Skyler Kunz and Parker Patterson competed and won the team roping average this weekend at the Kansas Junior High School Rodeo State Finals in Whitewater. Not only did the boys win halters and headstalls for their horses, they qualified for the National Finals Rodeo in Gallup, N.M., as part of the Kansas National Junior High Rodeo Team.
The boys came into the finals in sixth place after competing this spring and fall in rodeos across the state. They were the only team at finals to catch in both rounds of the rodeo and the short go, finishing third in round 1, fourth in round 2, and second in the short go. This rocketed them into a fourth-place season finish which qualifies them to compete in Gallup.
Kunz, son of Shaun and Jennifer Kunz of Harper, will be an eighth grader at Conway Springs Middle School next year and Patterson, son of Ronnie Patterson of Waldron and Sandy Dunn of Wichita, will be a freshman at Chaparral High School next year. They will travel with fellow teammates to Gallup June 23-29 to compete in the ninth annual National Junior High Finals Rodeo (NJHFR) in the team roping competition.
Featuring more than 1,000 contestants from 41 states, five Canadian provinces and Australia, the NJHFR is the world’s largest junior high rodeo. In addition to competing for more than $75,000 in prizes, NJHFR contestants will also be vying for more than $100,000 in college scholarships and the chance to be named the National Junior High Finals Rodeo National Champion. To earn this title, contestants must finish in the top 20-based on their combined times and scores in the first two rounds to advance to Saturday evening’s final round. National champions will then be determined based on their three-round combined times and scores.
The Saturday championship performance will be televised nationally as a part of the CINCHTOWN Tour telecast series on RFD-TV. Live broadcasts of each NJHFR performance will also air online at NHSRATV.com, powered by iHigh.com. Performance times are 7 p.m. on June 23, and 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. each day thereafter.
Along with great rodeo competition and the chance to meet new friends from around the world, NJHFR contestants have the opportunity to enjoy shooting sports, volleyball, tug-of-war, contestant dances, family-oriented activities, church services sponsored by the Fellowship of Christian Cowboys, and shopping at the NJHFR tradeshow, as well as visiting historical attractions of New Mexico and nearby Arizona.
To follow your local favorites at the NJHFR, visit NHSRA.org daily for complete results.