A trio of rodeo all-stars is hoping to make its mark in New Mexico next week at the National Junior High Finals Rodeo.
Team ropers Keely Bonnett and Walker Galloway, and breakaway roper Jenny Massing have earned a position on the provincial team. Bonnett will also compete in breakaway roping and goat tying.
Best friends and neighbours, Bonnett 14, and Galloway, 13, have been team roping partners for two years and each has been involved in rodeo “since we were real little,” Galloway said. They agree they need to “rope smarter.”
“We need to be patient and be sure to rope the calf and get a time rather than come out quick and miss with the rope,” Bonnett explained. “It’s better to have three down than two down.”
Galloway said that during practice the two support each other and try to reduce their mistakes.
“I think we can win,” Bonnett said. “Last year the team that won it didn’t have the best times but they didn’t miss. That’s what we’ve got to do.”
Bonnett also likes his chances in his other events.
“I’m leading the breakaway and second in team roping so I’m in good at both,” Bonnet said. But his goat tying technique needs improvement.
The Diamond Willow Middle School students are serious about rodeo and plan to continue as they grow older. Bonnet is enrolled in the new Broncs Rodeo Academy at PCHS.
Massing returns to Nationals
Jenny Massing, 13, has competed in the Wrangler Rodeo for three years and qualified for the junior nationals in breakaway roping at Nanton last month.
“I was the season leader going into the finals,” she said. “I was pretty confident with that.”
She roped her calf in 3.5 seconds on the first day but missed on her next two gos. The winner in the event caught all three of her calves.
“You really have to work at it,” Massing said. “If I’m consistent, I think I’ll do well.”
The Mecca Glen School student also competes in barrel racing, pole bending, goat tying and ribbon roping.