Pilot Point teen repeats as state champ
Pilot Point’s Josh Briggs rode away with his second straight state title in reining cow horse at the Texas High School Rodeo Association state finals in early June at the Expo Center of Taylor County in Abilene.
“It was a lot of fun to get to do it twice,” he said.
“It was a really proud moment,” said his mother, Jill. “He worked really hard. It was fun to be in the stands to cheer him on, and a lot of friends and family were able to be there this year, so it was just very exiting.”
Briggs, 17, who is home-schooled and will be a senior this year, will now move on to the national finals for the event in Gillette, Wyoming, from July 17-23. He rode his 11-year-old Quarter Horse, named S.V. Whiskey Whiz (registered); the bar name is Twig. He has been doing events on this horse all year.
“I want to get something done at nationals this year, because last year I was mad to not go up there and place very well,” he said. “But this year, my goal is to come out with a pretty high place.”
“I thought he deserved to win state,” said C.R. Bradley, Briggs’ roping coach. “He works at it every day really hard. He’s a smart kid with a really good work ethic. He deserved to win state, and I think he has a really good chance at the national high school finals.”
Briggs has been competing in high school rodeo for three years. His parents have been training horses since he was little, so he has plenty of experience being around horses. He has competed in reining cow horse two or three years, he said.
“My parents have also been involved with that for a long time, so I’ve been doing it a little bit,” he said. “Not as much as rodeoing and team roping and stuff like that, but I’ve been doing it for a while.”
Josh’s parents, John and Jill, show Quarter Horses. Josh and brother Bryce are involved in rodeo. Bryce is on the rodeo team at Hill College.
Reining cow horse is a mixture of reining class and cow works, Josh Briggs said. Reining work centers on putting horses through a series of circles, spins and stops. The cow work revolves around a rider doing certain maneuvers with a cow after it has been released in the arena.
“Each maneuver is judged,” Briggs said. “So each circle is judged, each stop is judged, each turn is judged.”
About 60 to 80 competitors will be at the finals in Gillette.
Briggs hopes to compete in rodeo in college at North Central Texas College or Hill College. After college, he would like to hit the pro rodeo circuit.
High school events include 12 rodeos a year, the state finals in Abilene and then the nationals in Gillette.
“That’s just high school rodeo,” he said. “I just got back from Gallup, New Mexico, and then we go to Shawnee, Oklahoma, next week for rodeo (team roping).”
He also will go to the National Reining Cow Horse Association events.
“So, we’re going all year round,” he said.
Briggs is a member of the Bloomer Team, sponsored by Bloomer Trailers in Salado, which is a team of 30 participants who will go to the rodeo in Shawnee.