Meet the Member Phoenix Brown

by Rodeo News

story by Ruth Nicolaus

For Phoenix Brown, time is of the essence on school mornings.
The fourteen-year-old cowgirl, a member of the Nebraska Junior High School Rodeo Association, gets up ten minutes before she and her older sister Clancy have to leave for school. They make the twenty-minute drive into North Platte just in time to hurry into the building before the first bell rings.
But that’s how this cowgirl rolls.
Living on the ranch near North Platte, she competes in the breakaway roping, barrel racing, pole bending, goat tying, ribbon roping (running for Kooper Shrunk) and team roping (heading for Jace Forre.) Of her events, she considers the breakaway and goat tying her favorites but the poles her strength.
For the barrels and poles, she rides Yoast, a seventeen-year-old sorrel who is her mom’s “favorite child,” she says. “He is very spoiled and gets whatever he wants,” she said, noting that when the family went to the National Junior High Finals Rodeo in Georgia, Yoast got special blankets, special feed, and salt blocks “so he wouldn’t freak out in the stalls.”
For the goats and breakaway, she rides Popcorn, a twelve-year-old sorrel mare who is quirky and energetic. And for the team roping, she rides Ricky, a seven-year-old sorrel gelding who acts like a toddler. “He chews on everything and likes to be petted. He’ll chew on my rope, and he’ll chew on other people’s ropes when we’re standing next to them.” Ricky also likes human food, especially pretzels filled with peanut butter. Phoenix discovered this one day when she offered them to him, and “he ran me over, trying to get more.” He’ll eat anything, including hamburger buns.
An eighth grade student at Adams Middle School, Phoenix’s day starts off with “drive,” (another name for homeroom), with special needs students. She, along with a dozen other students, was hand-picked by the teachers to spend fifteen minutes each morning, interacting with these students. They do group activities and talk, and she loves it. “It’s exposed me to the world, and shown me how privileged I am to be able to do things. Because some kids can’t function like I can, and can’t play basketball or soccer or rodeo.”
For extracurricular activities, she plays basketball and soccer, is on student council, and is part of the yearbook staff.
Her favorite class is P.E., with her favorite game being Eight Base (a modification of kickball, but with players making two laps around the field, going to each base twice). With forty kids in her P.E. class, it can get a bit chaotic.
The best meal her mom makes is chicken and rice; her favorite drink is Dr. Pepper, and her favorite dessert is sea salt caramel espresso ice cream. If she had $1 million, she’d have a house built near the family’s indoor arena, where her grandparents Clark and Dorothy Brown live, so she could live there after her college years are over. She’d buy a living quarters trailer, but not anything too long, “because I’m not good at driving a truck and trailer and I’d probably hit something,” and not too fancy, either.
For fun, Phoenix loves to hang out with her older sister, Clancy, because “she’s my best friend.” They go to Lake Maloney where they paddleboard or swim, and they tie goats and rope the dummy, and they love Netflix movies, too.
In fact, it’s Phoenix who wakes up Clancy each day. As soon as Phoenix’s alarm goes off at 7:30 am, she runs to Clancy’s room to wake her.
Phoenix’s favorite movie is “Remember the Titans,” and the family has named the foals from a certain mare after movie characters: Herman Boone, Julius, Petey, and her pole and barrel horse Yoast.
At state finals her sixth grade year, Phoenix finished second in the breakaway and as reserve rookie of the year. At Nationals that year, she missed both of her calves.
As a seventh grader at state this past June, she finished second in the poles, fourth in the goat tying, fifth in the barrels, and sixth in the ribbon roping and breakaway. At Nationals in July, she hit two poles in the second round, and in the goats, her horse crossed over the stake, giving her a ten second penalty, and on her second run, she missed her straddle so she had to collar flank the goat.
Phoenix would like to attend college in Montana and compete collegiately. With her career, she’d like to do something ag-related or be a rodeo coach.
She is the daughter of Bill and Jan Brown.

© Rodeo Life Media Corporation | All Rights Reserved • Laramie, Wyoming • 307.761.9053

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