angle-left College National Finals Rodeo Set for June 9-15

College National Finals Rodeo Set for June 9-15

College rodeo’s best will battle it out in Casper, Wyoming.

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By Tara Matsler, Performance Horse Journal editor

The 2019 edition of the College National Finals Rodeo kicks off June 9 in Casper, Wyoming, with bulls, broncs and breakaway. Sunday’s competition features the first round of bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, bull riding and women’s breakaway roping. This lineup has been a tradition since 2003.

Two days of slack follow on Monday and Tuesday, with evening performances getting underway on Tuesday through Friday. The event comes to a head Saturday with the championship round finals.

The defending champions are Oklahoma Panhandle State University in Goodwell (men's team) and McNeese State in Lake Charles, Louisiana (women’s team).

Colton Campbell's Desperada was the 2018 AQHA Men's Horse of the Year. The 8-year-old buckskin mare by TTC Ikes Desperado and out of the mare QHR Freckles Made Me, who is Made To Boogie a son of Doc O'Lena and out of Colonel Freckles Mare. “Desperada” was bred by Abigail Nelson of Wilton, California. Campbell, who hails from Klamath Falls, Oregon, purchased the mare from her breeder in 2016. Campbell and Desperada represented California State University, Fresno at the CNFR.

The 2018 AQHA Women's Horse of the Year title went to Abby Searcy's Dashing Wood Bar. The 11-year-old sorrel gelding is by the Dash Ta Fame son Woodbridge and out of Pine Bar Destiny by Jack McCandles. Searcy's purchased the gelding from his breeders, Bob and Eileen Moore of Downsville, Louisiana, in 2009. Searcy, a student at University of Arkansas-Monticello, is a native of Wilmar, Arkansas.

Other 2018 champions include:

  • Men's all-around, bull riding: Will Centoni (Cuesta College)
  • Tie-down roping, men’s rookie: Ty Harris (Cisco College)
  • Team roping: Kellan Johnson (Gillette College) and Trey Yates (Casper College)
  • Steer wrestling: Tristan Martin (East Mississippi Community College)
  • Bareback riding: Tyler Berghuis (Tarleton State University)
  • Saddle bronc riding: Jake Finlay (Oklahoma Panhandle State University)
  • Women’s all-around, breakaway roping, goat tying: Mia Manzanares (McNeese State University)
  • Barrel racing: Kynzie McNeill (Oklahoma State University)
  • Women’s rookie: Maddee Doerr (Cochise College)

Visit to follow the action June 9-15 in Casper.