On the Trail with Carmen Buckingham
Carmen Buckingham, from Bruneau, Idaho, was on the winning team at the first Women’s Ranch Rodeo team at the Western States Ranch Rodeo in 2013. […]
Josh Peek is heading to the Wrangler NFR for the first time in six years – as the top contender ($116,603.15) in the All Around and sitting in the middle of the pack (7th with $71,396.90 )in the steer wrestling. The 6x WNFR qualifier hasn’t made it back due to a number of factors. “It hasn’t been any one thing,” said the 37-year-old from Pueblo, Colo. “I didn’t have horses for a couple years, and then I took a couple years off to spend with my family,” said the father of twins who welcomed their new baby brother on September 20. “Add to that the injuries -last year I got hurt the first of August.”
He fixed his horse problem by training a new bulldogging horse, Ace, that Pecos Shannon found for him. “It took two years to get him right. I bought him off a ranch in New Mexico; he was a bronc when we first got him. I tried him on the calf roping side, tripping, heeling; he never got good at any of it. I hazed on him one year and he got really good at that, and then I needed a bulldogging horse and now numerous cowboys are winning on him across the country. He’s a game changer of a horse.”
With his horse problems solved and the blessing of his family and his current employer, Josh made the push to compete at the Thomas and Mack one more time. “My job with Boulder Energy takes precedent over anything I am doing in the rodeo world,” he explained. “I sat down with Boulder Energy – to see if I could make a run at it this year. I knew I wouldn’t be able to put in as much time as I should for that job. I wanted to make sure that I would still have a job when I got back,” he shared. “Right now I’m at that stage of life where it’s great to be out here, but that job and the opportunity that I have there is something I can’t lose.” The company is backing him 100%. “Rodeo is an extreme risk and there are a lot of things that have to go right to get that elusive gold buckle.”
He is still hoping to make it in the calf roping, sitting 26th, $14,611 out, but it can be done. “I’m the only one that can feasibly make it in two events right now,” he said. “God has a plan no matter what – it’s a blessing going out in the bulldogging and I feel like my bull dogging has matured along with my horse.”
He is the first to admit this year has been tough. “I realistically haven’t been able to spend as much time with my family. They’ve had to give up a lot for me to be in this position,” he said. His wife, Kori, has been a trooper. His two oldest are in first grade now and can’t be gone like they could when they were younger. “I like our kids being in school and the structure of how to sit down for a full day and have to listen. Someday you are going to have a boss and have to work together, and sit all day and I think school teaches that.” Besides missing his family, he’s had a lot of trials in the calf roping. “I’ve had to change horses a lot and the miles and hours on the road have been a lot harder this year.”
He is grateful to be home for two days with his new son and his family. “I’m done the end of September, and then I can be home for a couple of months.” For now, he plans to finish 2016 strong. He is leading the All Around right now; and also won the RAM Circuit Finals All Around in April. “I went to 26 circuit rodeos this year, I’ve never been to more than 18, just to make sure I’d stay in a position to win the circuit so I could be down there next year – winning the $30,000 from there is half way to the NFR.”
He thanks his sponsors, Nutrena, Duba Trailers Customizing, Oxy-Gen, Knukle Energy, Bayou West, Boulder Energy, and Cactus Ropes & Gear.
Most of all, he thanks the Lord for the opportunities he has and is looking forward to Las Vegas. “Las Vegas is hard to make and you never know when you’re going to be out there. I’ve had a lot of success when I get to the NFR.”
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