Josee Vogel of Pavillion, with her parents Bob and Dar at the table, announced Wednesday she has signed a letter of intent to rodeo at the University of Wyoming. (Ernie Over photo)
(Pavillion, Wyo.) – Two years ago, Josee Vogel decided where she would go to college while still a sophomore at Wind River High School. She also began working on what her major would be. Wednesday afternoon, Vogel announced she had signed a letter of intent to attend the University of Wyoming and rodeo with the Cowgirls. Because of her advance planning, she’ll begin classes at Laramie next fall with all of her core courses completed. She plans to become a pediatric nurse practitioner.
Vogel had two directions she could go in sports, as a champion hurdler in track and field or rodeo. That was the decision she made two years ago. It was Rodeo. It wasn’t that hard of a decision, though. Vogel’s family is into horses a big way. A very big way. Josee’s mother Dar and father Bob operate Wyoming Horses with Lonnie Mantle. The operation headquartered north of Pavillion maintains a herd of some 700 horses which are leased out to Dude Ranches around the region each spring. But for Josee, the family corral has been her emphasis these past two years.
“I’m now working with Danny Boy on the barrels, he’s been injured so I haven’t been riding him that long,” she said. Her favorite horse? She said it was probably Rex that she rode to the State High School championship in Goat Tying this past year. Sitting on the table in the Wind River Middle-High School Commons was the saddle she was awarded for that win. But that’s not her only horse. She said she was fond of Small Fry and rides Pluto and Twist, “although Dad also claims those.” Vogel is skilled in other events besides Goat Tying, too. She competes in Breakaway Roping, Team Roping and Barrel Racing. She’s also the current secretary of the Wyoming High School Rodeo Association and is the Student Goat Tying Director.
It was no surprise then that UW Rodeo Coach George Howard was aware of her rodeo skill. When she made her official campus visit to UW, Howard had a scholarship offer and letter ready for her. She actually signed her Letter of Intent earlier this month and sent it off. Wednesday’s event in Pavillion was a photo op and interview opportunity.
WRHS Activities Director Justin Walker said his only involvement with Vogel “was going to nationals and cheering her on. Her success was up to Josee and her parents. It takes a lot of personal dedication,” he said. “It’s exciting. She worked her butt off and put lots of time and energy into it.”
That fact is one reason why she made her decision to concentrate on rodeo.
As a freshman at Wind River, Vogel won the state championship in the 100 meter hurdles. The next year, she won both the 100 and 200 meter hurdles and set three school records in the process. At the same time, she was participating in the high school rodeo circuit, both in the fall and in spring, when track and field begins. “There were rodeos I was missing because of track, and visa-versa,” she said. “And I started to notice that I wasn’t doing as well in some track meets, I was always in the top ten, but that was when I decided to concentrate on rodeo.”
But Walker interrupted to indicate that Vogel was also a basketball player for the Lady Cougars. “She was also a three time All Conference player for us,” he said.
Dar Vogel said the family runs horses and cows and has a lot of land. “She works on the ranch and is involved in every aspect. She’s a very self-motivated person.”
When asked what she does in her spare time, after laughing a bit, she said “I do lots of homework.” With a current GPA of 3.88, Vogel has already accumulated 27 college credits in social studies, math, English and chemistry. “It’s super awesome that I could take these courses here through Central Wyoming College with a live teacher and not on video. I now have all my core classes taken care of.”
“Did I mention she’s also a good cook?” Dar said.
Even though Josee has accomplished a great deal through personal motivation, she also credited the CWC Rodeo program with helping her hone her skills. “Drew Schrock and Traci Hinman (CWC Rodeo coaches) are friends of the family and I’ve practiced quite a bit with them,” she said. So why not rodeo with the Rustlers? “Well, it’s too close to home, and because I have all my core credits already, I’d only be there one year. And I wanted to go to the University,” she said.
En route to becoming a pediatric nurse practitioner, a profession she chose because of its universal need, this Pavillion Cowgirl will now become a Wyoming Cowgirl.