Watertown family pays it forward, volunteers at rodeo

Jacob Smith • Jun 13, 2017 at 5:43 PM

Wilson County is home to several families involved with the National High School Rodeo Association, including the Goolsby family from Watertown, who will use their years of experience in rodeos by volunteering at this year’s National Junior High Rodeo Finals.

The National Junior High Finals Rodeo will be June 18-24 in Wilson County, the second time \for the National High School Rodeo Association to bring its annual event east of the Mississippi River. It is also the second time the event will be at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center in Lebanon. 

Tim, Angela and Ramsey Goolsby all plan to work and volunteer at this year’s event, as they did last year.

When it comes to rodeos, perhaps the most experienced Goolsby is Tim and Angela Goolsby’s son, Ramsey Goolsby. Ramsey used to compete in the National High School Rodeo Association and is currently at Southern Arkansas University on a rodeo scholarship.

Ramsey began competing in rodeos when he was in junior high school and made it to the National Junior High Rodeo Finals twice.

“He just loved it,” said Tim Goolsby. “He used to watch the PBR and bull riding and kind of started that way. He started riding calves and steers and then got into the roping side of it and just really liked that and did better on the roping.”

Ramsey Goolsby will use his experience in the rodeo to volunteer with this year’s event doing various work setting up for the event, as well as working with Cinch, this year’s rodeo sponsor, during the actual event.

“He helps with every part of it from numbering stalls to setting stuff up, putting up banners, helping people get around Lebanon – just whatever they need really,” said Tim Goolsby.

Ramsey Goolsby also paved the way for the rest of the family to get involved with the event last year.

“Ramsey came in from college, and he knew a lot of the national directors and stuff,” said Tim Goolsby. “So, that’s how we got involved helping them. I helped with the shooting competition, as well. I helped them find the place for the competition. Angela started helping with the horse check-in mostly.”

The family will work this year’s event in different ways. They have spent many years in the rodeo scene in various ways. They decided to get involved this year because of their own good experiences with the National High School Rodeo Association.

“It had always been a great experience for us,” said Tim Goolsby. “We wanted it to be as nice as we could make it for the visitors coming here. That’s the biggest reason we got involved.”

While Tim Goolsby doesn’t have as much experience competing in rodeos, he has worked as a farrier for 28 years. A farrier is someone who specializes in equine foot care, including the placing of shoes to a horse’s foot.

“I never had the opportunity to do as much rodeo stuff,” said Tim Goolsby. “I just shoe all the horses.”

Tim’s wife, Angela Goolsby, will once again help out in a volunteer role this year. Angela Goolsby has been around rodeos through her son and husband for a long time and will use that experience to help check in competitors and their horses, as well as other tasks.

The family even opened their doors to competitors and their families last year who were from out of town.

“We had visitors at our house last year from Hawaii,” said Tim Goolsby. “We had Canadians and Australians and all that, and it’s the best group of kids you’ll ever see.”

The Goolsbys are happy to serve at the event because of how much it means to the city and the competitors involved.

“A lot of people don’t know how big it actually is,” said Tim Goolsby. “This is the biggest rodeo event this side of the Mississippi. These are the nicest, most polite kids, and they’re the top kids in their state. They go through a lot of rodeos to get to this point.”

The opening ceremony for the National Junior High Rodeo Finals will be Sunday at 7 p.m. For more information on the event or to buy tickets, visit nhsra.com/junior-high-division. 


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