Check out a results update from the first round of competition at the International Finals Youth Rodeo, which began July 7 and will run through July 12 in Shawnee, Oklahoma. You’ll also get a fun look into IFYR competitor Mikayla Joh Almond’s experience and she competes for championship honors and enjoys the memories made.
Round One of the IFYR began July 7 and will conclude the evening of July 9. Round Two kicks off July 10, with the finals on July 12.
Round One Results
Results through performance four. For full results visit www.ifyr.com.
IFYR Competitor Touts Win-Win in Rodeo, New Friends
By Siri Stevens courtesy IFYR
(SHAWNEE, Okla.) – This is Mikayla Joh Almond’s fourth year at the International Finals Youth Rodeo in Shawnee, Oklahoma.
“The IFYR is a great rodeo put on by a bunch of great people who make it fair for the kids,” said the 18-year-old from Olin, North Carolina.
Mikayla made the 16-hour drive with five horses on board. She competes in breakaway roping, pole bending, goat tying and barrel racing. Her favorite event is pole bending.
“Me and Buddy have a bond,” Mikayla said. “We were at a rodeo in 2011 and my horse at the time, Flame, colicked and died. We went home and got my sister’s horse, Buddy, and I’ve been on him ever since.”
Buddy was part of a bucking string.
“He didn’t buck so he was broke to ride—they were going to run barrels on him,” Mikayla said.
The Almonds bought him as a barrel horse for her sister, Hayley, who trained him for poles as well. Buddy picked it up really fast and has brought Mikayla a reserve champion at the IFYR in 2017, and that same year she took home the National High School Finals Rodeo Championship in pole bending.
As far as bucking, Buddy still has it in him.
“I was home by myself two years ago,” Mikayla said. “I was walking to the arena and he spooked and bucked me off. I got a concussion and had no shoes on when I came to.”
This is Buddy’s last year to compete. At 22, he has earned it.
2019 marks Mikayla’s first year on the Bloomer team, who won the team competition last year.
“This experience has been a blessing,” Mikayla said. “I have a whole new group of friends who cheer you on here. Miss Kim and Mr. Randy make you feel like part of the family.”
Mikayla will attend East Mississippi Community College in the fall on a full scholarship. She plans to major in business and hopes to help her grandfather with his aviation company.