Cowboy, cowgirl strong: Moffat, Routt athletes qualify for national rodeo finals
Though there was some rough riding, Colorado State High School Rodeo Association’s State Finals were favorable to Northwest Colorado competitors.
With events running from Thursday to Monday at Moffat County Fairgrounds, the arena was consistently busy with cowboys and cowgirls near and far.
Athletes from Moffat and Routt counties made the cut in numerous events for the national finals this summer, including Hayden’s Keenan Hayes, who gained a state title in both the bareback riding and saddle bronc, as well as reserve champion in bull riding.
Craig’s Kinlie Brennise was all-around points champion among high school girls for the weekend, ultimately ending the season as the reserve champ in both the barrel racing and breakaway roping, starting with a win Friday in the latter.
Yampa’s Jace Logan also gained second overall and a trip to nationals in the steer wrestling, winning on the final day, as well as third in the tie down roping, which he won on day one.
And, he won’t be the only Northwest Colorado boy to tackle calves in a couple months.
Kasen Brennise sustained a concussion Friday when the neck rope from a calf caught him by the ankle in his approach in the tie down, pulling him off his saddle with numerous injuries and ending his time at state.
Though he was unable to pick up any points during the weekend, his tally for the season was high enough to keep him in fourth and qualify him for nationals in Rock Springs, Wyoming starting July 15.
Though not all will be moving on to the next stage, other Moffat and Routt contestants had strong performances, with Kody Logan taking second along with brother Jace in the second round of team roping — 11th overall — and Kaitlynn Hayes ending the year 16th in goat tying.
Craig’s Dillon Burch earned a first-day win in bulls to finish the season ninth overall alongside Craig’s Ty Pinnt in 10th and Hamilton’s Clay Durham in 15th.
In junior high results, Pepper Rhyne narrowly missed nationals with a sixth-place finish in boys breakaway, in which he took fourth on the second day of state, while fellow Craig competitor Bubba Harding also was sixth in chute dogging, including a second-place win on the first day.
Full results are available at cshsra.org.