John Douch held the number one spot in the world going into the 2022 summer rodeo run. He attended his first National Finals Rodeo last year and has his eyes set on the world championship this year at the NFR. Something that many people who keep up with rodeo often overlook is that he was raised around this sport his entire life. With a family full of competitive rodeo athletes, Douch has always had the support and upbringing to become a successful cowboy.
“A lot of people think that Joe (Beaver) was the reason I got into this sport, but my dad taught me how to rope when I was a kid. He’s the reason I started, and the way I am today is largely because of him,” Douch explained. “All of my family rodeoed when I was growing up, so I kind of had no choice, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. My mom ran barrels, my sisters rodeoed and I have an older brother that goes to a lot of amateur rodeos. Then, my youngest brother won the Texas High School Rodeo Association Finals last year.”
In 2012, Douch won the National Junior High Finals tie-down roping, and that was one of those pivotal moments for the young athlete. He credits much of his success during that stage of his career to his size.
“I can’t say I was the biggest kid, but I was big enough to handle my calves for that age,” Douch said. “After winning the state title, I knew I was on to something good because it’s pretty tough competition here in Texas. That’s when I really started to work harder at it.”
In eighth grade, Douch had a horse that he didn’t click with, no matter how hard he tried. From this horse, a relationship blossomed with eight-time world champion Joe Beaver, who lived in Douch’s hometown of Huntsville, Texas.
“I had this horse for sale that I was scared of and that I couldn’t ride for anything,” Douch said. “Joe sells horses so we called him up and he wanted me to bring this horse out to his house. After that, Joe invited me to start coming out to hang out and rope at his place. All of a sudden, I was out there every day, and now, we’re family!”
In high school, Douch continued to find success in the arena and won two Texas High School Rodeo Association champion tie-down titles to take him to the national stage. After high school, Douch attended Hill College in Hillsboro, Texas to continue rodeoing at the college level.
“I qualified for the College National Finals Rodeo three times during my time at Hill,” Douch said. “I qualified in 2016, 2017, and 2018, and I was the reserve tie-down champion in 2017.”
In 2016, Douch also won the Permit Holder of the Year Challenge in Las Vegas. Since then, he has made every effort to break into the top 15 standings to qualify for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, getting closer every year until making his dream come true in 2021.
Last year, Douch finished 10th in the world standings and got to rope in the Thomas & Mack for the first time. At his first NFR, he placed in four rounds and finished 11th in the average, winning $77,492 at the finals alone.
“All I’ve ever wanted to do is make the National Finals and rodeo for a living. Now, I’m doing just that,” Douch said.
The first time Douch really realized that he had what it took to be one of the best was when he had the opportunity to match Shane Hanchey at the Seth Broesche Memorial Roping in Bryan, Texas last year.
“That’s one of the guys I’ve always looked up to so I figured if I beat him, then I had a shot at the National Finals,” Douch explained. “I went on to make my first National Finals last year after that. I’d say that’s when the switch flipped and I knew I was good enough to rope with the guys I looked up to.”
Now, Douch has built relationships with and traveled with some of the best rodeo athletes to compete.
“When I first started, I rodeoed with Joe and that was really good to have him behind me. If I wasn’t watching the start, he was. He would tell me what I needed to do or see backing into the box. He really taught me a lot, “ Douch said. “I’ve also rodeoed with Bo Pickett in the wintertime, and Shad (Mayfield) last year. Last year, I rodeoed a lot with Macon Murphy, who actually won the college finals last year. That was really good, and we’re pretty good buddies.”
In March, Douch won the Rodeo Houston tie-down roping title, earning over $57,000. This is Douch’s favorite win of his rodeo career thus far.
“In 2020 when COVID hit, I was actually roping in Houston when they shut it down,” Douch said. “Then, I got to come back this year, and the whole thing is so cool: roping, hanging around the concerts, being in front of that many people and winning. Winning Houston was crazy.”
Douch rides two solid horses, a red roan owned by Joe Beaver and a bay that Douch owns, which each fit different situations better.
“Those horses are the reason I made the national finals last year,” Douch said. “The red roan, he’s good on strong calves with longer scores; and he’s the one I won Houston on. Then, the little bay, I won second at Austin on; and he’s really good on those really good calves. It’s pretty cool to have two good horses for different setups.”
After finding such great success the past two years, Douch’s next big goal is to become a world champion, a goal that looks promising with the success he’s found already this year.
Douch recently purchased his own place, and it’s been reassuring to see everything he’s ever wanted fall into place. When he’s not on the road, John Douch rides horses at home and enjoys fishing. He also goes back home to see his family at least a couple of times a week when he’s home and can.
With a supportive family and countless others who believe in John Douch’s talent and athleticism, we at Cowboy Lifestyle Network are excited to see all that this young athlete accomplishes this year and in years to come! To keep up with John Douch on the road, follow him on Instagram (@johndouch01) and Facebook (John Douch-Professional Calf Roper).
Cowboy Lifestyle Magazine
This article was created for the Summer Issue of the Cowboy Lifestyle Magazine which was released in early July. You can catch this article and many more by checking out the full issue. For more information on Cowboy Lifestyle Magazine, visit the website here.
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