Locals to compete at world’s largest junior high rodeo

unior high school cowboys and cowgirls have been working hard all season long to qualify for the fourth annual Wrangler Junior High Finals Rodeo in Gallup, New Mexico. Jessa Galloway, Jordan Smith and Logan Bonnett will represent Ponoka on Team Alberta.

Jessa Galloway

Jessa Galloway

By Tiffany Williams

Editor

Junior high school cowboys and cowgirls have been working hard all season long to qualify for the fourth annual Wrangler Junior High Finals Rodeo in Gallup, New Mexico. Jessa Galloway, Jordan Smith and Logan Bonnett will represent Ponoka on Team Alberta.

The Wrangler finals will take place June 30 to July 5 with over 1,000 contestants from 47 states, Canada and Australia making it the world’s largest junior high rodeo. The cowboys and cowgirls will be competing for more than $75,000 in prizes and more than $50,000 in college scholarships.

Bonnett

Logan Bonnett is in Grade 8 at Diamond Willow Middle School and will be competing in breakaway roping. During the finals in Nanton he was the only competitor to have a legal catch on all three days. On the first day he had a time of 3.6 seconds, on the second day he had a time of 29 seconds and on the final day he roped a time of 14.2 seconds. Earlier in the year he won the Hobbema rodeo with a time of 2.6 seconds and he won the Bowden rodeo with a time of 3.1 seconds.

His mom Dee-Ann Bonnett says that their whole family is very excited for him and she thinks that it will be an amazing experience for him. Dee-Ann remembers when she competed in high school rodeo.

“ I used to barrel race and it’s pretty neat to see most of the people I competed against he is competing against their kids. It’s a big family and it’s pretty cool,” said Dee-Ann. “It will be a big trip and we are all looking forward to it.”

Logan says that he is pretty excited to have qualified for the finals and is looking forward to competing in the nice weather.

“It will be really cool and I will get to meet a lot of different people,” said Logan.

He thinks that he has to work on a few things before he heads to the finals.

“I have to get my swing up quick and deliver and I have to work on being quicker and more consistent,” said Logan. “I like it because I am good at it and I can be really quick and it is fun.”

Bonnett also competes in team roping, calf roping, ribbon roping and is looking forward to meeting new kids and spending time with his teammates, more than 52 kids from Alberta.

Jessa Galloway, in Grade 8, will be competing in three different events at the finals: pole bending, goat tying and breakaway.

“I’m pretty excited, it’s a really nice feeling making it in three events. It is going to be quite a good experience, there will be kids from Australia and Hawaii and everywhere,” said Galloway. “I think I just need to practice a lot and improve my skills but the main thing is to have fun down there because I have made it. It is going to be really tough down there.”

In poles she finished first overall at the finals in Nanton with times of 23.644 (plus five for hitting a pole), 21.979 and 21.412. She got a new little horse this fall, Pepsi, a quarter horse, which has really helped her in pole bending. At the start of the spring season she had no points in poles and finished first.

In goat tying she is excited and surprised to go because she did not have a good weekend in Nanton. She is going to the finals in third after times of 15.2, 12.7 and 9.6 at the finals.

In breakaway she was tied for first place going into the finals and missed in two go rounds and won one with a time of 4.6 seconds.

Smith

Jordan Smith placed all three days at the finals in the team roping with a best time in the finals of 8.6 seconds. The Grade 8 student has been roping for three years and has been rodeoing for two years. His goal is to make it to the short go round and thinks he has to practice a lot before going.

“I’m really excited about it and I think that it is going to be lots of fun,” said Smith

It will be the first time for all three at the Wrangler finals. To follow the three local contestants check out www.nhstr.org.