Vermont wranglers, riders headed to nationals

Published: Jul. 10, 2023 at 12:26 AM EDT
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BARRE, Vt. (WCAX) - Some Vermont kids are going all-in with the sport of rodeo. Several members of the Vermont High School Rodeo Association qualified for nationals this year.

They are headed to the 75th annual National High School Rodeo finals competition, which is being held in Wyoming July 16-22.

Parents say these types of sporting events create a special bond with their kids.

Vermont National High School Rodeo Association President Michael Krause knows what it’s like to be a rodeo parent.

“Just doing [the events] with my daughter... these events are just so fleeting. Bring able to spend time with her and do the circuit and ride around the stables in the state of Vermont and meet some great people and see some great states and arenas,” Krause said.

The association says its mission is to promote and support education, and to develop leadership skills, dedication, commitment and responsibility.

It is the world’s largest rodeo event, featuring more than 1,600 contestants from the United States, Australia, Mexico, New Zealand and Canada.

In addition to competing for more than $150,000 in prizes, contestants will also gun for more than $375,000 in college scholarships. And they get the chance to be named a high school rodeo world champion.

To earn this title, contestants must finish in the top 20, which is based on their combined times and scores in the three rounds.

“It’s a great group of kids. They’re all super supportive. It’s just a way of life really,” said Bethany Davis, VHSRA’s national director.