Eat, Rope, Sleep, Repeat: Rusk student qualifies to compete at world’s largest junior high rodeo

by Josie Fox
Photo provided by mark king
Briley King of Rusk, races against the clock to secure the fastest tie in a recent event. King will travel to South Dakota at the end of the month to participate in the 14th annual National Junior High Finals rodeo. King secured her place on the team by finishing second in the goat tying event in state finals. Photo provided by mark king
Briley King of Rusk, races against the clock to secure the fastest tie in a recent event. King will travel to South Dakota at the end of the month to participate in the 14th annual National Junior High Finals rodeo. King secured her place on the team by finishing second in the goat tying event in state finals.

Briley King, a seventh grade student at Rusk Jr. High, is South Dakota bound at the end of the month to compete in the 14th annual National Junior High Finals Rodeo (NJHFR). King earned her position on the Texas team by finishing second out of the 100 best goat tiers in the state.

King, who has been goat tying for the last five years, also plays volleyball, basketball, runs track, is a member of the student council and also participates in breakaway roping and ribbon roping. On top of her extra curricular activities, King is also an A-B honor roll student.

“Keeping her grades up is an important part of her participation in these events.” said King’s mother, Jodi King. “We have to turn in report cards at least three times a year proving she has met the academic requirements to participate.”

“She is up at 5:45 a.m. every morning feeding horses before school, 6:30 a.m. during the summer months. She is very dedicated and taking care of her horses is her responsibility. She will take care of them in the mornings, go to school, participate in her events there and still come home and work with her horse another two to three hours at night.”

When asked what first interested her in goat tying King said that she was following in her mother’s footsteps.

“I grew up with the rodeo, my entire family did,” said Mrs. King.

King’s father, Mark King, along with her mother and younger brother Karson will head out for Huron, SD on June 21 with the first of the rodeo events starting on June 24. The family will be there approximately 11 days with NJHFR events running from June 24 until June 30.

According to a recent press release, the NJHFR features roughly 1,000 contestants from 43 states, five Canadian provinces, Australia and Mexico and is the world’s largest junior high rodeo. In addition to competing for more than $80,000 in prizes, NJHFR contestants will also be vying for more than $200,000 in college scholarships and the chance to be named Nation Junior High Finals World Champion.

To earn this title, contestants must finish in the top 20, based on their combined times/scores in the first two rounds and advance to Saturday evening’s final round.

World champions will then be determined based on their three round combined times/scores.

The press release also states the Saturday championship performance will be televised nationally as part of the Cinch High School Rodeo Tour telecast series on RFD-TV.

Live broadcasts of all NJHFR performances will air on www.RidePass.com. Performance times ar 7 p.m. on June 24, and 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. each day thereafter.

“I’m looking forward to both the experience of going and the excitement of the rodeo,” said King. “I want to win.”