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Rodeo starts today

By Staff | Apr 30, 2011

John Young, Orient, Brock White, Earlville, and Riley Guerra, Battle Creek, are competing in the Iowa High School Rodeo Association sanctioned rodeo this weekend at the Emmet County Fairgrounds. EDN photo by Michael Tidemann

If you like rodeo, well, you don’t have to go any further than your own back yard this weekend.

And judging from the caliber of participants, it’s going to be quite a show.

John Young from Orient, student president of the Iowa High School Rodeo Association, is at the top of the standings in the bull riding event, his specialty. That makes sense, though, since Young has been riding bulls since he was 3.

Young originally wanted to ride bucking horses. He tried a saddle bronc once, but once he got bucked to where the air was pretty thin, he figured bulls were more to his liking.

Young figures he’ll likely draw some pretty good bulls, too, considering that a lot of pros ride Barnes rodeo stock, the contractor for this weekend’s rodeo.

Young plans on rodeoing at Iowa Central in the fall.

Brock White of Earlville will compete in calf roping, team roping and steer wrestling. The high-school junior has competed in rodeos for five years and he’s been riding horses since he could walk. White is ranked fifth in the state in steer wrestling and 13th in calf roping. “I love steer wrestling,” says White, who also plans to continue his rodeo career at either Northwestern or Southwestern in Oklahoma.

Riley Guerra, a freshman from Battle Creek, will compete in barrels and poles.

Guerra has been riding since she was little, and has learned how to judge a horse’s character – a key to becoming a top rodeo competitor. “You have to learn through time,” she said.

And get this, guys – she used to ride bulls.

That was about three years ago. She rode bulls for a year until the National Barrel Horse Association, which had a few bulls, sold them.

Riley said if she could find another gal to pal up with on the bull riding, though, it might not feel so lonesome out there in the arena.

Cutting events start at 8 a.m. Saturday with the rodeo starting at 1 p.m. Sunday’s events start at 7:30 a.m.