BILLINGS – Cadee Williams loves Montana and misses her home state dearly.
But she’s a Texan now, married and the mother of a two-year-old daughter.
However, it’s not all yellow roses.
“I hate the Texas heat in the summer, I hate the humidity … and the snakes,” Williams said with a big laugh. “I have been wanting to get back there every summer but with a job and family, it’s just craziness.”
So when the opportunity occurred for her and her husband, Landon, and daughter, Honor, to return to Montana for the summer, they couldn’t pack their horse trailers fast enough.
Parking their rigs at a friend’s in Helena, Williams returned to her rodeo roots, competing in breakaway roping for the Northern Women’s Rodeo Association.
Williams has a long history with the NWRA and Northern Rodeo Association. Then Cadee Tew, she won the first of her three consecutive barrel racing titles (2000-02) at the age of 9 and also won the all-around cowgirl title in 2002. She added the breakaway roping championship in 2009.
“Being in the NRA has done a lot for me,” said Williams, who lives in Weatherford, Texas, with her family. “It was a great place to grow up. It taught me how to compete. It’s very competitive.”
Williams would go on to win the national high school breakaway roping title in 2008 and came within one loop of being the college national champion in 2011. Williams competed for Weatherford College and Tarleton State, where she earned a degree in computer information systems.
She also competed in the NWRA in 2013 with Landon Williams winning the tie-down roping in 2013.
When Williams pulled into the Big Sky State in late June, it was no surprise when she returned to her roping ways.
She won four events — Choteau, Superior, Twin Bridges and Helmville — before turning the family trucks back toward Texas in mid-August.
You have free articles remaining.
“We had eight horses, so we made two trips,” said Williams.
The wins came aboard Scandal, a four-year-old horse she had purchased before coming to Montana.
The two built a lead of $1,024 over Drew Zipperian of Clancy in the year-end breakaway roping standings.
“Scandal had never been to a rodeo before, never been anywhere before,” Williams said. “Her first time out was in Big Timber. Montana was a great place to season my horse.”
The plan was for Williams and Scandal to return this week for the NRA/NWRA Finals, which begin Thursday in Kalispell.
But rodeo decisions are made from a financial perspective and an opportunity to chase more money forced Williams to change her schedule.
In 2020, the WPRA is sanctioning breakaway roping at the high-paying Fort Worth, Texas, rodeo. But to qualify, a competitor must also compete in the WPRA Finals in Waco, Texas. The WPRA Finals overlap the NRA/NWRA Finals.
“I was planning to come back,” said Williams. “I was so excited. But Fort Worth pays tons of money and you have to qualify.”
But Montana will always be on her mind.
“We’re already planning for next year,” she said. “We would like to get a place in Montana eventually. We would be six months in Texas and sixth months up there.
“I miss Montana. I love Montana. Being in the NRA gives me the best of both worlds.”