Local cowboys and cowgirls who participated in the 4-H Finals Rodeo are, from left, Reed Trujillo, Teagan Trujillo, Stetson Trujillo, Wacey Trujillo, Paige Trujillo and Aleyana Baca. Courtesy photo
BY RHONDA YAKSICH-TRUJILLO
The 2023 New Mexico 4-H Rodeo season closed September 23 with the completion of the 4-H Rodeo Finals in Clovis, NM. The 4-H Finals Rodeo was well represented by a number of area cowboys and cowgirls who won multiple awards.
The 4-H rodeo season begins in the Spring of each year and ends with the State Finals in September. Families travel to multiple locations around the state to compete, this year’s regular season rodeos were in Torrance, Valencia, Santa Fe, San Juan, Quay and Dona Ana counties. Rodeo events are broken up in three age categories, Novice (8 year-olds in the 3rd grade through 11 year-olds in the 5th grade), Juniors (11 year-olds in the 6th grade through 14 year-olds) and Seniors (15 year-olds through 19 year-olds).
To qualify for the 4-H State Finals Rodeo, a contestant must complete in at least three regular season rodeos and earn at least one (1point in each event. The state finals rodeo champions are determined by points accumulated during each regular season rodeo plus each of two go-rounds and weekend average at State Finals. Points in an event are earned if the contestant places in the top 10 of each event. At the State Finals, contestants compete for saddles, buckles, and other awards including their share of prize money.
A handful of Northern NM cowboys and cowgirls competed in this year’s state finals rodeo. Six are Los Alamos Public School students and members of the Young Guns 4-H Club in Abiquiu. LAHS sophomores Wacey Trujillo and Stetson Trujillo both brought home two saddles each; Wacey is the Junior State Champion Breakaway Roper and Junior State Champion Goat Tyer. Stetson is the Junior State Champion Tie-Down Roper and Junior State Champion Ribbon Roper. Aspen Elementary 6th grader Paige Trujillo is the Novice State Champion Goat Tyer. Wacey also participated in Junior Team Roping, Ribbon Roping and Tie-Down Roping, while Stetson also competed in Junior Team Roping and Breakaway Roping. Paige also competed in Novice Breakaway Roping.
Aleyana Baca, an LAHS Freshman competed in the Junior Barrel Racing, Breakaway Roping, and Goat Tying. LAMS 8th graders Teagan Trujillo and Reed Trujillo both competed in the Junior Breakaway Roping, Goat Tying and Team Roping, and Reed also competed in Junior Ribbon Roping and Tie-Down Roping. Full results can be found here: https://nm4h.nmsu.edu/4h/4h-rodeo.html
New Mexico is one of only two states in the nation where competitive Rodeo is a 4-H project, South Dakota being the other. The 4-H rodeo project promotes rodeo on a statewide scale and brings recognition to the sport. 4-H rodeo promotes the educational, cultural, social and life skills development of youth members. It gives kids in ages 8-19 a chance to be a competitive athlete in the sport and learn good sportsmanship…the 4-H slogan: Learn by Doing.
Congratulations to all of the competitors!