far from that is the CNFR Joby aspires to compete in next year. “I just want to see how far rodeo will take me and try to win on every level.”
Part of the strategy for achieving that success is Joby’s positivity and faith in God. “The biggest lesson I have learned in rodeo is how important it is to stay on top of your mind. You might miss one calf, but then the very next one you could win it all on.” There is truly nothing Joby would rather be doing than spending his time roping calves. He feels the same about the long weekends away. “The people you meet through rodeo are great. There really isn’t anything better than loading up for a weekend of rodeo with your friends and family.”
Joby said he hears a lot about how the competition in Texas high school rodeo is stiff, but he believes Oklahoma is just as tough. That probably has something to do with how dedicated the athletes are to the single sport. Joby was once a varsity starter for his basketball team, as a freshman, until he decided it was time to completely focus on rodeo. “It has to be too to ride for me to do anything but rope. I do like to hunt and fish, but my favorite thing to do is practice.” Joby feels it is important to be as good outside the arenas as he is inside it.