Brynn Lehman, a junior at Carson High, and Lander Smith, an Eagle Valley Middle School student, have qualified for the upcoming high school and junior high national rodeo championships after shining at the recent state championships in Fallon recently.
Lehman, aboard Chex, won the pole bending title. That qualified her for the national event in Gillette, Wyo., July 17-23. The event attracts more than 1,600 contestants from 43 states, Australia and five Canadian provinces. The contestants compete for more than $200,000 in prizes and $350,000 in college scholarships.
Lehman entered the competition in third place, 19 points behind the leader. She racked up 53 out of a possible 60 points over the weekend to overtake the top two girls and win the title.
“My first run was clean, and the second and third runs were clean,” Lehman said. “The top two girls hit poles which took them out of the average.”
The top four in each event advanced to the national event.
Lehman will participate in a Winnemucca rodeo next month, but won’t do poles.
“I just want to keep (Chex) in shape,” said Lehman, a member of the CHS soccer squad.
Lehman has been riding much of her life, and this is her third year in the high school division,
Smith leaves today for Lebanon, Tenn., site of the junior high nationals.
The 13-year-old Smith finished second in steer wrestling (chute dogging).
Smith, a novice in the event, said he got a lot of help from fellow competitors and adults around the various rodeos.
“It (the event) was different,” he said. “Each week I got more input from people. The support was excellent.
“I started junior rodeos when I was 5, and this is my first year doing junior high rodeo.”
Smith has done other events in the past, but he didn’t have a place to practice.
Four other members of the Douglas-Carson Rodeo Club finished in the top 15 in state and advanced to the Silver State International Rodeo in Winnemucca June 26 through July 3.
Blaine Pinocci will compete in team roping and tie-down roping, Carlee and Cashlyn English will compete in breakaway roping and team roping, and Lindy Lehman will compete in pole bending, breakaway roping, team roping and goat tying.
The next local rodeo is March 25-26, and anyone interested in being involved can contact Erin Lehman, club director, at 230-3900. Any local business wanting to donate can contact Erin Lehman, donations are tax deductible.