The 2012 National High School Finals Rodeo officially began on Sunday in Rock Springs, Wyoming, and a local cowboy has put himself right in the middle of the action in a full week of rodeo competition. PCM graduate Dalton Kingery is again back at the world’s largest high school rodeo and says the initial impression of the event is awe-inspiring.
“You pull into this place, and it is just huge. You just see thousands of campers and trucks and trailers,” said Kingery. “There’s the top four in every event from every state that has High School Rodeo, every province of Canada and Australia.”
The 2012 Iowa High School State Champion is competing in two events – Saddle Bronc and Bareback Riding – and says meeting new people and rubbing shoulders with the best of the best is what makes the event so enjoyable.
“I’ve got a good friend that I keep in touch with [who is] from Australia. But getting to meet people and then being able to be considered one of the best cowboys in the nation – to be able to be there – is [the best part]. We all had to earn it,” adds Kingery.
“Also the competition – being able to fight for that last ‘short go’, to be in the top twenty and be in that ‘short go’ and try to win it. I’ve got high goals this year, and I’ve trained pretty hard. I think if everything goes right, then I should be able to tear stuff up.”
Kingery has already gotten started in the Bareback Riding competition, putting up a score of 63 in Tuesday’s performance. That score was the fourth-best of the day and has Dalton sitting in sixth place overall – ten points behind David Peebles of Oregon. The National High School Finals Rodeo continues through Sunday.