Quarter Horse

Rodeo Reined Cow Horse Recap National High School Finals Rodeo

National High School Finals

qualifiers, along with their families and friends, gathered at the Sweetwater Event Complex in Rock Springs, Wyoming, July 15-21, for the largest rodeo in the world; consisting of more than 1,500 contestants, 2,000 stalls and 1,400 RVs. The week is filled with opportunities and activities for young rodeo athletes, including: two rodeo performances per day, shopping, schol- arships, nightly dances, family cookouts, educational clinics and much more. The National High School Rodeo Association (NHSRA) is a youth-driven, family-friend- ly organization, and this was more apparent than ever this past week in the cowboy state. The National Reined Cow Horse Asso- ciation (NRCHA) just completed its fourth year of partnership with the NHSRA. 101 contestants spent the week competing for the championship title in one of the largest youth reined cow horse classes in history. The cow horse excitement kicked-off

on Saturday, July 14, with a free clinic spon- sored by NRCHA. Jake Telford and Jason Gay, both of Caldwell, ID, spent the day ed- ucating and coaching the young cow horse enthusiasts. 50 clinic participants embraced their one-on-one time with the clinicians, while either working a cow or putting the finishing touches on their rein work. The contestants’ hard work and de- termination was evident, as they shined through each performance. The improve- ment seen in these young competitors, and their horses, over the past four years was as- tounding. The judges rewarded their efforts with big scores right out of the gate. It took a score of 71 or better, across the board, to advance to the short-go.

After four years of competing in the

Josh Briggs & Ricochet Shine

NHSRA reined cow horse, the Pilot Point, TX, cowboy Josh Briggs finally captured the 2018 NHSFR Reined Cow Horse Cham- pionship with a composite score of 877. The 2018 graduate came into the short-go with a composite score of 589. Mother nature was not kind to Briggs; as he entered the outdoor arena, the wind picked up and dust started to fly. Briggs and his mount, Ricochet Shine (Ricochet San x Shiney Tea Pot Doc x Te- jons Peppy Doc), battled against the weath- er and their cow, scoring a 288. Briggs will be attending North Central Texas College this fall, where he will ride on the equestrian and ranch horse teams. Natalie Leisinger, Highmore, SD, was

Natalie Leisinger

crowned the Reserve Champion. Leising- er began her cow horse journey on a rope horse, when the event was first added to the NHSRA line-up. Four years ago, she fell going down the fence during the second go-round of the NHSFR in Rock Springs. The past few years of perseverance and persistence, to improve her horsemanship skills and horsepower, paid off as she fin- ished second place in the same arena where she once faced challenges. Leisinger’s com- posite score of 874.5 (290.5 first go/288.5 second go/295.5 short-go) earned her many NSHFR awards. For the second year in a row, The Reining Horse Foundation (RHF) provided a $1,500 scholarship to the highest reining score of all three go-rounds. Josh Briggs and Brie Wells, LaMars, Iowa, tied for the win with a score of 149. A big fence work score of 152.5 landed Reece Ullerich, Hum- boltd, SD, the highest cow work score of all three go-rounds and a $1,000 scholarship. All top-twenty Finalists received an invita- tion to the NRCHA Celebration of Champi- ons to compete in the High School Rodeo Challenge. w

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