Rodeo Athletes Become State Qualifiers in Season Opener

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By Julie Johansen

South Summit high school and junior high rodeo teams were unable to host rodeos in their own county due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so the venue they chose was the new Duchesne County Equestrian Facility. Over the weekend, on Friday and Saturday, both the high school and junior high rodeo competitions were hosted. Several local cowboys and cowgirls scored high enough to qualify for state in the season opener.

Two rough stock riders from the Emery Club rode tough enough to tie for first place on Friday, including Kayson Jensen, barebacks, and Byron Christiansen, saddle broncs. On Saturday, Jensen secured second place and Christiansen earned third in their respective events.

In tie down roping on Friday, Cole Magnuson place sixth while Christiansen took fourth on Saturday. In the bull riding on Friday, Cole Magnuson earned second and Christiansen finished in fifth. Christiansen also received fourth place on Saturday.

Graycee Mills took ninth in barrels and Abbie McElprang was fourth in breakaway roping. This means that five Emery rodeo team members have already qualified for state finals.

In the junior high division, Kamz Rich took first and third in bull riding while Dalton Allred was second and third. Kyle Ekker tied with Rich for third on Saturday.

In girl’s breakaway, Shaynee Fox earned third and Ryleigh Allred took fifth. These two girls also placed seventh and 10th, respectively. In girls’ goats, Maddison Nielson took sixth.

Will Jeffs placed second in chute dogging over the weekend. In the team roping, Zane Magnuson and Ethan Gilbert roped fast enough for third place. Gilbert also took eighth and fifth in boys’ breakaway with Whit Weber in sixth and Zane Magnuson in seventh.

Girls’ pole bending saw Bryndli Stevens and Ryleigh Allred in fifth and 10th. Ribbon roping partners Maddison Nielson and Ean Ellis roped and ran fast enough for sixth place.

Next week, the rodeo trail will once again lead to Duchesne for the Rich and Uintah Basin rodeos for both junior high and high school athletes. The reining cow horse will start on Thursday this week.

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