Buckles, boots & spurs

Bulldog rodeo team ready to roll at fairgrounds

Bust out the saddles -- it's time to rodeo.

The Moffat County Fair--grounds will host the high school team's home meet this weekend. With events on Saturday and Sunday, the members of the Bulldog rodeo team have been busy preparing for the event since the first week of school.

"We've mainly worked on getting sponsors for the rodeo," senior Katie Foulk said.

This year's rodeo team sponsor, Jil Hegwer, has spent many nights organizing paperwork to be ready for this weekend.

"I've just been trying to figure out the details," Hegwer said.

Hegwer wasn't sure she was going to be the sponsor of this year's team, but because of her close ties to the team -- her son, Justin, and daughter, Hanna, who compete -- she was handed the job.

"Last year's coach has helped me as much as she can," Hegwer said. "There's a lot to do, getting the program together and also getting the small things finalized."

In her first year as sponsor, Hegwer has made it her goal for the rodeo to end in the black.

"You want to profit," Hegwer said. "Because a lot of that money goes back to the kids, and it helps pay their entry fees."

This year, the team has also decided to help raise money for breast cancer awareness, by working with the Wrangler "Tough enough to wear pink" campaign. The team members will be selling 50/50 raffle tickets throughout the weekend, with a drawing to be held Sunday.

Half of the profits will go to the winning ticket, and the other half will go to the Yampa Valley Breast Cancer Awareness Project.

This is the last rodeo of the fall season for the team.

Foulk has been a three-year member of the rodeo team and has her eye on qualifying for the National High School Rodeo finals. It is Foulk's first year trying to compete in all the rodeos she can to boost her average score. She competes in pole bending, team roping and breakaway roping. Foulk said that she has a home rodeo jinx, because every year she has done terrible in front of her home crowd.

Jaguar Terrill is another senior on the rodeo team who has been competing for the high school team for three years. Terrill, however, will not be participating in the home rodeo, because of a waiver he signed to compete in Wyoming's high school rodeo circuit.

Terrill said that he likes the Wyoming circuit because he thinks there's more competition, and the travel is easier. Right now Terrill leads the state in calf roping, after a strong finish last weekend. Terrill had to do the same work the rest of the rodeo team did in getting sponsors for this year's rodeo. Plus, his parents are sponsoring a special "crossfire roping" event Saturday after the high school competition, with half of the proceeds from entry fees going to the high school team.

Senior Justin Hegwer is in his final year on the Moffat County rodeo team Hegwer competes in saddle bronc, team roping and steer wrestling. Winning his first buckle at age 5, Hegwer has been hooked since. Last year, he qualified for the High School Nationals in saddle bronc and is hoping for another go-round this season.

Clay Foulk is the fourth senior on Moffat County's rodeo team. He participates in calf roping, team roping and steer wrestling. Clay Foulk began roping when he was 7 years old and has learned most of his techniques from his dad, Doug Foulk.

Juniors on the team include Stevie Brumbeck and Kyler Scot.

Both have been working hard to get sponsor money for the team this year and are looking forward to competing in front of their home crowd.

Sophomores on the team are Troy Vernon, Hanna Hegwer and Eric Fleming.

Fleming and freshman Taylor Vernon most recently competed at the Hotckiss rodeo and took fourth place in the team roping event.

Taylor has been the biggest winner for the Bulldog rodeo team, coming in first place at Hotchkiss in barrel racing and pole bending.

It is her first year as a part of the high school team, and a full summer of competition has proven helpful to the newcomer.

Gabby Miller, Jessi Moser and Danielle Guinn round out the freshman class for this year's team.

The rodeo begins at noon Saturday and 9 a.m. Sunday at the Moffat County Fairgrounds.

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