courtesy of SWTJC Rodeo Alumni As Southwest Texas Junior College in Uvalde, Texas celebrates their 60th Anniversary as a National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA) team, […]
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Meet the Member: Liz Posey
courtesy of Ruth Nicolaus
Most rodeo folks don’t do a lot of bragging and college rodeo folks are no exception. Ask them about their rodeo exploits and you might hear passing references to a trip or two to the College Finals Rodeo but you are sure to hear plenty about mishaps, goof ups, and falling flat in the arena.
Elizabeth (Liz) Fitzgerald Posey was meant to be a cowgirl. Her mother was a rodeo queen in Pecos, Texas, and her dad, Johnnie Fitzgerald, trained cutting horses and placed in calf roping, tie down team roping, team roping and steer roping in the Rodeo Cowboys Association (now PRCA) in Texas, Colorado, Utah and Wyoming.
Liz was on the University of Arizona’s women’s team during her freshman and senior years (1961 and 1965) She spent her sophomore year on the women’s team at Sul Ross State University. She competed in barrel racing, goat tying, calf tying, flag race, pole bending, ribbon roping, goat roping and team roping and qualified for the College Finals three times. This is a pretty good resume so when I asked her to tell me the highlights of her college rodeo experience, I expected a long list of buckles won and accolades received but, true to form, there were several mishaps and opportunities to eat a little arena dirt!. I will let her tell you about the “highlights” in her own words.
“Winning within our Southwestern Region was a definite highlight for me. I placed at every rodeo in both goat tying and barrels (unless my dad was flagging, and that’s another story). One of the most interesting rodeos my freshman year was at New Mexico State University. For some crazy reason, I decided to wear my spurs in the goat tying. Not a good idea. I hung my right spur under the saddle skirt and landed on my head, but I learned something …never did that again.”
“My freshman year, I qualified for the CNFR at Colorado Springs as a member of the University of Arizona rodeo team. My dad, known for his ability to teach calf horses to stop, decided to work on my goat-tying horse to get her to stop better. When I stepped off her, she turned her head to the left and our heads collided… knocked me out! But somehow, the goat got tied.”
“The most remembered experience came in my sophomore year when I was on the women’s rodeo team at Sul Ross State University and the rodeo coach forgot to enter me in the CNFR (goat tying, barrel racing and the queen contest) so I didn’t get to participate. To say the least I was disappointed, but it saved a long drive to Corvallis, Oregon.”
“ The most distinguishing event was my senior year. Our University of Arizona Team was recognized as the “oldest women’s rodeo team” at the CNFR in Douglas, Wyoming. Our team members were between 23 and 25. We old ladies held our own at the finals!”
“Qualifying for the CNFR three times was another high. You might ask, “What about your junior year:” I got married and only went to the U of A college rodeo. The greatest highlights from college rodeo were making good friends, safely driving thousands of miles to rodeos, and the performance of my mare, Miss Ann. What an exceptional athlete she was!”
Liz Posey is a retired educator. She has been a teacher, counselor, principal, professor, Dean of Students and Dean, School of Education. Born in Ft. Davis, Texas, she now lives with her husband Bob Posey in Rochelle, Texas. Liz has 5 children, 12 grandchildren, and 3 great-grandchildren.