Rachael Van Horn
Woodward, Okla. —
For the third consecutive year, Woodward is hosting the Oklahoma High School Rodeo Finals.
Activities kick off Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. at the Northwest Inn said Oklahoma High School Rodeo President Jeff Christensen. Rodeo queen candidates will begin the contest for the opportunity to represent Oklahoma at the National High School Rodeo in Rock Springs, Wyoming in July.
Rodeo check in for all contestants will take place at the Crystal Beach Arena Wednesday from noon to 4 p.m. followed by a mandatory meeting for all rodeo participants, Christensen said.
Also taking place at noon Wednesday is the Lil' Ed Memorial Gold Tournament-four person scramble. The tournament is being held at the Woodward Municipal Golf Course at Crystal Beach Park. It is in memory of and a benefit for the Benton Edgar Drury Memorial Scholarship Fund.
Drury, of Olustee, was a member of the Oklahoma High School Rodeo Association and died in a vehicle accident August 16, 2011, said Brad Beaty, organizer of the Lil' Ed Memorial Gold Tournament. Drury was 18 when he died.
"The Drury family and Ed were great members of the Oklahoma High School Rodeo Association and he was killed the day before school, college, in Weatherford began," Beaty said. "So we're hosting the golf tournament to help the family continue the scholarship fund."
Beaty said the tournament last year raised more than $5,000 toward the scholarship fund, which the family uses to assist other high school rodeo participants in their college dreams.
Beaty said there is still a need this year for hole sponsors and he hopes to have as many participants in the golf scramble as possible.
Also Wednesday, a Cowboy Prom is slated for 7 p.m. at the Woodward Convention Center. The event is open to all high school students who would like to attend, Christensen said.
"We do this because our high school rodeo participants usually cannot attend their own proms because they are competing to get points through the year, Christensen said. "So we put on a little prom just for them."
The first rodeo performance will take place at the Crystal Beach Arena at 2 p.m. on Thursday.
The second performance will take place at 3 p.m. at the Crystal Beach Arena on Friday.
Also on Friday, there is a cutting horse competition at the roundup club arena situated north of the Crystal Beach Arena starting at 9 a.m.
According to Christensen, after the first and second performances are complete, the top 15 in each event will go on to compete in Saturday's Short Go Performance, which will begin at 5 p.m.
"The Short Go tickets will sell for $7 each and for that, Dairy Queen of Woodward is providing a free hamburger with a ticket bought and kids under 12-years-old are free and get a free hamburger too," Christensen said. "I really think this performance will be great for people to come out and be a part of."
The event will finish up with Cowboy Church Sunday morning at the Woodward Convention Center at 10 a.m.
Note: Rodeo events for the high school rodeo includes barrel racing, breakaway roping, bareback riding, bull riding, goat tying, pole bending, saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, tie-down roping, team roping, and boys and girls cutting. All-around champions will also be determined. The top 4 in each event are eligible to compete in the National High School Rodeo finals.
A number of talented youngsters from Woodward and Northwest Oklahoma will compete in the Oklahoma High School Rodeo Finals at Crystal Beach Arena this week.
Mark Aguilar, 16, of Mooreland is in the team roping and calf roping events. He started rodeo when he was only 4-years-old. "I just did almost everything . . . I did barrel racing, pole bending, calf riding...just everything I could," he said.
Aguilar graduates in two years and hopes to get a rodeo scholarship to Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Alva.
Cheyenne Christensen, 16, Clear Lake is competing in the cutting horse event "When I was 3-years-old, I did barrels and poles. When I got older I did goat tying," she said.
She plans on attending Western Oklahoma State College in Altus then Panhandle State University majoring in agriculture.
Rylan Ferbrache, 18, of Woodward will compete in team roping. He began his rodeo career young and jumped right into the thick of team roping. "I started out in team roping at 12-years-old," he said.
He plans to attend West Texas A&M in Canyon Texas on a rodeo scholarship that he hopes to receive.
Drew Grunewald, 15, of Woodward will compete in breakaway roping. She began rodeo when she was 10 years old in the breakaway roping competition.
Jaco Messenger, 16, of Woodward will compete in the calf roping and cutting events. "I would have been 11-years-old when I started. At that time, I did calf roping, team roping and chute-dogging," he said.
He wants to go to college anywhere he is able continue his rodeo career.
Madelyn Messenger, 18, of Woodward will compete in cutting and breakaway roping. She is planning to attend Oklahoma State University. She began her rodeo career when she was 13-years-old doing breakaway and cutting events. At present, she is the National High School Rodeo Secretary.
Taylor Munsell, 16, of Woodward will be competing in barrel racing, goat tying, breakaway roping and team roping. "I began in rodeo as soon as I could walk. I competed mostly in stick horse events and goat underrating," she said.
She plans to go to OSU but she said she might go somewhere else first on a rodeo scholarship.
Bailey Rae Poer,16, of Woodward but formerly of Gruver, Texas will be one of the few young women who is slated to compete in the team roping event, an event usually dominated by young men. "There are a few of us girls but there are not as many girls as there are guys," she said.
Poer began her rodeo career at the tender age of 2. "I ran barrels and did goat undecorating and all those junior events." She plans to attend Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford.
Kassidi Patterson,16, of Woodward is in the Oklahoma High School Rodeo Queen contest, barrel racing and the pole bending competition. She began her rodeo career when she was 3, competing in barrels, poles and goat tying. She plans on attending college and is still open to any university where she can continue her rodeo career and her academic focus.
Kelsy Price,15, of Fargo will be turning 16 on June 9th during the finals. Price is going to compete in the Miss Oklahoma High School Rodeo Queen Contest and in
barrel racing. "I started rodeo when I 7-years-old. I did barrels poles and goat tying and I also did those events in the Harper County Round Up Club, Woodward Round Up Club and the Northwestern Oklahoma Junior Rodeo. Association," she said.
She wants to attend either Northwestern University at Alva or Oklahoma State University where she can be involved with FFA.
Logan Hunter of Woodward and Bailey Yauk of Buffalo are also competing in the rodeo this year.
Also competing in the rodeo this year are Logan Hunter of Woodward and Bailey Yauk of Buffalo. The News was unable to reach Hunter or Yauk for additional information.