Baggs cowboys dominate state, headed to nationals
At a glance ...
National rodeo qualifiers from Baggs:
Garrett Grieve—calf roping, team roping
Klay Ready—team roping
Tyler Orchard—bull riding
“I’m practicing every day, if not twice a day. I have a rope in my hand constantly and I focus on trying to be the best I can be. That way it can’t be anybody else’s fault, it’s just me.”
—Garrett Grieve, incoming LSRV senior, about preparing for the national rodeo in Rock Springs, Wyo.
After top-notch performances at the Wyoming state rodeo last month, three rodeo athletes from Little Snake River Valley High School are headed to the national rodeo looking for more.
The small team from LSRV of just four students had three members qualify for the national rodeo after performing well at the state competition June 15-19 in Douglas, Wyo.
Incoming senior Garrett Grieve won the all-around state championship with state championships in both the calf roping and team roping events. Tyler Orchard was the state champion in bull riding and Klay Ready was second in team roping, good enough to make the national competition.
At nationals, which are July 15-19 in Rock Springs, Wyo., the boys will look to show their stuff again. Grieve, a national champion in team roping during junior high, would like to get another title.
“I’ve been to nationals the past three years, and won in team roping in junior high,” Grieve said. “Last year we came pretty close but on our second run my partner lost his rope, so that hurt us going into the short run.”
In team roping at the state and national rodeos, teams do three team ropes, with the third round being the short run where the most ground can be made up.
At the Wyoming rodeo, Klay Ready and his partner, Jayden Johnson of Casper, Wyo., had an excellent short run, and Ready said he’s not sure they would have qualified in the top four without it.
Now heading to his first national rodeo, Ready is looking forward to seeing what the other states bring to the table.
“I’m looking forward to the competition, there’s a lot of competition there,” Ready said. “It’s a lot harder competition than just your regular rodeos.”
Grieve knows more of what to expect as far as the crowds and competition from past trips, so he said he is trying to stay focused on practicing.
“Nationals is gigantic, they take the top four from every state. I think it’s just kind of a bigger deal,” he said. “I’m practicing every day, if not twice a day. I have a rope in my hand constantly and I focus on trying to be the best I can be. That way it can’t be anybody else’s fault, it’s just me.”
Grieve has been team roping with partner Coley Nicholls, of Kinnear, Wyo., since seventh grade. Before that, he had not known his teammate.
When they got together as blind partners at a rodeo the first time, they won in team roping. Now Grieve hopes they can win again in Rock Springs.
“For now I just have faith in my partner that he’s practicing, and he has faith in that I’m practicing,” Grieve sad. “We just need to make sure we’re practicing the right things and hope for the best.”
Ready, who has only been roping with partner Johnson for a year now, is proud of their accomplishment, and thinks it is great that LSRV is sending a group to nationals this year.
“(Qualifying for nationals) is a job well done by you and your partner,” Ready said. “It’s a pretty good accomplishment for this little town to have more guys going with us to nationals.”