State High School Rodeo Finals

State High School Rodeo Finals

photo-8Madison Holmes wins the short go in the Barrel Racing and 5th overall.
Carol Lee Holt wins 2nd over all in the Pole Bending and 3rd over all in the Barrel Racing.
Kason Burgess and Tallen Bennett won 4th over all in the Team Roping.
Kanton Vause won 10th over all in the Steer Wrestling.
Karlie Pearson and CJ Miller also had a great performance in Team Roping

 

High school rodeo is a unique kind of competition

HEBER CITY — The Utah High School Rodeo Finals is a championship
unlike any other — and not just because animals are involved.

“Most competitions are about rivalry,” said Enterprise High senior
Carol Lee Holt, who is currently number one in barrel racing and pole
bending with a chance at two state titles. “In rodeo, we cheer for
each other. We’re trying to help each other be better. It’s just a
good environment, and it’s exciting.”

High school students will compete in the annual state finals Wednesday
through Saturday at the Wasatch County Event Center. The cowboys and
cowgirls from across the state have worked all year for a shot at
competing not just for state titles but also for a chance to represent
Utah in the National High School Finals Rodeo in July.

Holt said rodeo has taught her how to set, work for and achieve goals
in her life.

“I like being able to succeed and work hard,” said Holt, who is the
co-valedictorian and class president, as well as the region runner-up
in agricultural science in the Sterling Scholar competition. “I like
that I determine how well I do. I like the family time and making good
friends and learning the life lessons that rodeo teaches you.”

She said getting up early to care for the horses she rides, as well as
committing to the time-consuming training, as well as travel, is
something that teaches the value of hard work.

It doesn’t hurt that she’s loved riding horses since “the first time I
got on one.” Growing up around horses, rodeo was a natural choice.

She also runs cross country for the Wolves and said that while all
sports teach you real-life lessons, rodeo really instills
accountability in a person.

“You have to take responsibility for how you do,” she said. “Nobody
else. You have to ride your horse; you have to take care of them; you
have to get up early in the morning and feed them.”

She is hoping for a good week in her senior rodeo season.

“My goal is to do my best and let my horses do their best,” she said.

The competitions begin Wednesday at 10 a.m. with competitions on
Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at both 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Each athlete
will compete twice in the events for which they’ve qualified and
points are given for how they do overall, with the top 10 earning
spots in Saturday’s championship round.

The top four from each event will qualify to represent Utah in the
National High School Finals next month. It’s an accomplishment student
athletes like Holt prepare for all year long. Her dedication has
earned her a full-ride scholarship in academics to BYU, where she
plans to study accounting.

“I might (pro) rodeo later in life after I get my degree,” Holt said.
“I’m sad to be leaving (high school) but excited to be starting a new
stage in life.”

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