By Robert Ciolli
The High Plains Junior Rodeo Association (HPJRA) held two rodeos at the Quay County Fairgrounds last weekend.
Championship belt buckles and saddles were the attire of the day as contestants competed to win points for the finals in Clovis, July 14-19.
Sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Tucumcari, the two-day event had age groups of 8 and under, 9-12, 13-15 and 16 -19 competing in 15 events, including barrel racing, goat tying, poles and roping.
Barrel racer Janesa Garcia’s horse went down on its side during the race Saturday, but she remained on and managed to pull it out for a second place finish.
Garcia returned Sunday to take place first in the barrel race for her 16-19 age group.
Riders’ families and fans from New Mexico and Texas follow the rodeo throughout its April to July season.
Mike Suggs from Carlsbad was with his nine-year-old daughter Kendra, who was entered in five events.
Rodeoing since she was four years old, “she is an all around competitor,” Mike Suggs said.
This year the HPJRA will hold 14 competitions. Contestants choose their 10 best point finishes to qualify for the finals.
JoAnn Middleton, executive secretary of the HPJRA, thanked the Kiwanis Club for donating Navajo saddle blankets to be awarded to the high point winners in each age group.
Overall winners for the weekend rodeos, by age group, were:
l 8 and under Shelby Mayfield and Jabin Rice
l 9-12 Tierra Gray and Bryce Howe
l 13-15 Aspyn Reames and Seaver Tate
l 16-19 Janesa Garcia and Logan Medlin