by nathan oster
Lacee Good did it again.
The Shell teenager and 2012 Greybull High School graduate won her second girls cutting state title in as many years at the Wyoming High School Rodeo Association’s State Finals held June 20-24 in Douglas.
And she did it aboard Hemi, the very same horse given to her by the late Kim Asay of Powell and which she rode to the state title — and within a couple of points of qualifying for nationals — during the summer of 2011.
This year, however, Good is advancing to nationals, a.k.a. the High School National Finals Rodeo, which will be held July 15-21 in Rock Springs.
While last year’s triumph was more of a come-from-behind story, Good entered this year’s state finals with a target on her back. She was sitting in first place going in — and she backed it up with an impressive performance in Douglas.
The state competition consisted of three rounds. Good placed second in the first round, won the second round and came back with another second in the third round. When the dust settled, she was the high-point girl, topping the nine other girls who competed for the crown.
So what’s the secret to her success?
Good said she rides her horse every day.
“It was just luck, too,” she said. “I wasn’t planning on going in there to win the competition, necessarily. I was mostly just thinking that I would be happy if I just stayed in the lead (in the points race) and won the saddle (which goes to the high-point winner) … but then I ended up winning state, too, so that was nice.”
It was Lacee’s third trip to the state finals.
She’ll make her first appearance at nationals this year and believes she has “a good chance.”
And the reason for that is her horse.
“I have had a lot of good cutters around the state who have helped me out say I have a horse that can compete with the Texas girls’ horses — and you usually don’t see a whole lot of Wyoming girls who are able to do that,” Good said. “I think I have a good chance — especially with Kim and her spirit on my shoulder rooting me on.”
As she did last year, Good credited the late horse trainer, who died last year, with setting her on the course to success. The relationship between horse and rider is the key, she said.
“I believe I’m better now than I was a year ago,” she said. “I’ve spent a lot more time with my horse. I understand her better and she understands me better. Paired up, we make a good team.”
Good plans to follow her dream this winter when she moves to Texas. Her cutting horses will accompany her on her journey. “They have enormous cuttings (in Texas),” she said. “I’m going to go down there and try to better myself in rodeo and cutting.”
Her ultimate goal? “I want to make it to the world finals in cutting,” she said.
Lacee is the daughter of Pablo and DaNae Good.