State finals rodeo kicks off next Thursday morning at 9 a.m.
A lot will be on the line next week as the top high school rodeo performers in the state descend on Crook County for the Oregon High School Rodeo Association State Finals, which will be held next Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the Crook County Fairgrounds.
The State Finals begin on Thursday, June 7, with the first go round of timed events beginning at 9 a.m.
The first go round of all rough stock events as well as the second go round for those individuals ranked 11th through 20th in the state standings in all timed events will start at 6 p.m. Thursday evening.
Friday morning at 8 a.m. will be the shooting finals, which will be held at the Redmond Gun and Trap Club.
The second go round for all rough stock and those ranked first through 10th in the standings of all timed events is scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday night.
Friday is also Tough Enough to Wear Pink night.
The rodeo winds up with the short go round starting at noon on Saturday.
The top four individuals in the final standings in each event will qualify for the national finals, which will be held July 12 through 24 at the Sweetwater Events Center in Rock Springs, Wyoming.
Just because a rodeo athlete fails to make it to the top four doesn't mean that their season is over.
All athletes placing fifth through 15th are eligible to compete in the Silver State International Rodeo, which is scheduled to be held June 30 through July 7 in Winnemucca, Nevada.
Several Crook County athletes are poised to qualify for the national finals, as are a number of other cowboys and cowgirls from the Tri-County Rodeo Club.
Pacer Quire is possibly the best positioned of all the local cowboys. Quire is the runaway favorite to win the bareback riding event. Quire currently has 40 points in the event, while no other cowboys have even scored this year.
Quire will also compete in tie-down roping, where he is ranked 19th.
Quire, a senior in his first year of rodeo, is second in the rookie of the year standings.
Quire, a heeler, will also compete in team roping with Hope Luttrell.
The duo is tied for eighth heading into the state finals.
Luttrell, also a Prineville resident, attends Culver High School.
It will be difficult for Quire and Luttrell to qualify for nationals in the event. They currently have 57 points, 45 fewer than the fourth-place team of Duncan MacKenzie and Chase Joyce.
Luttrell, who is ranked eighth in the girls all around standings, will be busy at this year's rodeo.
The senior has also qualified for the state finals in breakaway roping, where she is fourth, barrel racing, fifth, and goat tying, eighth.
Luttrell's best chance for a state title is in breakaway roping where she is just 13.5 points behind first place Brooklin Quisenberry.
Luttrell is not the only local cowgirl who will be busy.
Freshman Kenney Buckner of Powell Butte is currently leading the girls all around.
With 259.5 points, Buckner has a 26.5 point lead on second place Samantha Kerns.
Buckner will be competing in goat tying (second), pole bending (third), barrel racing (eighth), breakaway roping (10th) and team roping along with Bryce Harrison (18th).
Buckner has a chance to win state titles in both goat tying, where she trails leader Aimee Davis by just seven points, and pole bending, where she is just four points behind leader Haydn Morsa.
A third local cowgirl could also be a factor at this year's state finals.
Freshman Gracie Garthwaite has qualified for the finals in barrel racing (seventh), and pole bending (14th). Although it might be a long shot for Garthwaite to qualify for the national finals, she is just 11.5 points out of fourth place in barrel racing.
In addition to Quire, three other Crook County cowboys have qualified for the state finals.
Junior Jaxson Rhoden will compete in steer wrestling (ninth) and tie-down roping (17th).
In addition, Rhoden and senior Kody Anastasio have qualified in team roping, where the duo is currently seventh in the standings.
Rhoden and Anastasio have 79 points in the event, just 23 points out of fourth.
Wyatt Vankoll and Jake Raley are leading the event.
The final Crook County cowboy to qualify for the state finals is Dylan Sigman, who is currently in fifth place in saddle bronc riding.
Of the remaining Tri-County Rodeo Club members, Culver's Chase Buchanan is probably the best positioned.
Buchanan is leading the saddle bronc competition with 78 points. Joe Scott of Madras High school is in second place with 63 points.
Along with Samantha Kerns, Buchanan has also qualified for the finals in team roping, although the duo is not expected to have much of a chance to advance to nationals as they are currently just 16th in the standings.
Other Central Oregon cowboys to watch out for include Indigo Sappington, Ridgeview, who is second in team roping and sixth in tie-down roping.
Coy Aldrich of Culver is also one to watch. Aldrich is currently second in the boys all around and is sixth in the steer wrestling standings. In addition, Aldrich and Ridgeview's Caleb Carpenter are third in the team roping standings.
Other Central Oregon team ropers include Bubba Luttrell, Prineville and Culver, (tied for eighth), Preston and Dillon Young of Redmond (10th) and Culver's Jared Garber (20th).
The young brothers have also qualified for the state finals in both steer wrestling and tie-down roping.
Ridgeview's Ronnie Sappington is the final Central Oregon cowgirl who could have an impact in the finals. Sappington has qualified for the finals in team roping, 13th, and breakaway roping, 13th.
State championships have already been decided in both cutting and the reined cow horse competition.
Duncan Mackenzie won the boys cutting championships with 67 points, while Blake Haigh was second with 62. Quaid Quisenberry and Aldrich also qualified for nationals, finishing third and fourth with 61 and 44 points, respectively.
Girls cutting was won by Samantha Kerns with 53.5 points, while Kimberly Williams, Paige Lake and Michelle Williams also punched their ticket to the national finals.
Cate Hepper edged Aldrich for first in the reined cow horse event. Hepper finished with 46.5 points, while Aldrich had 44.
Haigh and Brooklin Quisenberry also qualified for nationals, finishing third and fourth, respectively, with 36.5 and 35.5 points.