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High school rodeo competition riding into Winfield March 31-April 2

By Clint Thomas, Metro Reporter
The Mountaineer Stampede high school rodeo competition is scheduled for March 31-April 2 at the Winfield Riding Club. Courtesy photo
Parent
Tori Edens of St. Albans is the 2016-17 West Virginia High School Rodeo Association queen. Courtesy photo
The West Virginia High School Rodeo Association team. Courtesy photo

More than 100 young riders from throughout West Virginia, Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, North Carolina and Maryland will saddle up to compete in a rodeo contest later this month in Winfield.

In partnership with the West Virginia High School Rodeo Association, the Southern District 4-H Horse Camp will host the 2017 Mountaineer Stampede high school rodeo competition Friday, March 31 through Sunday, April 2 at the Winfield Riding Ring.

Open to registered members of the High School Rodeo Association, the weekend of competition will include barrel racing, steer wrestling, calf roping, team roping, pole bending, goat tying, breakaway roping and bull riding.

Along with the competitions for older riders, on Saturday afternoon, there will be a Pee-Wee Rodeo segment, events for younger rodeo entrants. A Cowboy Church will be conducted on Sunday morning.

The schedule of events is as follows:

• Friday, March 31

5 p.m.: Gates open to the public

7 p.m.: First performance

• Saturday, April 1

9 a.m.: Gates open to the public

10 a.m.: Second performance

1:30 p.m.: Pee-Wee Rodeo

6 p.m.: Third performance

• Sunday, April 2

9 a.m.: Gates open to the public

9 a.m.: Cowboy Church

10:30 a.m.: Fourth performance

A buckle presentation ceremony will follow the fourth performance.

West Virginia High School Rodeo Association Secretary Christy Keen Parent of Cool Ridge said the WVHSRA is hosting the multi-state rodeo, along with Putnam County 4-H, for the fourth year at the Winfield Riding Club. At presstime, more than 100 youths had registered for the competition, she said, with as many as 150 anticipated by the commencement of the event.

“We set up everything through the West Virginia High School Rodeo Association,” Parent said. “Every state has a rodeo association, for high school or junior high kids.

“There’s also a pee-wee and youth division. The little kids get to do everything the big kids do: barrels, poles, goats, breakaways and dummy roping. There’s also mutton-busting -- that’s the riding of the sheep.”

Parent said West Virginia High School Rodeo Association members hail from throughout the Mountain State. They participate in 14 or more rodeos, such as the upcoming Winfield competition, annually. “Anybody in West Virginia who’s in good standing at a public school or who is home-schooled can participate and become a member.”

She said she hopes the Mountaineer Stampede will also entice prospective riders to join the WVHSRA.

“We’re looking for new members. We had seven graduates last year, and we’ll have five graduating this year. Our season goes from August to May, and any kids ages 3 through high school can become a part of it. We’d love to talk to them at the Stampede and get them signed up to take part in August,” she said.

The riders in Winfield can earn both financial and national recognition, as well, Parent said.

“The good thing about the rodeo is that they stand a chance to win scholarships to college. We’ve given away $7,000 to $8,000 in scholarships, and they’re able to get scholarships through the National High School Rodeo Association, as well. “Riders also accumulate points at each rodeo. The top four finishers in each division go to the nationals, based on their points,” Parent said.

National competition for high school students is held in Wyoming, she said, and junior high national competition takes place in Tennessee every year.

Daily admission to the Mountaineer Stampede is $7 for adults or $12 will be charged for a three-day weekend pass. Children ages 5 and younger will be admitted free. Tickets will be available at the gate.

Proceeds from the Mountaineer Stampede will support the Southern District 4-H Horse Camp, the Camp Virgil Tate Barn Fund and the West Virginia High School Rodeo Association.

The Winfield Riding Ring is located at the Winfield Riding Club, 5449 W.Va. 34 in Winfield.

For more information, visit www.wvhsrarodeo.org or contact Parent at 304-578-7334 or wvcallin.rodeo@gmail.com


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