Bull rider Wyatt Terrazas. Courtesy photo
Bull rider Eddie Maestas. Courtesy photo
Goat tying competitor Wacey Trujillo. Courtesy photo
Bull rider Miguel Martinez. Courtesy photo
BY SAGE FAULKNER
Five young Rio Arriba County contestants just returned from competing in Las Vegas, Nevada at the World Rodeo Finals for the title of world champion. Qualifying to get there was no easy task; contestants placed in regional finals and worked all year to get to the world finals.
Monte Faulkner competed against 21 of the world’s best saddle bronc riders in age division 13-14. He tied for 11th place.
Eddie Maestas competed against 20 16-18 year old bull riders, tying for 10th place.
Wacey Trujillo competed in goat tying, with 40 other youth competitors ages 10-12. She made the short go (a final round where the top finishers compete in a last round) and ended the championship in 11th place.
Miguel Martinez rode bulls in the 9-10 age division, also making the short go and finishing 9th in the world.
Wyatt Terrazas, competing in the 16-18 bull riding, had a strong 85.5 ride that earned him the second place finish in the first round and the reserve world champion spot overall.
Competing at this level requires nerves of steel and everything working together perfectly. An element of luck is still involved; the stock the contestant draws each out, what position they compete in, and a host of other components that surround every contestant.
The most notable similarity of the five youth from Northern New Mexico (besides their work ethic that has them competing at this level) is easily their good manners and humility. Polite and quiet, each is quick to critique their own performance. A touch of disappointment is in the air, because even though these kids have excelled in their sport; they came here to win the world in their respective events. Their drive is matched by few, and this won’t be their last rodeo!
Congratulations Wyatt, Miguel, Wacey, Monte and Eddie. Northern New Mexico is proud of you.