Beck, Adamson walk out of state finals rodeo as champions

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For any cowboys or cowgirls, a new saddle is a great gift for any occasion.


But if that occasion happens to be a Wyoming High School Rodeo Association state championship, it makes the well-earned gift all the more special.


Gillette High School Rodeo Club members Casey Beck and Linzee Adamson both won new saddles Saturday at the state finals rodeo in Douglas. Beck accomplished the feat by moving from third to first in boys cutting during the three-day rodeo.


Adamson jumped from fourth in the barrel racing to not only clinch her first trip to the National High School Finals Rodeo, but to stamp her name as a state champion.


The moment Adamson found out she was the finest high school barrel racer in the Cowboy State in 2014 was a special one.


“It’s really hard to explain,” she said. “It hasn’t really sunk in, I guess. But my parents and my sister … we all cried. It was intense. It was probably one of the best feelings that I’ve ever had.”


The Gillette rodeo club member — who has an Arvada address and will be a senior at Clearmont High School next fall — said she got some good advice from a friend before heading into the state finals this year.


“Last year, I put a lot of pressure on myself like ‘I have to go in, I have to win, I have to win,’” Adamson said. “(This year) one of my best friends told me to ‘just go in and do what you do.’ And that’s kind of how my state finals went.”


The finals went the same for Beck, who won the first round on Thursday, placed second Friday and finished second again Saturday during the short round. Beck’s faith and a trusty old horse helped him earn a state championship.


“I prayed every day before my runs,” Beck said Saturday. “So God was a big factor in that. And my horse, I know it takes a lot of maintenance to keep them going, especially when they are her age. I was up at 4:30 this morning, taking care of her, getting her ready so she felt good.”


Macie — Beck’s 17-year old horse — repaid her cowboy with a third-straight solid cutting performance on Saturday. Now, Beck — who will be a senior at Campbell County High School next fall — and Macie advance to the NHSFR in Rock Springs on July 13-19. It will be Beck’s second trip to nationals, though last year he went as an alternate. He much prefers going in as the Wyoming state champion.


“It’s pretty awesome to win the state,” he said.


Beck will be joined in the national finals by seven other Gillette-area competitors, including Adamson. The cowgirl has been to the NHSFR to watch, but never to compete. The thought of the opportunity has her a bit on edge, she said.


“I’m freaking out a little bit right now. I’m pretty excited.”


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