Lyn Mallory of Rockford will compete at the National Finals Rodeo in Rock Springs, Wyoming July 14-20. The 15-year-old junior at Rockford High School earned her spot on the Michigan National Team by being among the top four competitors in her events ending the regular 2012-2013 rodeo season. Her spot was secured after placing 1st and 2nd in barrel racing at the Statewide Finals Competition in Ovid, Michigan on June 8 and 9. At NHSFR, Lyn will be competing in barrel racing and breakaway roping along with more than 1,500 contestants from 41 States, five Canadian Provinces and Australia.
“This is a great honor for me to compete in the World’s Largest Rodeo,” said Lyn.
Ana Moreno, also a Rockford High School student also competed at the high school finals. She will have three more years of high school competition to look forward to.
The Michigan High School Rodeo Association (MHSRA) is more than junior high and high school kids competing in rodeo events. It is a group of caring young people and parents that give back to their community. In addition to their annual Special Needs Rodeo that they produce each fall, members of the group reach out to their local communities to find ways to make a difference in the lives of others.
During the 2012-2013 season, Lyn went to the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids to entertain young patients at the hospital. The children gathered to participate in games and activities that included rodeo coloring pages, cloverleaf stick horse races, trick roping and autograph signing. The kids were also treated to a roping demonstration by Lyn. Despite their illness and physical limitations, the patients thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to be exposed to rodeo events and Lyn’s involvement in the festival. Many parents expressed their gratitude for enhancing their children’s stay at the hospital.
Lyn also benefited from the visit saying that, “meeting all the children and seeing them smile gave me the best feeling in my heart. I enjoyed showing them how to rope the crazy looking calf that we brought with us and the smiles were wonderful as they learned and ran the barrel pattern around the buckets with the stick horse. My favorite part of the evening was taking pictures with them. They were all so sweet and I’ll always hold this experience near and dear to my heart. I am looking forward to going back there again soon!”
High School Rodeo features all the elements of an old fashioned youth rodeo. The young cowboys and cowgirls enter in Bronc Riding, Team Roping, Steer Wrestling, Goat Tying, Pole Bending, Calf Roping, Barrel Racing, Breakaway Roping and Bull Riding. They compete for points that allow them to compete on the National level and scholarship dollars.
Last year’s Rockford rodeo star Jessalyn Gingrich is now attending college on a rodeo scholarship at Colorado Northwestern Community College.
Jessalyn was involved in Michigan High School Rodeo for seven years, starting as a 6th grader in the Junior High division. The events she competed in were goat tying, breakaway roping, team roping, barrel racing, pole bending, cutting and the queen’s contest. She qualified for national competition in multiple events each year, and her final year qualified in six events. As a result of national competition she has made lifelong friends from all over the US, Canada and Australia. Jessalyn was MHSRA Rodeo Queen for the 2011-2012 season and finished her final year as All-Around Cowgirl.