Local Teen Rodeo Stars Shine Brightly at Mid-State Classic Rodeo

Local Teen Rodeo Stars Shine Brightly at Mid-State Classic Rodeo | SLO Horse News

It’s one of the largest High School Rodeos in the country – the Mid-State Classic Rodeo, held at the Paso Robles Event Center November 17th-19th. Organized by District 7 of the California High School Rodeo Association, this year’s event boasted 283 contestants competing in 13 events. Eight out of the nine CHSRA Districts were represented.  The 9th – 12th graders were all vying for coveted points that would win highest point holder the honor of “All-Around Cowboy” or “All-Around Cowgirl”, as well as the District with the most combined points, the “Perpetual Plaque”.

The Perpetual Plaque found its way home to our local District 7 this year as “The Magnificent Seven” earned the most team points with 433.  District 8, “Dynomite 8”, was second with 305.5 points, and District 6, “Sensational Six”, was third with 299.5 points.

Our Local Teen Rodeo Stars Shine Brightly in Multiple Events

Friday: Cutting Events, Goat Tying and Rough Stock Events

Friday was kicked off with 51 contestants working in the Boys and Girls Cutting event.  The day was rounded out with 105 girls competing in Goat Tying and 25 boys competing in the Rough Stock events (Bareback, Saddle Bronc Riding and Bull Riding).

Local Teen Rodeo Stars Shine Brightly at Mid-State Classic Rodeo | SLO Horse News

Chance Leatherman of Simi Valley, the 2017 Mid-State Classic Boys Cutting Champion. Photo Credit: Tom Meinhold Photography

Chance Leatherman – 2017 Mid-State Classic Boys Cutting Champion

“The biggest lesson I acquired from the Mid-State Classic would be to remain calm and relaxed while competing. It goes a long way to help my horse’s mind as well as my own”, Chance commented.

“The most memorable moment at Mid-State Classic was supporting fellow district members and friends as they competed throughout the weekend,” Chance had to say about his experience.

“In the time between now and the next rodeo, I will be maintaining the physical and mental condition of both my horse and myself. I will also be working on improving our skills, while continuing to strive for proficiency and consistency in the arena,” Chance related.


Tanner Patino – 2017 Mid-State Classic Boys Cutting Reserve Champion

“One lesson that I learned was to go outside of my comfort zone and try something new.  Succeeding on a new challenge I set out for myself in the Cutting Event was probably the highlight of Mid-State Classic for me,” Tanner explained.

“My goal is to always stay focused and improve on all of my events in upcoming rodeos,” Tanner remarked as to his rodeo future.


Local Teen Rodeo Stars Shine Brightly at Mid-State Classic Rodeo | SLO Horse News

Chase Shrode, Junior at Arroyo Grande High School, 2017 Mid-State Classic Bull Riding and Bareback Riding Reserve Champion. Photo Credit: Suzanne Usher


Saturday: Pole Bending, Team Roping, Steer Wrestling, Tie Down Roping, Breakaway, Barrel Racing, Reined Cowhorse Events

Saturday started off with a bang!  138 girls raced through the pole bending pattern, 88 teams worked in the Team Roping, 12 competitors competed in Steer Wrestling, 53 boys roped in the Tie Down Roping and 110 girls roped in Breakaway.  The day was rounded out with 155 barrel racers and 13 Reined Cowhorse contestants.  The second go-round of the Rough Stock events were also held.


Brooklyn Sitton, 2017 Mid-State Classic Reined Cowhorse, 3rd place

“I learned to never underestimate my horse. Reined Cowhorse is a new event for us this year so we had a lot to learn. I love the cow horse part of the event the best! The dry work has taught me how to be a better horseman. I’m learning how to work together with my horse to be competitive in this event,” Brooklyn excitedly explained.

“Placing in the top 3 of Reined Cowhorse was one of my favorites. Another favorite was making the best goat tying run I had ever made with a 7.2. So placing 2nd in the round with 105 entries was a great moment!”

“Team roping has always been my passion, so I hope to do better at the next rodeo. I appreciate my awesome header and I really hate it when I let her down. I try to learn from my mistakes and then practice to become better because every rodeo is another opportunity to make dreams come true!” Brooklyn said, her eyes focused on the future.


Local Teen Rodeo Stars Shine Brightly at Mid-State Classic Rodeo | SLO Horse News

Ethan Usher, Senior at Santa Ynez Valley Union High School, 2017 Mid-State Classic Steer Wrestling Champion. Photo Credit: Suzanne Usher

Ethan Usher, 2017 Mid-State Classic Steer Wrestling Champion

“The biggest lesson I learned is that doing well is no guarantee of victory, but it’s still something to be proud of,” Ethan, who placed 4th overall in the Tie Down Roping event, related.

“My favorite moment was right after I threw down my second steer and I won steer wrestling.  For the next rodeo, I plan on working on my team work with both my horses and my team roping partner.”


Sunday: Second Go-Round of Saturday’s events, Event Champions and All-Around Champions Announced

The second go-round of Saturday’s events were held on Sunday, and the 2017 Mid-State Classic Champions were crowned.  Awards were given to third place in each event.  The (D#) following each name is the district each contestant represents.  Event Champions were awarded with buckles and 2nd-3rd place with prizes.  Rookie All-Around Champions received buckles and Res. Champions received trophy stirrups.  All-Around Cowboy and Cowgirl received trophy saddles and Res. Champions received buckles.

Local Teen Rodeo Stars Shine Brightly at Mid-State Classic Rodeo | SLO Horse News

Fallon Ruffoni, Freshman at Arroyo Grand High School, 2017 Mid-State Classic Reserve Champion All-Around Cowgirl and 2017 Mid-State Classic Champion Rookie All-Around Cowgirl. Photo Credit: Suzanne Usher

Fallon Ruffoni, 2017 Mid-State Classic Res All-Around Champion and 2017 Mid-State Classic Rookie All-Around

“The biggest lesson I learned was that hard work pays off and to never give up! My favorite moment at MSC was when I tied my goat in 7.6. I will be working on all of my events trying to get better,” expressed Fallon as she reflected back on her weekend.


Local Teen Rodeo Stars Shine Brightly at Mid-State Classic Rodeo | SLO Horse News

Sammy Massey, Freshman at Templeton High School, 2017 Mid-State Classic Reserve Champion Rookie All-Around Cowgirl. Photo Credit: Suzanne Usher

Sammy Massey, 2017 Mid-State Classic Girls Res. Rookie All-Around

“The biggest thing I learned was that consistency pays off.  I was able to place in both the team roping and breakaway roping because I caught my animals on the first try,” Sammy expressed.

“When I’m not competing, I like hanging out with my friends, roping the dummy, and making new friends,” Sammy said about her favorite moments.

“I will continue to practice my roping after school, as well as conditioning my horses and I’m also starting to train a young horse for barrel racing,” Sammy said, when asked about her preparation for her next rodeo.


Local Teen Rodeo Stars Shine Brightly at Mid-State Classic Rodeo | SLO Horse News

Josh Robinson, Freshman at Arroyo Grande High School, 2017 Mid-State Reserve Champion Rookie All-Around Cowboy. Photo Credit: Suzanne Usher

Josh Robinson, 2017 Mid-State Classic Boys Res. Rookie All-Around

“It was an amazing experience that shows everyone the potential every other rodeo athlete has and made some great memories and it was such a blessing to be able to compete in Mid-State classic and every person that helped put on the rodeo deserves a huge thank you, I truly am thankful for them because it couldn’t have happened without them so a big thank you to all of the people and staff that put it on,” Josh eloquently stated.


It’s a Wrap

A rodeo of this caliber cannot be produced without extensive help.  District 7 would like to send a sincere thank you to Ben Londo and the Cal Poly Rodeo Team, as well as Clint Pearce and the Cuesta Rodeo Team.  A huge shout out to the judges for the weekend’s events:  Ali Bilkey, Mike Jones, Case Vollin, Tim Englehart, Tim Stewart, and Jimmy Stickler.  In addition, D7 would like to acknowledge:

  • C and N Tractors for supplying equipment
  • Premier Ag for the donation of livestock hay
  • Tom and Candi Block for organizing the vendors
  • Massey Livestock for the donation of cattle stock
  • John Patino and Crop Production Services for set up & tear down of stall panels

A huge shout-out goes to Roxanne Usher for providing this information with photos and gathering the quotes from our local teen rodeo stars.


Mid-State Classic Results by Event

Local Teen Rodeo Stars Shine Brightly at Mid-State Classic Rodeo | SLO Horse News

Fallon Ruffoni and Sammy Massey show off their buckles and awards. Fallon is the 2017 Mid-State Classic Res. All-Around Champion / 2017 Rookie All-Around Champion and Sammy is the 2017 Res. Rookie All-Around Champion. Photo Credit: Lil Massey

BAREBACK
1st – Tristan Naccarato (D4)
2nd – Chase Shrode (D7)

SADDLE BRONC
1st – Caden Grisedale (D6)
2nd – Karson Mebane (D5)
3rd – Trey Petersen (D6)

BULL RIDING
1st – Chance Freeman (D6)
2nd – Chase Shrode (D7)
3rd – Dalton Shepard (D8)

BOYS CUTTING
1st – Chance Leatherman (D7)
2nd – Tanner Patino (D7)
3rd – Karson Mebane (D5)

GIRLS CUTTING
1st – Payton Scalzo (D8)
2nd – Addison Coutts (D8)
3rd – Lacey Geiger (D9)

REINED COWHORSE
1st – Addison Coutts (D8)
2nd – Pierce Wold (D3)
3rd – Brooklyn Sitton (D7)

BARREL RACING
1st – Reese Lance (D8)
2nd – Mia Prichard (D4)
3rd – Jessica Krambeer (D8)

BREAKAWAY
1st – Rylee George (D5)
2nd – Dakoda Boyce (D8)
3rd – Andee Poole (D6)

GOAT TYING
1st – Kaiden Ayres (D6)
2nd – Payton Shoeppach (D3)
3rd – Fallon Ruffoni (D7)

POLE BENDING
1st – Kaiden Ayres (D6)
2nd – Madison Baute (D9)
3rd – Sydney Mayer (D5)

STEER WRESTLING
1st – Ethan Usher (D7)
2nd – Tristan Naccarato (D4)
3rd – Justin Bannister (D1)

TEAM ROPING
1st – Drew Tilton & Tanner Darst (D1)
2nd – Rylee George & Karson Mebane (D5)
3rd – Payton Shoeppach & Kruz Conway (D3)

TIE DOWN
1st – Caden Grisedale (D6)
2nd – Wyatt Sutton (D8)
3rd – Cobie Dodds (D6)

BOYS ROOKIE ALL-AROUND CHAMPION
Nolan Scott (D6) & Kade Holman (D6) -TIE-
RES. Champion – Josh Robinson (D7)

GIRLS ROOKIE ALL-AROUND CHAMPION
Fallon Ruffoni (D7)
RES. Champion – Sammy Massey (D7)

BOYS ALL-AROUND CHAMPION
Tristan Naccarato (D4)
RES. Champion – Karson Mebane (D5)

GIRLS ALL-AROUND COWGIRL
Payton Schoeppach (D3)
RES Champion – Fallon Ruffoni (D7)

 

Former Pony Clubber, Eventer and Dressage rider who balanced training and showing with getting a college degree (from Cal Poly SLO), becoming a wife and raising a family.

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