1. Shooting Sports Competition: These National Rifle Association (NRA)-sanctioned events are one of the rodeo’s best-kept secrets. The Light Rifle competition, held at the Green River Shooting Club, features sharp-shooters armed with .22 rifles that weigh less than 8.5 pounds. The NRA Trapshooting contest is crafted after the Amateur Trapshooting Association (ATA) events. As in all rodeo events, participants vie for scholarships and awards, which for the shooting competitions are provided by the NRA.
2. Cutting Competition: One of the largest youth cuttings in the nation, this must-see event is held at the Indoor Arena. Cowboys, cowgirls and their horses compete for 2.5 minutes in the arena, separating cattle from the herd and keeping them from returning back to the group. It is one of the most subtle, rule-filled and entertaining events in the entire rodeo!
3. Tradeshow: The Western-themed tradeshow features nearly 300 vendors and 80,000-square feet of exhibit space. The tradeshow offers a plethora of merchandise, including Western art, ropes, saddles and apparel.
4. Silent Auction: Each state represented at the rodeo creates a themed gift basket that is auctioned off to benefit the National High School Rodeo Foundation. Displayed at the Tradeshow Pavilion, these baskets are a sight to see. Some of them are so large they span an entire tabletop!
5. Knowledge Bowl: Co-sponsored by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA), this event – which shows off the book smarts of the cowboy and cowgirl crowd – will be hosted on July 17.
6. Volleyball Tournament: What better way for the rodeo contestants to blow off a little steam than with a friendly game of volleyball? Spectators can cheer on their favorite rodeo competitor as they trade their cowboy boots for tennis shoes and try to out-spike teams from other states. The volleyball tournament is on July 17 and 18.
7. Golf Tournament: On July 17 contestants, their families and the public are invited to tee off for a good cause at the Foundation Scramble for Scholarships Golf Tournament. The tourney will be held at White Mountain Golf Course in Rock Springs, a 27-hole championship course that is one of the best public golf courses in the state of Wyoming.
8. Queen Contest: This national pageant features 45 competitors representing various states and provinces. A range of events – such as interview, modeling and speeches – happen throughout the week. The crowning ceremony takes place on July 21 in the Grandstand Arenas.
For a tentative schedule of events for the rodeo visit http://www.sweetwaterevents.com/Upload/File/2012NHSFR%20ScheduleTentative.pdf.
About the NHSRA
The National High School Rodeo Association, Inc. (NHSRA) is headquartered in Denver, Colo. One of the largest youth organizations in the nation, the NHSRA has an annual membership of around 13,000 students grades 6-12 from 41 states, five Canadian provinces and Australia. The teams, on average, consist of the top four in each event. Students qualify for the National High School Finals Rodeo (NHSFR) at their respective state and provincial finals. Many of the NHSFR qualifiers compete in more than one event. The National High School Rodeo Association is governed by National Directors (one representative from each state/provincial association). These volunteer board members are dedicated to the success of the NHSRA and the youth of North America. This group also plans the National High School Finals Rodeo each year.