Wade Endicott, Corynn Kayser head to South Dakota for National Junior High Finals Rodeo
June 20, 2018
A pair of fourth generation middle school ranchers kept their rodeo seasons alive at state with strong enough finishes to qualify for nationals with a chance to compete against the top junior cowboys and girls in the country.
Corynn Kayser and Wade Endicott, both of Centerville, punched their tickets to the National Junior High Finals Rodeo from this Sunday to June 29 in Huron, South Dakota, with a pair of qualifying finishes at the state rodeo in Kennewick.
Both Kayser and Endicott will compete in the breakaway at nationals while a third Goldendale Rodeo Club junior high member, Carly Tatro, qualified for nationals in the breakaway but chose not to attend this year.
With more than 1,000 participants from around the country, competing at the junior national rodeo will be a new and exciting challenge for the middle schoolers, but the top competition will only help them down the road.
"It's a once in a lifetime opportunity," Goldendale Rodeo Club leader Tammy Kayser said. "It's kind of a high-pressure event that gets them ready for future performances."
The junior national rodeo mirrors some of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association events, taking place in a big arena with packed grandstands, complete with jumbotrons showing instant replays of the cowboys and girls competing.
"This really compares to what some of the national rodeos look like ... only a younger version of the competitors," Kayser said.
Kayser, who recently finished her eighth grade year Centerville, wrapped up her third year in the Goldendale Rodeo Club with a seventh place all-around finish among girls along with the top finish at state in the ribbon roping, seventh place mark in the breakaway and goat tying.
She will be making her first appearance at nationals. She qualified back in 2016 when she was in sixth grade but didn't attend.
"I'm excited for the opportunity to compete against the toughest cowgirls going," Corynn Kayser said. "I've been working really hard to prepare for this. I'm hoping to come back with a win."
Kayser is up with her first run in the breakaway starting Monday morning and her second run on Friday, June 29 in the afternoon. Those who finish in the top 20 after their two runs advance to the Saturday championship performance.
Over the course of the regular season, Kayser notched a first place finish in the breakaway at the Coulee City Rodeo, a second place finish in the event in Goldendale, and a third place mark in Ritzville before finishing sixth at the state finals in Kennewick.
Although she will only be competing in the breakaway in South Dakota, Kayser had strong seasonal and state finishes in the goats and ribbon roping events.
Teaming up with Brayden Schmidt, Kayser finished on top of the standings in the ribbon roping after a dominant performance all season in the event capped by the top mark at the state finals.
Kayser and Schmidt recorded seven top finishes throughout the regular season and added another on the second go at the state finals. They took first in the all-around and at the state finals in the event.
In the goat tying, Kayser recorded scores in each day except for two at every rodeo during the regular season including three runner-up finishes.
Kayser isn't new to the national rodeo scene. She went last year to the National High School Rodeo Association Finals in Gillette, Wyoming, and watched her sister, Cassie, and brother, Curtis, along with club member Justin Slater compete on the grand stage.
"I've watched my brother and sister compete at the national level so I have an idea of what to expect," she said. "That will help me deal with the pressure. There is a lot of hype at nationals but you have to treat is like another rodeo and just go do your best. That is where the practice pays off. All the time we put in prepares us for the next level. I'm mounted on an outstanding horse and ready to go win."
Endicott just finished his sixth grade year in Centerville and will be making the trip to nationals in his first year competing with the club, although he's been roping for most of his life.
In his first year with the Goldendale Rodeo Club, Endicott had a successful and consistent showing, finishing 10th among boys in the all-around and third among all nine rookies competing season-wide.
Throughout the season, Endicott competed in the ribbon roping, breakaway roping, and goat tying, with his best performances coming in the breakaway. The breakaway is what Endicott will compete in when he heads to nationals in less than a week.
Endicott finished fourth overall season-wide in the breakaway and recorded a handful of top finishes throughout the regular season. He took the top spot in the event during both days of the Longview Rodeo, and also added 10 points from a top finish at each the Othello, Coulee City, and Ritzville rodeos. He also came away with runner-up showings in Ritzville and Goldendale and finished fourth at state in Kennewick. He finished second in the event throughout the regular season with 74 points, trailing just the top finisher Caden Marker who had 98 points.
The middle schooler also was consistent all season in the goat tying, scoring points in all the days except one of each rodeo this season en route to an all-around sixth place finish in the event.
Endicott's third event he competed in at state was the ribbon roping. He and partner Ryan Mills went on to finish ninth in the event at state.
He is slated to compete in the breakaway roping on Monday in the afternoon, and Friday, June 29 in the morning.
A third junior high member, eighth grader Carly Tatro, qualified for nationals in the breakaway after a third place finish over the season in the event, but won't be attending.
Tatro had a consistent and strong showing in the event over the course of the season, placing first twice and second three times in the breakaway during the regular season rodeos.
She saved her best performances for last though, taking second at the state finals with 109 points, trailing just the leader Amelia Hermann who finished with 127 points. Tatro finished second in the first go and first in the second go for the runner-up state finish.
More nationals info
Featuring more than 1,000 contestants from 43 states, five Canadian provinces, Australia, and Mexico, the NJHFR is the world's largest junior high rodeo. In addition to competing for more than $80,000 in prizes, NJHFR contestants will also be vying for more than $200,000 in college scholarships and the chance to be named a National Junior High Finals Rodeo World Champion. To earn this title, contestants must finish in the top 20 – based on their combined times/scores in the first two rounds – to advance to Saturday evening's final round. World champions will then be determined based on their three-round combined times/scores.
Again, this year, the Saturday championship performance will be televised nationally as part of the Cinch High School Rodeo Tour telecast series on RFD-TV. Live broadcasts of all NJHFR performances will air on http://www.RidePass.com. Performance times are 7 p.m. on June 24 and 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. each day thereafter.
Along with great rodeo competition and the chance to meet new friends from around the world, NJHFR contestants have the opportunity to enjoy shooting sports, volleyball, contestant dances, family-oriented activities, church services sponsored by the Fellowship of Christian Cowboys, and shopping at the NJHFR tradeshow, as well as visiting attractions as Huron hosts the NJHFR this year. To follow your local favorites at the NJHFR, visit http://www.NHSRA.com daily for complete results.
"Our local community has been extremely supportive of these kids," Kayser said.