On June 17, the Sawley family hitched their horse trailer, packed their bags and were “off to the rodeo.”
The young cowboys are participating among a 1000 contestants from 47 states, Canadian provinces and Australia, in the world’s largest Junior High rodeo from June 24-30.
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 after two go-rounds of intense competition before advancing on to Saturday’s final championship performance. The Saturday final championship performance will be televised nationally as part of the ‘Cinch Town Tour’ telecast series.
Hunter’s mom, Berva provided the following updates:
June 20 - We are in Idaho and just going through the Monida Pass. Staying in Pocatella tonight. Travelling with six other families, all is well and the scenery is like the Waldron.
June 21 - Staying at Moab, Utah and it’s 105 degrees. Didn’t enjoy the traffic in Salt Lake…just like the Deerfoot.
June 22 - Only 110 miles left to Gallup, New Mexico.
June 29 – Hunter and Karsten roped last night for their second time. Karsten missed both steers and Hunter missed first breakaway calf and ropes his second one tonight at 7 pm.
The cowboys have two performances every day, 9 am and 7 pm. Kids are having a ball. Three dances, tug of wars, Oregon egg toss competition. There is full hook ups for trailers and lots at the trade fair.
Berva said they’ve had beautiful hot weather; it’s an amazing country, sand and red rock mountains. Lots of practice times and lots of jackpots to win. Days are flying by. Hunter said this morning; he can’t wait to get home to see his two baby fillies and his dogs. He was in a breakaway jackpot this afternoon.
Background: Hunter Sawley, Kolby Sawley and Mathea Sawley from Little Smoky and Karsten Havell made it to the Provincials after a tough competition at the Alberta National Junior High School Rodeo.
The roping team; the roping team of Karsten Havell (header) and Hunter Sawley (heeler) brought their best ropes and ‘A’ throws to the Provincials and earned their position on the Alberta team.
They also qualified for the Canadian Finals to be held in Virden, Manitoba. Aug. 2-4.
Karsten and Hunter headed into the Provincials as the third rated roping team. It was stiff competition in Nanton. At the first go-round the duo finished with a run of 21.7 seconds which was fourth best. In the second go-round Karsten and Hunter failed to register a score.
The third and final go-round was their best as they registered a time of 8.3 seconds, tops of all 22 teams in the go-round earning the go-round buckle. They came in as the third team and left as the third team securing their trips to Manitoba and New Mexico.
Hunter and Karsten were one and two in the breakaway boys’ rankings heading into Provincials and looked great to compete in a second event at Nationals/Canadians but unfortunate breaks and excellent competition in Nanton dropped Sawley from first to sixth and Havell from second to eighth.
Mathea Sawley competed in ribbon roping, pole bending and goat tying. Unfortunately she did not finish in the top four at the Provincials so failed to qualify for the national team. (Background news; courtesy of the Fox Creek Times: http://www.foxcreektimes.ca/pages/)
Thank-You to Betty Kobe for the contributions to the story and Berva Sawley for the updates. Fox in FOCUS looks forward to touching base with ya all upon safely returning home. Happy Trails.Print This Post