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A Class Of Their Own - Farquer, New To Tackle National Rodeo
7-6 Rodeo Pair
Oakdale High students Colton Farquer and Katelin New have qualified for the National High School Finals Rodeo in Wyoming this month after big honors from the California State Rodeo. - photo by Photo Contributed
It’s only fitting that the National High School Finals Rodeo this month has at least two entries from the Cowboy Capital of the World.
State-runner up Colton Farquer (tie-down roping) and 2011-12 Miss California High School Rodeo Queen Katelin New will both take on the best cowboys and cowgirls in the world during the National Finals in Gillette, Wyoming from July 15 to 23.
Farquer, a soon-to-be junior, will take on the top four tie-down ropers from each state, along with qualifiers from Australia and Canada in an action packed and talented division.
New, a soon-to-be Mustang senior, will also compete for the title of National High School Queen, having already claimed similar honors from her state and district.
Between the queen contestants and the barrage of around 245 arena competitors in each event, the NHSFR is the single largest rodeo event across any age division in the world.
It showcases the brightest and most talented stars of high school rodeo, and provides an opportunity for greatness that many won’t take lightly.
For Farquer, it’s the culmination of countless hours of work this season as he has tirelessly driven to better his own skill sets.
He spends hours each day at the ranch of Jerold Camarillo, roping, riding and tying to the best of his abilities.
“It’s taken me about two years of practicing every day for five or six hours to get to where I am now.“ Farquer said. “I wouldn’t be where I am now without the support of Jerold and my family.”
Farquer has made huge improvements under the tutelage of Camarillo, but that’s no shock considering Camarillo is a two-time team roping World Champion who is currently in the Cowboy Rodeo Hall of Fame.
The longtime cowboy doesn’t compete anymore, but instead spends hours each day with top young prospects, imparting his knowledge and roping tactics to Oakdale’s future rodeo contestants.
“It makes me happy that I can give my talents to them and see if they can do as good or better than me,” Camarillo said. “I have all the instruments, tools, dummies and livestock, so the younger kids will come here and learn the basics, and the more experienced ones will decide how far they want to go with it.”
Farquer caught on quick enough to place top-five in District 5 before finishing top-40 in the state’s tie-down roping division as an Oakdale freshman.
A year later, he qualified for state in tie-down, team roping and boys cutting. He was well off the top four in team roping, placed sixth in cutting and ultimately qualified for the top-16 short-go in tie-down after 13.92 and 11.81 second stanzas in the first two rounds.
In the short-go he rushed his horse to chase down a calf, roped it, pulled the rope tight, sprang from his horse, tied three legs of the calf and remounted in just 10.42 seconds for the single best time of any tie-down competitor throughout the state competition.
His 36.15 second combined time was less than two seconds shy of event champion Sterling Humphry of Fall River High, who went 10.52, 11.05 and 13.03 in his three runs in the division.
“It’s kind of nerve-racking at first, but as soon as you rope the calf you get this sigh of relief followed by an adrenaline rush to go as fast as you can to tie,” Farquer said. “When it’s done you get this combination of shock and relief, and it’s so much fun.”
New staked her claim as the Miss California High School Rodeo Queen after landing huge accolades in multiple judged categories ranging from appearance to command of a horse and the fielding of questions.
She will kick off her entry to the National Finals with a written test and orientation on July 15, before a barrage of events that include a social with the national judges, introductions, impromptu questions, modeling, two minute speeches, horsemanship and a queen crowning ceremony.
The event is expected to draw over 1500 contestants with more than $200,000 in prizes and around $350,000 in scholarship money. Camarillo, the former world champ, believes some of those winnings could head his pupil’s way.
“I look for Colton to be in the top three when it’s all done and over with,” Camarillo said. “If he just does the same things he does in my arena then he can do some big things for himself.”