By: Julia Dondero
Entering the CINCH World Championship Junior Rodeo (WCJR) presented by Montana Silversmith with the coveted number 1 All Around position can be a heavy pressure to uphold. The pressure of competing in multiple events with high stakes on the line might crush some– or it might create the perfect conditions for a star to rise to the top.
In Guthrie, at the Fabulous Lazy E Arena, the conditions were just right for Kreece Dearing and Amy Ohrt to do just that– rise to the top. Maintaining their respective leads in the All Around Cowboy and Cowgirl races, the two victoriously defended their number one positions in the Junior Division.
Ahead the WCJR, Dearing knew the stakes were high and he had his sights narrowed on the coveted title. The Chico, Tex. native competed in Team Roping (Heading), Team Roping (Heeling), Steer Wrestling, and Tie-Down Roping to take a commanding lead in the race as well as make an appearance in the Tie-Down Roping Final Round.
Before the historic event, Dearing expressed his passion for being a true All Around Cowboy. “I always wanted to be known for more than just a one-event cowboy. I’ve always looked up to Timed Event Champions like Trevor Brazile. It’s such a prestigious event and I can’t wait to compete in the same area [Lazy E Arena] ” said Dearing.
A year’s work of preparation, practice, and precise nominating all came to a rewarding finale, as Dearing walked across the red dirt of the Lazy E Arena to be crowned the 2023 All Around Cowboy.
“It feels amazing, I worked hard all year for this title and I feel so blessed for it to pay off.” explained the recent high school graduate who will attend South Plains College to study agricultural business and compete in the Southwest NIRA Region this Fall.
Looking towards the highly anticipated All Around Cowgirl race, Amy Ohrt entered the week atop of the leaderboards and knew she needed to stay true and consistent to her game plan to take the title home.
As anticipation rose throughout the week, rodeo fans and competitors alike could feel the excitement in the air as World Champions began to be crowned. Competing in Barrel Racing, Pole Bending, Goat Tying, and Breakaway Roping, the Victoria, Tex. native set out for all-around success. With her eyes set on the coveted All-Around Title, the 18-year-old high school graduate has spent countless hours in the practice pen and working on her family’s cattle operation preparing for this moment.
As the dust settled, Ohrt’s hard work and leaderboard points accumulated to crown her 2023 All Around Cowgirl.
Reflecting on the unforgettable moment when the recent high school graduate captured the title, “This title means a lot. I always want to be good in all events, not just one. It felt so good to secure my spot and stay consistent in all my events.”
Dearing and Ohrt victoriously left the arena with more than the titles. With each athlete taking home the $4,000 All Around bonus, the all-around hands etched their names in the history books of one of the richest youth rodeos to date.
“It was a great week. We had so much fun and it feels so good to accomplish this goal,” said Ohrt.