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Meet the Member Amy Murphy
story by Lindsay Humphrey
Only a month before the NMJHSRA season kicked off for 2021, Amy Murphy tragically lost her top mount. As a result, Amy was forced to come up with a new game plan for her 7th grade season. “I used to do everything on that horse, so when I had to start a new one it was easier to only focus on one event,” the 13-year-old said of her decision to only compete in breakaway roping for the spring. “It’s my strongest event and the one my mom (Latasha) competes in.” Amy’s new rodeo partner, Cowboy, has taken to the two-second event quickly and is picking up on the new ones as well. He was a hazing horse for her dad, Byron, and even lost the sight in one of his eyes this season.
“I missed out on nationals by only four points in the breakaway this year. That’s part of the reason why I’m going to be doing all of the events next year.” Those other events will include barrels, poles, team roping and goat tying. And even though Amy enjoys breakaway roping, it’s actually team roping that’s her favorite of them all. “I like that you have to be in sync with your partner and your horse at the same time. It builds a lot of trust between you and your horse as well as you and your partner.” Amy found a second mount, Cisco, back in March and is teaching him the ropes for her events also so she always has a backup ready to go.
Born into a rodeo family, Amy’s roots run as far back as her great grandpa on her dad’s side. The Murphy family is chalked full of steer wrestlers, but they haven’t had any boys in recent years to take up the big man’s event. That is expected to change this fall as Amy’s mom is expecting a boy in October. Amy also has a little sister, Taylor, who is three. Royalty is also in their lineage as her mom was Miss IJRA back in the day and Amy followed in her footsteps as the 2018-2019 Miss Indian Junior Rodeo Association Queen. “My parents, uncles and grandpas have all rodeoed and that’s helped me a lot. I just hope to leave a name for myself in rodeo someday.”
Amy’s family has always inspired her to work hard and set her goals high. This year Amy has her sights set on making the Indian National Finals Rodeo in the junior and open breakaway roping. “My whole family has competed there, so it would be a dream come true if I could make it as well. My mom almost made it two years ago when COVID hit.” Although Amy enjoys competing in junior rodeo associations, she knows it’s the bigger events that are truly pushing her to the next level. “I really like competing in the big shows because the competition pushes me and it lets me know that I can rope with the best of them; that I have what it takes to rope on that level.”
When Amy was 7 years old, she first formed this foundation of confidence that would sustain her through the highs and lows of rodeo. “My grandpa took me to a rodeo when I was 7 because my parents were up at a different one. I did the flag event and I actually won it. I was really proud of myself for that. It sticks out to me because that was my starting point. That’s when I knew I could show everyone that I belonged there and that I was just as good as everyone else.” Part of that feeling of belonging comes from a long line of solid mounts and a support system that never let Amy believe she wasn’t exactly where she was supposed to be inside an arena. “I just want to thank everybody who has helped me, looked out for me and always encouraged me. And for all the horses that have helped me get this far.”