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WHSRA Meet the Member: Dax Cathcart
Meet the Member
story by Ruth Nicolaus
Dax Cathcart has no choice. With a dad who bulldogs, and an excellent bulldogging horse, steer wrestling is the best and only rodeo event for him.
But that’s OK by the 18 year old cowboy, who is a member of the Wyoming High School Rodeo Association.
He rides what he considers the best horse that’s ever been on the Cathcart place, a 16- year-old bay named Easy. Easy was a ranch horse in Nebraska, and Dax’s dad steer wrestled off of him first, before handing Easy off to Dax. “We’ve had him since he was eight,” Dax says, “and we’ve had some outstanding offers for him, but I’m about to go to college next year, and dad likes to have him around, so he’ll stay on the place.”
The horse is a natural, and very athletic, Dax says. “He puts you where you need to be so much faster than a lot of horses do. If I have a steer that runs pretty hard, a lot of guys will catch him in the five (second) hole, and I’ll catch him in the three-hole.” The horse is an easy keeper, but reserved around strangers. “He’s got to get to know you before he lets you touch him a lot. He doesn’t like just anybody touching him. He knows me and my dad pretty good, and we have a good bond with him. He’s not mean to other horses, he just doesn’t like people he doesn’t know in his face.”
Dax, who lives in Carpenter, Wyo., is a senior at Cheyenne East High School. There are a lot of different cliques in high school, but Dax hangs out with the rodeo kids and the athletic crowd, since he used to wrestle. His favorite classes are wood shop and welding classes, mainly because he’s a hands-on type of guy. “I like hands on with objects, not the paper and pencil kind of stuff.”
Last year, his parents took him to the Wrangler National Finals for two performances, which was a good time. The family is friends with several of the ’13 Wrangler NFR contestants, which made it more fun. They’re debating a second trip this year, but his parents may take him on a senior trip to Mexico instead.
Dax competed at the Wyoming High School State Finals his freshman and sophomore years. He didn’t compete last summer, due to a blown-out knee. It was at the Newcastle High School rodeo that he missed a steer and tore his ACL, MCL, and meniscus in his left knee. He had surgery in June, and by January of next year, will be back to competition.
He is a welder in the Skills USA competitions, and in his spare time, likes to hunt coyotes, snowboard, and fish for rainbow trout at Granite Lake.
Dax is considering college at Tarleton State in Stephenville, Texas, or at Northwestern Oklahoma State in Alva. He’d like to study to be a diesel mechanic.
He has an older sister, Lainie, who also competed in high school rodeo. He is the son of Dan and Annette Cathcart.