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ROCK SPRINGS — The National High School Finals Rodeo is continuing to grow by adding Maryland to the association and a reined cow horse competition that will begin in 2015.
The Sweetwater Events Complex will be hosting the events for the next two years, July 13-19, 2014, and July 12-18, 2015. The rodeo brings contestants and their families from 44 states, five Canadian and Australian providences to Rock Springs.
Beginning in 2015 the National High School Finals Rodeo will add a reined cow horse competition as an optional event for contestants.
In a cow horse competition there are three main components: reining, herd work and fence work. Contestants will perform a reining pattern and then must work a single cow in the arena on a one-on-one basis. The goal behind the cow work is to get the cow to perform certain maneuvers, such as turns and stops. The event is judged and is more similar to cutting than the other traditional rodeo events.
The NHSRA says the event fits nicely with the ultimate mission of preserving the Western heritage and providing opportunities for youth members. Adding this event will continue to increase the number of contestants and their families that will be traveling to the Sweetwater Events Complex.
Another event that continues to grow is the shooting sports competition.
Each year since the shooting sports started the event has continued to grow. The event started in 2007 with 135 contestants and their families and last year 370 contestants and their families competed in the trap shooting, light rifle, family trap shooting and family light rifle events in Rock Springs and Green River. The National High School Rodeo Association also added the event to the National High School Finals Rodeo Junior High Division.