By Adam Eisenbarth
There’s a new rodeo star in town.
Jessa Galloway’s success at this year’s National High School Finals Rodeo in Clovis, N.M. is an encouraging sign of things to come in her rodeo career.
The Ponoka cowgirl participated in pole bending, breakaway roping and barrel racing, and was among the top competitors throughout the week in Clovis.
“It went really good I was happy with how it turned out.”
Her week started on July 20 with a 17.698 second time in barrel racing, good for fifth in her group, just two one-hundredths of a second back from the top finisher from Texas.
She finished 24th overall in the first round, just missing the top 20 to advance by .045 of a second.
Tanisha Adams of Idaho placed first in the round with a 17.317. A total of 167 girls participated in the round.
“It was a little bit (disappointing to miss the top 20) but I was still pretty happy with it,” as she should be. The 15-year-old is already among the best competitors and she still has several years to compete.
“It’s really tough down there. It’s the top four from every state, so it’s really hard. Some of the girls are in Grade 12.”
Galloway continued her strong performance in her other events.
In breakaway roping, an event similar to tie-down roping, Galloway finished 10th in the group with 5.522 seconds. Cassidy Boggs of Oklahoma finished first with a 2.774. Galloway’s roping landed her in 55th spot out of 76.
On July 22, Galloway participated in pole bending in which the rider weaves through six poles, before turning back to weave through again.
The event is commonly seen in high school rodeos and Galloway was among the leaders in that event as well, with a fifth-place finish at 21.105 seconds. That put her in 39th place overall out of 158 competitors.
Galloway helped Alberta to rank 20th overall in the team standings after the first round with 430 points, the top province in the competition that included 41 states, four provinces and also had an Australian team. British Columbia finished as the next province in the standings, tied with North Carolina and Kentucky at 31st with 170 points.
In the second go-round, Galloway finished 33rd in barrel racing with a time of 17.74 seconds. She finished 56th in breakaway roping with a time of 7.238 and placed 118th in pole bending at 26.232 seconds.
Wacey Finkbeiner also competed but didn’t ride his first bull, ending his hopes of competing in the second round. Only seven cowboys did ride in his group — 50 did not advance to the next round.
The National High School Rodeo has events throughout the continent, including a stop here in Ponoka in June where Galloway and Finkbeiner qualified for the finals.