In all, 1,395 entries were made into 13 competing events at the National High School Rodeo Finals in Gillette, Wyoming from July 17 to 23.
Despite being surrounded by the top young talents in the nation, Oakdale High students Colton Farquer and Katelin New impressed with top-10 finishes in their respective events.
Farquer was third overall in the championship short-go, which averaged his total scores to an eighth place finish among 131 tie-down ropers from across the United States, Canada and Australia.
New, the 2011 District 5 and California High School Rodeo Association Queen, competed with 41 other state and country queens, ultimately finishing ninth after a barrage of category judging.
Together, the two were excellent representatives for Oakdale, District 5 and the CHSRA. California placed 10th overall among 43 teams/states.
“It was interesting to see the diversity of all the competitors, and see how the world’s biggest rodeo has grown,” Farquer said on Sunday. “It was a lot of fun, and a new experience that I want to do again.”
Farquer is only an incoming junior at Oakdale High, with two more shots to improve his eighth place finish at the NHSRF. He was second in the state rodeo, but nabbed the top California finish after a 36.08-combined score from three rides at nationals.
He stalled to a 15.2-second run (chase down a calf while mounted on a horse, rope it, hop off the horse and tie three legs) to open competition. A round later he bested his first score with an 11.11 time, which qualified him for the top-20 short-go to decide a national champion. In the short-go, he matched his career best 9.49 time to claim eighth overall.
“Going into nationals I had high hopes I could achieve something, expecting maybe to place 30th or so,” Farquer said. “I am only a sophomore competing against a lot of juniors and seniors, so it felt good to place in the top 10.
“To tie my best time ever in the championship round in front of a huge crowd of people was really nice.”
Farquer will spend the next few weekends at junior rodeos in the Bay Area, and picks up action at four different competitions at the Oakdale Saddle Club rodeo grounds before the high school rodeo picks up again in September.
New may not undergo quite the same schedule of regular roping, but is just as busy these days with television and radio interviews, an appearance at the Bishop Film Festival and a year of devout representation of the CHSRA. Her picture, along with her written introduction is pictured on the home page of the CHSRA website.
“I wouldn’t say I am a celebrity,” New said, laughing, when posed the question. “But I am a spokesperson for California High School Rodeo and I do the best to represent the sport to the best of my ability.”
New, an incoming OHS senior, won’t be able to represent the CHRSA as a college freshman, so 2011 marks her final year of prep competition on the rodeo stage.
And while New plans to pursue a career in the medical field, she also has her sights on the title of Oakdale Rodeo Queen, an honor available to women over the age of 17.
“I do see myself competing for the Oakdale Rodeo Queen title,” New said. “I think it would be an honor to represent my home town.”