By: Julia Dondero
The sigh of relief for some, for others- the deep breath of anticipation as the CINCH World Championship Junior Rodeo, presented by Montana Silversmith rolls into the next stage of the competition. Advancing athletes will set their sights on Saturday’s Semi-Finals and Championship Rounds with eager anticipation. If the Qualifying Rounds have told rodeo fans anything about the caliber of competition in Guthrie this week, it’s that these elite athletes will have to be on their A-game to take home a coveted title.
For Team Roper, Denton Parish, this week is an opportunity to showcase his talents on both ends of the Team Roping as a Header and Heeler. Placing with both partners has provided the 15-year-old young gun with the momentum to take the lead in the average as a Header, and also advance to the Semi-Finals as a Heeler.
“It’s been a great week so far. I can’t think about it too much, I just try to do my job and give my partners the best shot possible,” explained Parish.
Heading on NFR Qualifier, Cody Snow’s horse “Trapper”, Parish will spin steers with childhood friend, Beldon Cox. The duo narrowly leads the average and looks to stay true to their game plan come Saturday.
“With great judges and steers, it makes it great. I’d love to leave Gurthrie winning first and second place this year,” explained Parish, who is also placing high in the average with his Texas High School Rodeo partner, Treston Brazile.
With all events shaping up to be tight races, the Semi-Finals and Championship Rounds are sure to provide competitors and rodeo fans alike on the edge of their seats. In Pole Bending, Cassidy Evans took home the Second Round Win with a blazing 19.678-second run.
The native Oklahoman explained this round win was particularly special to her. “It’s amazing to have this win. I’ve only had my good horse back [from injury] for a handful of runs so this win is particularly special” explained the 17-year-old incoming high school junior.
Cassidy, like many others, is also competing alongside her siblings. Her twin brother, Cash is also competing at The Fabulous Lazy E Arena and will be competing in the Semi-Finals Tie Down Roping on Saturday.
Cassidy explained, “It’s so special having family here and competing with my brother. He is always there to help me in the box and my family’s support is so impactful to me.”