Northern Hills has NFR Sendoff for Jr. High Rodeo

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Northern Hills riders and families met Friday for a National Finals Rodeo sendoff for junior high school rodeo competitors who won their way to nationals at qualifying rodeos at Springfield and Belle Fourche, and state finals at Belle Fourche.


The family get-together was sandwiched between storms Friday evening at the Mulligan in Belle Fourche.


All but two of the northern Hills riders were showing their energy as a Powerpoint presentation showed photos of their competition in their spring rodeo season.


Qualifiers from the Northern Hills include Jesse Thybo of Belle Fourche, chute dogging, Jace Engesser of Spearfish, team roping and boy’s goat tying, Taylor Hanson of Belle Fourche, barrel racing and pole bending, TJ Schmidt, bull riding, and Cooper Crago of Belle Fourche, ribbon roping and tiedown calf roping.


Unable to make the sendoff were Trevor Olson of Newell, chute dogging, boys breakaway and bys goat tying, and Bodie Mattson of Sturgis, boys breakaway and team roping.


Junior high school rodeo is a relatively new division of the National High School Rodeo Association.


The 10th annual National Junior High Finals Rodeo is June 22 through 28 at Des Moines.


Junior high school rodeo is a developmental rodeo program that encourages participation and also works toward developing rodeo talent.


Most events are the same as in professional and adult amateur rodeo, except that boys do goat tying as well as girls, and ribbon roping that is a youth team event where a rider catches a calf and the runner grabs a ribbon from the calf’s tail and runs it to a finish line.


Boy’s events also are modified for the younger set. Chute dogging is like bull dogging, except that instead of riding horseback after a steer, the boy has a hold on his steer in a rough stock chute, gives the critter a short head start, then works to wrestle him down.


Bull riding has somewhat younger critters for younger riders.


New this year are two steer riding events developed to give young riders experience toward bareback bronc and saddle bronc riding.


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