Tri-County Rodeo Club tunes up for state with event at Burns
Kennedy Buckner led the way for local cowboys and cowgirls at the final regular season Oregon High School Rodeo Association event of the year.
Buckner, a junior, placed in pole bending, barrel racing and goat tying on both days of the rodeo, which was held May 18-19 in Burns.
Buckner won the first go round of pole bending with a time of 20.650. She was also fourth in the go round in goat tying with a time of 8.64 seconds, and fifth in barrel racing in 18.062.
Sunday in the second go round, Buckner improved to first in barrel racing with a time of 17.989. She also finished second in the go round in pole bending with a time of 21.349 and sixth in goat tying with a time of 11.568.
With the high places, Buckner remains in contention for the state title in all three events. Heading into the state finals, which will be held Thursday through Saturday, June 13-15 Buckner leads the standings in pole bending, is second in barrel racing, and fifth in goat tying.
Buckner is also ranked 10th in breakaway roping and has qualified for state in team roping with partner Bubba Luttrell.
Buckner is also still in the running for the girls all-around title and is currently in third place, just 26 points out of first place.
Although Buckner had the best performance of local rodeo athletes, she was far from the only Tri-County Rodeo Club member to have success in Burns.
Prineville cowboy Matt Shannon placed first in the first go round of saddle bronc riding, solidifying his hold on first place in the state standings, with a score of 60.
Jacob Dunn was second in the go round, then was the only cowboy to make a qualified ride in the second go round, sweeping the average for the weekend.
Prineville cowgirl Gracie Garthwaite also had a solid rodeo, placing fourth in the second go round of barrel racing with a time of 18.585.
Garthwaite has qualified for the state finals in both pole bending and barrel racing.
The final Crook County cowgirl to place in the rodeo was Dally Miotke, who finished ninth in the first go round of goat tying with a time of 9.90 seconds. Miotke just missed qualifying for the state finals in barrel racing and breakaway roping, but has qualified for the finals in goat tying.
No other Crook County athletes placed in Burns. However, several other members of the Tri-County rodeo club had good performances at the event.
Redmond's Preston Young placed in both go rounds of steer wrestling. Young was fifth in the first go round with a time of 8.80 seconds, then came back to finish fourth in the second go round with a time of 16.13.
His brother Dillon finished eighth in the event in the first go round with a time of 19.58, but failed to place on day two.
However, Dillon did place in the second go round of tie-down roping, finishing in fifth place with a time of 18.18 seconds.
Dillon heads into the state finals ranked fourth in tie-down roping and eighth in steer wrestling, while Preston is ninth in tie-down and second in steer wrestling. The brothers have also both qualified for the state finals in team roping.
The final Central Oregon cowboys to place in Burns were Coy Aldrich and Brayden Schmidt, who won the first go round of team roping with a time of 6.59 seconds.
The team roping duo currently leads the state standings in the event.
Aldrich, a Culver cowboy, is also high in the standings in several individual events, leading the all-around cowboy standings as well as qualifying for the finals in tie-down roping.
Aldrich has already won the state title in the reined cow horse competition and was third in the state in boys cutting.
Although no other Tri-County Rodeo Club members placed in Burns, several others have qualified for the state finals.
Prineville cowboy Jaxson Rhoden is seventh in the steer wrestling standings heading into the finals. Rhoden and roping partner Michelle Williams have also qualified for the team roping finals and are currently 15th in the standings.
Also qualifying for the state finals are saddle bronc riders Chase Buchanan and Deaqlan Lundquist, who are third and fifth, respectively, in the standings.
Lundquist and roping partner Gavin McLean just missed the finals in team roping, finishing in 22nd place in the standings.
The final local cowboy to qualify for the finals is Bubba Luttrell, who is 14th heading into the finals in tie-down roping and has also qualified for the finals in team roping with Buckner as his partner.
The top 20 individuals in each event and the top 20 teams in team roping all qualify for the state finals.
The state finals will open on Thursday, June 13 with the first go round in timed events scheduled for 9 a.m.
The first go round in the rough stock events and the second go round for half of the timed events will be at 6 p.m. that evening.
The remainder of second go round performances will begin at 6 p.m. on Friday, June 14, with the short go round scheduled for Saturday, June 15, beginning at noon.
The top four individuals in each event following the finals qualify for the National High School Finals Rodeo, which will be held July 11-20 in Rock Springs, Wyoming.
Individuals finishing in fifth through 15th places can also continue competing as they will qualify for the Silver State International Rodeo, which will be held June 30 through July 6, in Winnemucca, Nevada.