Edna junior high student loves cowboy life
Feb. 11, 2018 at 9:30 p.m.
Updated Feb. 12, 2018 at 7 a.m.
EDNA - With the sharp screech of a metal pen door opening, a brown and white calf ran out into the fairgrounds late Saturday morning at the Brackenridge Main Event Center.
Though the calf was sprinting toward the other end of the arena, Cade Muegger and his quarterhorse, Mighty Mouse, were quick, too.
Within seconds, Cade roped the calf, slipped off his horse, and calmly and quickly tied up the calf's legs together.
The 13-year-old Edna Junior High School student was one of about 75 youth rodeo participants who competed at the Texas High School Rodeo Association Region 7 competition this weekend in Edna.
"I like that I get to compete against my friends and have a good time," Cade said.
The junior high competition took place Saturday and is one of the last few events before qualifying cowboys and cowgirls go on to the state finals in May, said Nena Boettcher, the secretary for Region 7. State competition is scheduled to take place in Gonzales.
For as long as Cade's mother, Jamye Muegge, can remember, her son has ridden a horse. As soon as he could stand on his two feet and walk, he wanted to get on a horse.
"He would beg to get on there and cry when we took him off. We couldn't keep him on long enough," Muegge said. "I think he's the type of kid who just falls in love with the animal."
Now at the age of 13, Cade already has about 8 years of rodeo experience under his belt and has won buckles and saddles for calf roping and team roping. He started competing by the time he was 6 years old and spends almost every weekend at a rodeo competition in a different town in Texas. Cade is involved in several rodeo associations: the Youth Rodeo Association, the Jackson County Youth Rodeo Association, Texas Youth Rodeo Association, Lone Star Youth Rodeo Association, and the Texas Junior High School Rodeo Region 7.
At the event in Edna, Cade competed in calf-roping in the categories of tie down, breakaway, ribbon roping and team roping.
Some of the categories, such as team roping, have origins in the working ranches of the Old West, according to the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.
In team roping, Cade acts as the header and catches the steer by around the horns, while a partner goes around and catches the steer by the back feet.
To prepare for rodeos, Cade spends as much time as possible practicing. Though he is involved in football, track, basketball and catechism classes, Cade makes sure that he practices with a Heel-O-Matic for his weekly competitions. The packed schedule doesn't faze him or his parents; both his parents, Jamye and Casey Muegge, were involved in the rodeo for years as well.
Jamye Muegge said she started when she was about 5 years old, just like Cade.
"My whole family is geared to the rodeo atmosphere," Jamye Muegge said.
A big part of the rodeo life is the people involved, said Cade's father, Casey Muegge.
"It's one big rodeo family," Casey Muegge said. "Everyone is extremely nice and supports one another."
An example of how close the rodeo family atmosphere is the fundraising done by the local rodeo community for Cole Ohrt, a Victoria youth who was paralyzed in an ATV accident in December. Cade wears a blue "Cowboy Strong" bracelet to honor Cole, whom he met through the rodeo community.
"It's a different type of sport that I feel needs to keep evolving, needs to keep growing because its really special," Jamye Muegge said. "The way you meet new people and they become part of your family, it's just so special."
No matter the outcome, Cade said he enjoys rodeos.
"It's been fun. You get to hang out with everybody. We always meet new people at the rodeo," Cade said.
The last two rodeos on the junior high school and high school schedule will take place next weekend in Edna.