State high school rodeo president helped bring finals to Curry County

By Clarence Plank: Freedom New Mexico

The president of the state high school rodeo association is hoping he can take his calf roping skills to the national stage.

Trent Bilberry, who serves as president of the New Mexico High
School Rodeo Association, finished fourth Friday night in the second
round of calf roping at the NMHRA finals at the Curry County Events
Center with a time of 14.72 seconds.

Pacen Marez of Fort Sumner won Friday’s second round with a time of 10.97.

The top 10 in each event after two rounds at the finals advanced to tonight’s short-go.

“Hopefully this time will hold through Saturday morning,” Bilberry
said. “It is a lot more of an adrenaline rush this time around.”

Bilberry is fifth in the NMHRA season standings. The top four
finishers in each event advance to the national finals, held in
Farmington next month.

Bilberry helped bring the New Mexico High School Rodeo Finals to the Curry County Special Event Center.

Local rodeo coach Jerry Skinner said Bilberry is a person anybody would be glad to meet.

“He’s genuine and everybody respects him,” Jerry said. “He’s honest and will do anything for anyone. He has a heart of gold.”

Bilberry helped bring the finals to Clovis, after the last two
finals were held in Gallup and Carlsbad, respectively. But home arena
or not, he’s always ready to compete.

“You’re anxious about time to go,” Bilberry said. “It is similar to
getting ready for a basketball game. You’re ready to go, you’re ready
to do it.”

Like all calf ropers, Bilberry started out with goats and worked his way up.

“It is pretty much the same thing, but you pretty much got to go rope,” Bilberry said.

Bilberry grew up on a ranch so roping is pretty much a part of normal life.

His team roping partner, Jesse Clark, said a person has to learn or get out.

Bilberry and Clark have been team roping partners for over a year.
Myra Skinner, Clark’s mom, said Bilberry’s sister and her daughter used
to rodeo together. As children, Bilberry and Clark would hang out
together.

Bilberry hopes to be a professional calf roper in the future, and
enjoys listening to music during his down time. Bilberry will be
attending Eastern New Mexico University and major in agriculture.

“Trent is a wonderful young man and good leader,” Myra Skinner said.
“He’s really good with all the other contestants. I can assign him a
task and I know it will be done.”