With the completion of the National Little Britches Finals July 30 in Pueblo, Colorado, rodeo parents across the nation can collectively breathe a sign of relief. Summertime means championship rodeos for the kids from ages 5 through college graduates.
The College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) kicked things off in June in Casper, Wyoming, followed by the Silver State Invitational Rodeo in Fallon, Nevada for high school students who missed the cut for the National High School Finals Rodeo (NHSFR). That event followed the International Youth Finals Rodeo (IFYR), held each July in Shawnee, Oklahoma. The NHSFR was held the week after the IFYR, July 16-23, 2011. That event is held each year in Gillette, Wyoming.
From the high school finals, parents and kids truck south to Pueblo for the National Little Britches Finals. The NLBRA was held July 25-30, 2011 and hosts events for kids ages 5 through 18. Competitors are divided into five age groups: senior boys, senior girls, junior boys, junior girls, and little wranglers for the youngest competitors. Contestants carry points from their five best regular season rodeos into the finals and compete for both NLBRA Finals and World titles.
In contrast, the NHSFR is a sudden death competition. Contestants compete in two long go rounds and the top twelve on two advance to a short go competition. Following this third round, the best scores and fastest times on three rounds are named National Champions.
The big story at the NHSFR was the repeat championship by Rachel Primm of Washoe Valley, Nevada in the barrel racing. Repeat titles are unheard of at this level of competition, the last contestant to do so was competing int he 1950’s. The Galena High School graduate rides a great horse named Pepper who is 8 years old. Along with the other champions, Primm received a saddle, buckle, and $2000 scholarship which she will use at Cal Poly State University in San Luis Obispo, California next year.
Utah won the team competition for the boys while Texas took the girls’ title. Texas was the overall winner with over 10,000 points earned.
Other National Champions crowned at the NSHFR:
Breakaway Roping–Brandi Hollenbeck, KS
Goat Tying–Hayden Segelke, CO
Bull Riding–Tyler Bingham, UT
Steer Wrestling–Noah Lassa, WI
Pole Bending–Heather Hassler, TX
Tie Down Roping–Garrison Cannon, UT
Team Roping–Marcus Banister/Brit Ellerman, CO
Bareback Riding–Blaine Kaufman, KS
Saddle Bronc Riding–Shade Etbauer, OK
Boys Cutting–Hunter Hightower, TX
Girls Cutting–Paige Hadlock, UT
Boys All Around–Garrett Smith, ID
Girls All Around–McKenna Wagner, OK
Boys All Around Rookie–Clay Gordon, Australia
Girls All Around Rookie–Leigh Ann Scribner, NM
NHSFR Champion saddle bronc rider Shade Etbauer comes from a long line of famous saddle bronc riders; his dad, Robert, and Uncle Billy are both Pro Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) World Champions and combined with Uncle Dan, made a trio of brothers at the National Finals Rodeo (NFR) each December for many years. His older brother Trell has made his mark in the pro ranks, winning the prestigious Linderman Award given to the high money earning contestant who competes in both rough stock and timed events on the pro ranks.
Shade is certainly living up to the famous family name. Just a week after claiming the National title in the NHSRA, Shade earned anothere title: World Champion Senior Boys All Around at the NLBRA Finals.
The top 6 from each of the senior events is qualified to compete on the NLBRA Team at the IFYR in 2012.
Other World Champions crowned during the NLBRA Finals (team roping is open to both boys and girls and ribbon roping consists of a boy and girl per team):
Steer Wrestling–Lane Chipley, MS
Saddle Bronc Riding–McKay Magoon, NV
Bareback Riding–Shane O’Connell, SD
Bull Riding–Jacob Welch, MS
Tie Down Roping–Kyle Dickens, CO
Team Roping–Danni Jo Hinman/David Hinman, NE
Breakaway Roping–Rachel Hendrix, NV
Barrel Racing–Peyton Northcutt, KS
Goat Tying–Kyna Hafen, UT
Trail Course–Casey Reimler, WY
Pole Bending–Emily Miller, KS
All Around–Rachel Hendrix, NV
Steer/Bull Riding–Wyatt Rogers, OK
Breakaway Roping–Blake Denton, CO
Goat Tying–Rance Johnson, SD
Flag Race–Tayt Little, LA
Ribbon Roping–Jhett Trenary/Maddy Dickens, CO
Jr. Team Roping–Ben Piazza, OK/Layne Bryson, AR
All Around–Rance Johnson, SD
Breakaway Roping–Cedar Jandreau, SD
Barrel Racing–Kinlie Bienmise, CO
Goat Tying–Rickie Engessa, SD
Trail Course–Mia Manzanares, LA
Pole Bending–Elle Eagles, CO
All Around–Rickie Engesser, SD
Barrel Racing–Haiden Thompson, NE
Goat Tail Untying–Haiden Thompson, NE
Pole Bending–Jill White, LA
Flag Race–Chance Little, TX
All Around–Haiden Thompson, NE