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TN High School Rodeo


By Nancy Brannon; photos by Sam Latza

The Tennessee High School Rodeo (TNHSR) held their third rodeo of the fall season at the Expo Center in Tunica, Mississippi, October 28-29, 2017. In addition to the usual rodeo events, and in celebration of the season, Saturday night was dubbed “Spooky Halloween Performance,” with all contestants encouraged to dress in costume.

Friday night was Barrel Race night, with $1500 added money in this IBRA-sanctioned event. This show offered 70% payback on entries. Joey Wolaver, with help from Kent Holt, organized the barrel race as a fund-raiser for the TNHSR team. The show was open to all barrel racers, and not limited to high school participants.

Folks may not realize it, but it costs about $15,000 to put on a rodeo, Wolaver said. There is arena rental, chute rental, livestock contractor, and numerous other expenses involved. Sponsors are very important to help support these rodeos, and local businesses are invited to participate in supporting these high school activities.

Wolaver said that although turnout was down a bit, probably due to the sudden onset of cold weather, the rodeos went well. Saturday’s rodeo started with the slack at 1:00 p.m., with the evening performance starting at 7:00 p.m. Sunday’s rodeo started at 9:00 and went straight through, lasting about four hours.

TNHSR has held six rodeos so far this year – two in Harriman and two in Cookeville, and this weekend’s two in Tunica. Sadie Wolaver has won all six barrel racing events at the rodeos this year! She also won the poles on Saturday.

Entries were down on bull riding, saddle bronc, and bareback bronc. They bucked three horses at this rodeo and three or four bulls.

Next on the TN High School Rodeo circuit is a trip to the Priceville rodeo at Decatur, Alabama, November 18-19, 2017. This rodeo also features an IBRA-sanctioned barrel race on Friday night, again as a fund-raiser for the TNHSR.

Then the high school cowboys and cowgirls take a break until February 17-18, 2018, when they travel to Scottsville, Kentucky.  On March 9-11, they’ll be in Memphis, TN for the Memphis Challenge, and finish in Franklin, TN April 14-15, 2018 before the state finals in Cookeville, Tenn. June 7-9, 2018.

Find more information about Tennessee High Rodeo at: Full results were not available at press time, but are now posted at this website.

Results from the Saturday October 28 rodeo:

Barrel Racing: first: Sadie Wolaver of Fayetteville, TN with a time of 15.539
Breakaway Roping: first: Cody Dowell of Olive Branch, MS with a time of 2.630
Calf Roping: first: Jesse Keysaer of Culleoka, TN with a time of 10.940
Goat Tying: first: Kailey Schmidt of Cottage Grove, TN with a time of 8.440
Pole Bending: first: Lauren Morris of Bells, TN with a time of 20.703
Steer Wrestling: first: Jesse Kaysaer with a time of 15.950
Team Roping: first Justin Sailors (HD) of Maryville, TN and Bobby Sholar (HL) of Seymour, TN with a time of 7.290

Results from the Sunday October 29 rodeo:

Bareback Riding: first: Dawson Moore of Lexington, TN with a time of 58.0
Barrel Racing: first: Sadie Wolaver with a time of 15.930
Breakaway Roping: first: Kyla Matthews of Athens, TN with a time of 3.000
Bull Riding: first: Bryce Bolton of Milan, TN with a time of 72.0
Calf Roping: first: Cole Walker of Cookeville, TN with a time of 11.490
Goat Tying: first: Kailey Schmidt of Cottage Grove, TN with a time of 8.410
Pole Bending: first: Sadie Wolaver with a time of 20.603
Team Roping: first: Cole Walker (HD) of Cookeville, TN and Ethan Tays (HL) of Crossville, TN with a time of 5.650

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