High Plains Junior Rodeo wrapping up 40th year

Staff report
The High Plains Junior Rodeo is four decades into rodeo for youth. Or, as the organization bills it in the newsletter, “40 Years of Awesome.”

Here are five things to know about this week’s High Plains Junior Rodeo Finals, which begins 5 p.m. Tuesday with slack. All events are at the Curry County Events Center.

Clovis born, Clovis raised: The High Plains Junior Rodeo Association started in 1974 by five Clovis men. It has since spread throughout New Mexico and crossed into the Texas border to boast hundreds of members and a board of a dozen members stretch from Moriarty to Deming to Stephenville, Texas.

But it all comes back to Clovis. The city has held the finals ever year, and it’s going to be that way until at least 2017 thanks to an agreement with the Curry County Events Center.

How they got here: HPJRA contestants, who are 19 years old and under, compete within seven age groups in various events, including tie-down calf roping, ribbon roping, breakaway roping, team roping, steer stopping, pole bending, barrel racing, goat tying and bull riding.

The finals rodeo is the culmination of a 14-week season that began Feb. 14 in Levelland.

Busy week: Tuesday and Wednesday’s first go-rounds are the busiest, particularly for kids entered in numerous events. Tuesday’s first go-round for barrel racing, pole bending, goat ribbon pulling and goat tying is scheduled to end at 9:30 p.m.

Assuming it doesn’t go last, many of those same youths have less than 12 hours to recover. It starts up again at 9 a.m. Wednesday with breakaway roping, calf roping, steer wrestling, double mugging, ribbon roping, steer breakaway roping, steer stopping, team roping and step-down roping.

There is, however, a light Wednesday night, with 6 p.m.-6:45 p.m. church services as the final event of Wednesday. Services are open to the public.

Extra-curricular activity: Just like a spirit week at a high school, there are theme days for the rodeo performances. Starting Thursday, the grand entry includes a different performance theme each night.

In keeping iwth the Clovis sound, the opening theme is “Rock ‘N’ Roll.” Friday night is just as colorful with Hawaiian wear, and Saturday is like many other adult rodeos with a “Tough Enough to Wear Pink” night.

The rodeo will also feature a nightly silent auction which benefits the association, with final bids due 5 p.m. Saturday. Remaining items will be sold during a live auction later in the evening.
No. 5 for the Top 5: It all comes to a close Saturday afternoon. The short go-round begins at 12:45 p.m. The short go will be limited in each event to the top five year-end competitors.

 

High Plains Junior Rodeo
Tuesday
5 p.m. — Slack. First go-round, barrel racing, pole bending, goat ribbon pulling and goat tying
Wednesday
9 a.m. — Slack. First go-round, breakaway roping, calf roping, steer wrestling, double mugging, ribbon roping, steer breakaway roping, steer stopping, team roping and step-down roping.
6 p.m. — Church services, open to public
Thursday
9 a.m. — Slack, portion of second go-round
6:45 p.m. — Rodeo performance, introdution of all-around contenders
Friday
9 a.m. — Slack, portion of second go-round
6:45 p.m. — Rodeo performance, introdution of rookie of the year contenders
Saturday
12:45 p.m. — Championship Short Go