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Powell Butte's Buckner wins pole bending, breakaway; was the girls all-around champion

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Kennedy Buckner, of Powell Butte, was the girls all-around winner at the 2020 Oregon High School Rodeo State Finals, held at the Crook County Fairgrounds. Buckner was the individual winner in both the pole bending and breakaway roping competitions. Coy Aldrich, from Culver, was the boys all-around winner, taking team roping as header and finishing in the top four in three other events.

Two members of the Central Oregon High School Rodeo Team captured the all-around titles at the Oregon State High School Rodeo Finals, held in Prineville June 18-20.

Recent Culver High School graduate Coy Aldrich emerged as the boys all-around and Powell Butte's Kennedy Buckner was the girls all-around champion. Aldrich was also the individual winner of the team roping headers. Buckner was the average winner in both pole bending and breakaway roping to solidify her all-around title.

Cord Gomes of Antelope won the steer wrestling competition.

Aldrich entered the finals in good position to be in the running for all-around, ranked second in tie-down roping, third in team roping, sixth in reined cow horse and seventh in steer wrestling. Along with finishing first in team roping as a header, Aldrich finished second in tie-down roping, third in reined cow and fourth in steer wrestling.

Aldrich was also honored with the Red Nance Memorial Award and his horse, T4 Pistols Perk, earned the American Quarter Horse Association Horse of the Year for the boys.

Bucker also had a great finals rodeo. Like Aldrich, she came into the event in good position for the all-around, sitting No. 1 in breakaway roping, second in goat tying, third in pole bending, ninth in girls cutting and 11th in barrel racing, and was also a top 20 qualifer in team roping. As noted, Bucker took home the breakaway roping and pole bending titles when all was said and done, and she took fifth in goat typing, sixth in girls cutting and eighth in barrel racing.

Bucker's horse, Peppy's Sweet Lilly, was the girls AQHS Horse of the Year.

Gomes entered the state rodeo ranked second in steer wrestling, eight in team roping and 13th in tie-down roping. But Gomes had an excellent finals rodeo in his key event, taking the steer wrestling title over Case Jones 92 to 86. Gomes, a recent Culver High School graduate, also tied for ninth place in team roping as a heeler.

Prineville's Wyatt Wood finished second in the bareback event to Mason Stuller. Stuller also edged Powell Butte's Jace England to win the saddle bronc event. England took second. Deagland Lundquist, also of Powell Butte, was third in saddle bronc.

Coy Havely, a Terrebonne cowboy, took third in bull riding. Also from Terrebonne, Preston Young tied for sixth in streer wrestling.

Gracie Gathwaite of Powell Butte was 10th in barrel racing. Adriene Steffen, from Sisters, finished sixth in pole bending and 10th in goat tying. Paige Lake, from Redmond, had a good finals, taking fourth in reined cow horse and fifth in girls cutting.

Parker Buchanan, a Powell Butte cowboy, was fifth in team roping as a heeler, with his partner Dani Clark.

The state finals ended a season that included four rodeos, three of which took place last fall before COVID-19, and the fourth took place the week before the state finals, and was held in Prineville. The top 20 rodeo athletes in each of the various events earned the right to participate in the state finals. Points earned in the four rodeos were compiled to determined the top 20, and those points were carried into the finals as well.

Athletes placing in the top four in each event at state earned an invitation to the National High School Rodeo Finals, usually in Wyoming but this year scheduled for Guthrie, Oklahoma, on July 17-23. Aldrich could participate in all four of his events. Buckner qualifed in the two events she took state titles in, pole bending and breakaway roping.


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