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Southern States' Rodeo Drive


Lasso masters

In the days of the wild wild west, cowboys were the backbone of America. They were the watchful eyes and strong hands guiding herds across the wide-open range. Strong, free and independent, cowboys lassoed America's imagination. They became the stars of books, movies, and television. Buffalo Bill Cody, Matt Dillion, Gene Autry, Little Joe Cartwright, John Wayne - their names and deeds grew into cultural icons. Cowboys are still the choice subject of entertainment venues, team mascots, country songs, and perhaps most importantly, the real live stars of the rodeo.

Around the turn of the 20th century, the rodeo began as an arena to allow cowboys to show their cattle handling and horse riding skills. Today, professional rodeo cowboys like Josh McMillan, a member of the Southern States family from Enigma, Georgia, still show their skills on the rodeo circuit. Josh's speciality in the arena is team roping.

Head Over Heels

Team Roping is a rodeo event featuring two mounted cowboys overtaking a steer. Freed from the chute, a steer breaks out running and is given a head start. The "header" ropes the steer around the horns, neck or half-head, and turns the steer to the left. The "heeler" ropes the steer around the hind legs. The header must rope the steer and then "take a dally" (a couple of wraps of the rope around the horn of the saddle). Speed is important and precision is crucial.

Once the header has made the dally, he will turn his horse and the steer will follow, still running. That's when the heeler throws a loop of rope under the running steer's hind legs and catches them. Once the steer is stretched out between the two ropers, an official waves a flag and the time is taken. The event takes less time to do than to describe, somewhere between 4 and 8 seconds for professional team ropers. Josh McMillan's best time is an amazing 3.7 seconds. Originally cowboys employed this technique on the open range. Roping made it possible for them to wrangle stray cows and brand their herds.

Rodeo Champion

A fifth generation farmer and rancher, Josh McMillan has been raised around horses and cattle his entire life. Considering this fact, it's not surprising that Josh, now 27, has been team roping since he was 12 years old. "When I was in the sixth grade, a friend got me interested in roping," Josh says. After coming up through the ranks and winning accolades in Junior Rodeo and High School Rodeo, Josh began to rodeo professionally in 1998. Among his many accomplishments are 1997 Georgia State Champion in High School Rodeo, highest-money earner in the PCA (Professional Cowboys Association) for Team Roping in 1999 and again in 2002. He was also the Southeast Circuit Champion in the PRCA (Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association) in 2000.

"We've always been in the cattle and horse business," Josh says, "and I thought that roping would be a good thing to do. Besides the monetary gains from participating in team roping, you get to travel and see the country. The biggest reward has been all the people that I've met and the friends that I've made. You meet people from all walks of life."

Doing his best plays an important role in Josh McMillan's life. "Roping gives me an opportunity to be the best I can be at something. It's a challenge to keep working at it, and to continue to grow. It's all about being the best you can be." Josh also wants the best from his feed.

Fast Foods

"A good heading horse needs to be muscled-up well and be racier - that is, it needs to be able to run really fast. A good heeling horse should be more compact and collected, but able to stop and maneuver more quickly, Josh states, "My friends and fellow ropers have noticed how great my horses look and they ask what I've been doing differently. I tell them the success I've had with Southern States Legends®." McMillan also feeds Triple Crown® Senior to one of his older mounts and is very pleased with the results he has seen. Josh buys his Legends® and Triple Crown® feeds at Southern States in Nashville, Georgia.

Cowboy Ways

Josh McMillan's genuine warmth, friendly ways and winning disposition are among the distinguishing characteristics that have won cowboys their reputation and fame as America's most popular icons. And, Josh's commitment to "being the best that he can be" is a fine example of what makes people who love horses so unique. We're proud to have this remarkable young man in the Southern States family and to share his accomplishments and winning cowboy ways.


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