On Saturday, November 10, 2018, the 22 Kids from Montana Junior Rodeo Association (JRA) who qualified for the Junior National Final Rodeo, (JNFR) assembled in Philipsburg, Montana at the Philipsburg Brewing Company.
A Special Pint Night Celebration, Victory Party and Parade was held to raise event support for the kids who won spots in Junior National Rodeo Event. The 22 Montana State finalists will be traveling to Las Vegas Nevada to compete in the national completion in bareback saddle bronc. There will also be other bull riding contestants from Montana also competing for the world championship title in Las Vegas as well. Just as is done in the adult completion.
The event Junior National Rodeo Competition in Las Vegas will be held daily from December 6 thru the 10th. Each contestant has participated in between 5 and 30 rodeo events throughout the year to qualify for the national competition event in Las Vegas.
The qualifying youth contestants from Montana range in age from 8 – 16 years old. They will be competing for the world national finals and a total of $80,000.00 in prize money and other major awards.
We spoke with Lacie Demers, Montana's #1 Rodeo Mom and local sponsor of the event. Lacie is the proud mother of two of her own sons among the 22 Montana 2018 NJFR Contenders. Lacie told us that she became involved in the JRA because one of her sons had a bucking pony when he was four or five years old. He started out in miniature bull riding competitions. Lacie mentioned that many of the 22 contestants started off as bull riders and transitioned to bare back riding and saddle bronc.
Lacie reports that they now have over 140 bucking ponies which the contestants ride each year. The horses range in size from miniature which the 6 and 9-year-old kids ride, all the way up to full size horses which, the high school kids ride in competition.
We interviewed Bryce Patterson from Bozeman and Sam Peter from Helena. Both Montana JNFR Contestants are second year veterans representing the State of Montana at the Junior National Rodeo Competition.
The total 22 contestants participating in the Las Vegas JNFR competition are from all over the state of Montana. Each of the competition finalist had to compete against over 750 kids from all over the United States and Canada. The trials continued throughout the year and each contestant won their way up the ranks through, the series of events to earn their place at the national championship competition in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The JNFR Event begins December 6th and runs daily through the 10th of December, 2018.
This year’s 2018 JNFR yearlong qualifying playoff had, 720 kids who had entry cards. However, a total of 760 kids from all over the United States and Canada who rode in the primary playoff events this year.
-- Julian Ricci
Montana JRA Contestants Interview Clip with Bryce Patterson and Sam Peterson
2018 Junior National Rodeo Montana Finalist Celebration Parade
2018 JNR Montana Finalist Check Awards Presentation