VALLEY CITY — Junior High rodeo contestants from around the state gathered this past weekend, April 8-10 in Valley City for the kickoff to their spring rodeo season. A total of 375 runs and rides were made in thirteen different rodeo events. 94 contestants, their horses, and families took part in the two-day rodeo.
After a phenomenal team performance at the 2021 Junior High National Rodeo Finals in Des Moines, Iowa, competition didn’t disappoint.
“Since before nationals, we have all upped our competition game. This year, as an eighth grader, I’m glad to finally be older and more experienced,” explained Saturday's Boys All-Around Champion Zane Waggoner.
“Despite the busy time of year with sports, calving season, other rodeos, and high costs of fuel, the families of rodeo are still committed and make it work. Entry numbers were very strong,” said Cori Hilzendeger, NDJHR secretary.
ND Junior High rodeo started in 2004 by hosting two rodeos at Prairie Skies Arena in Mandan. Now the association is flourishing, hosting three weekends of rodeo in the fall: Bismarck, Richardton, and Watford City. The spring schedule includes weekends at: Valley City, Parshall, and state finals in Bowman. This 2021-2022 year also introduced 5th grade competition into the usual 6th, 7th, and 8th grade rodeo events. Points are accumulated for placings in each event from 1st-10th placings.
State finals has two go-rounds and accumulated points on an average, also presenting points in a short-round with top ten finishers.
Rubi Johnson, NDJHR student president said, “Valley City is a really nice facility. We have been riding most of the winter in the cold to get ready for this. The competition this weekend has been really good.”
For a complete list of results and standings, visit: www.ndjhrodeo.com.