CLOVIS — Texico’s Dalton Wren was a spectator on Wednesday, but he has a busy few days ahead in the annual High Plains Junior Rodeo at Curry County Events Center.
So does his sister, Audrey.
Dalton Wren, 15, will compete in calf roping, breakaway roping and chute dogging this weekend in the 13-15 age group while events for 13-year-old Audrey, still in the 9-12 age group, include pole bending beginning Wednesday and barrel racing, goat tying and breakaway roping later in the week.
They also team up in ribbon roping competition.
Both said they are quite competitive by nature when it comes to rodeo.
“I just expect to go out and compete to the best of my ability,” said Dalton, who will be a freshman at Texico High School in the fall and hopes to compete in the sport in college and perhaps as a professional.
Audrey, entering eighth grade, said she’s looking for a solid overall weekend.
“I want to do go in all (the events) and win the all-around saddle,” she said.
Dalton participates in football and Audrey in volleyball, basketball and track in school, but both have been heavily involved in rodeo for most of their young lives.
“I’ve just always liked horses and agriculture,” said Audrey, who added that her favorite rodeo event is barrels. “I’ll probably go on to college and rodeo, but I don’t think I’ll go pro.”
Dalton said football weight training is helpful in rodeoing.
“In football, you lift weights all rummer long, which helps you in handling the stock,” he said. “You use quite a bit of strength.
“I’ve always wanted to rodeo from the time I could walk. You’re surrounded by great people all the time, but you’re competing against yourself and trying to make yourself better.”
This week’s event, which wraps up on Saturday, has fewer participants than usual, High Plains Junior Rodeo Association secretary JoAnn Middleton said, noting the effect of the sluggish economy and high gas prices. She said just under 100 athletes are taking part in the showcase, down from the normal number of around 150.