Meet the Member Lydia Touchet
story by Siri Stevens Lydia started riding when she was four on a sale barn horse named Peanut. “PawPaw bought him for both my older […]
Louisiana Junior High All Around National Champion Josey (aka Hooter) Murphy had “an awesome Finals.” The 13-year-old from Keatchie, Louis., goes to school with ten other eighth graders – 150 other students in grade 1-12. Her favorite subject is history. “I love how all the stuff was created in the old days and the history of the government and buildings is so unique.” Her least favorite is reading.
She competes in barrels, poles, goats, breakaway and team roping. Her favorite is barrels and goats. “I like barrels because I can go fast and my horses do their best … it’s just fun. I like goats because of the rush of getting off a horse that’s going fast and flanking the goat. It’s super fun.” She likes breakaway too, “I’ve been swinging a rope since I was two, hanging out at the house helping my dad with the cattle. My dad has gotten me some really nice horses.”
Josey, or Hooter as she is fondly called due to her childhood head of hair and squeaky voice, had the All Around wrapped up after the first round. She ended up third in the barrels and second in the breakaway and goats and went home with a new saddle and seven buckles. She was competing with Kamryn Duncan all year for the All Around title. “Kamryn and I are good friends. I wanted her to win and do her best, but at the same time I wanted to win too – it’s not easy.”
Josey is going to Nationals in barrels, breakaway, and goats. This is her first trip to Des Moines. “Last year I hit a barrel in the first round to go to nationals, and missed it by that barrel – I cried for days – it makes me so upset when I was that close and had to start all over. I just wanted to scream.”
After Des Moines, the family will go on vacation to Arkansas. “We go canoeing and hang out in a log cabin with my family.” The family consists of dad, KC, mom, Julie, and older brother, Macon, who competes in the high school division in team roping and calf roping. He is also one of the top 100 guards in the nation in basketball. “I love him, but he can get on my nerves. He will help me if I’m stressing out and can’t figure something out.” Macon’s goal is to go to a college where he can handle a rope and a ball together. Josey is thinking about making a run for the NFR. “I’m not sure, but I know I want to be a cowgirl and go to rodeos and do all the things my mom and dad used to do.”
Josey’s dad is originally from Montana and her mom is from South Texas. They met at a rodeo in Montana and three years later they met in Louisiana and remembered meeting each other before. “They got married and never thought they’d live in Louisiana. They ended up in that very state due to a job that my dad’s father found for him there.”
They have a family ranch that they train horses at, along with a cow operation and a fence company. “It’s a little bit of everything and we get to help a lot of kids rope,” said KC, a former contestant on a CNFR college champion team as well as an amateur world champion calf roper. Julie found her dream job in Louisiana, and was able to retire from teaching. “Tom O’Neal lives two hours from our home and I was offered a job training barrel horses for him and helping his daughters (Claire and Kelly).” The family has around 40 horses at their place in various stages of training.
When Josey isn’t practicing or in school, she spends her time jumping on the trampoline into the pool or riding her pony, Burrito. “I tie goats on him, run barrels, and pull a little cart with him. It’s all just for fun. I’m very fortunate that I have the family, the friends, and the support that I have. I could have all kinds of obstacles, like cancer, or be in a wheelchair, but I don’t and this is a privilege from God. Practice pays off! Even on a pony.”
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