It’s not even half over and already, 2014 has been a productive year for Oakdale’s Austin Paddock. In May, Paddock graduated from Oakdale High School, and this past week, Paddock was crowned the 2014 Boys Cutting State Champion at the California High School Rodeo (CHSR) State Finals in Bishop, CA.
Cutting is a horseback event where the horse and rider are judged on their ability to separate an animal, typically a cow, from the herd and keep it away for a short period of time. This is typically done using quarter horses and for Paddock, it was no different. He rode a quarter horse named “AA Wild Way” also known as “Windy” which he has ridden for two years.
“I’ve been riding for about four or five years now, and I enjoy it greatly,” said Paddock.
He also took fifth in the Team Roping competition over the weekend as well.
“I prefer cutting more than I do team roping. It is more competitive. When you compete in cutting, it’s just you and your horse. Whereas, in team roping, it’s you and your partner, so it’s more of an individual accomplishment in cutting,” explained Paddock.
To reach the State Finals, Paddock had to first compete in district events, where the top five students in each event go on to advance to State. There are nine districts in California, Paddock is in District 5. After his successful run in each, district and state level competition, Paddock will now be heading to The National High School Finals Rodeo in Rock Springs, Wyoming from July 13-19. The National Finals doesn’t just include the best of the mainland, but will include students from Hawaii, Alaska, Canada and Australia as well.
“I’m looking forward to it. I’ve been out of state for other competitions, but this is the biggest one for me so far,” Paddock said with excitement.
Paddock, who was a member of Oakdale High School’s Future Farmers of America (FFA) program and the school’s rodeo club, is also a member of the Oakdale Saddle Club and the NorCal Junior Rodeo Association.