North Dakota Junior High Rodeo State Finals
May 28, 2024
BY : Stacy McGee

ND State Junior High Qualifiers. [Photo: Kristi Blaser]

The air buzzed with excitement in Bowman, ND, as cowboys and cowgirls gathered to compete at the North Dakota Junior High Rodeo Division (NDJHRD) State Finals on May 17 and 18, 2024.  The talented young competitors arrived ready to battle it out for a spot to compete at the National Junior High Finals Rodeo (NJHFR) in Des Moines, Iowa, June 23-29.

The NDJHRD provides a platform for young North Dakota cowboys and cowgirls to begin their rodeo career, sharpening their skills and building on their experiences.  The heart and talent of our young North Dakota athletes was evident over the weekend, setting the stage for an unforgettable state finals.

All Around Champions, Cassidy Hutchison and Braden Hutchison [Photo: submitted]

The NDJHRD All-Around titles were captured by a brother-sister team, Braden Hutchison (8th grade) & Cassidy Hutchison (6th grade) both from Watford City, ND will be competing in a combined 8 events at the NJHFR.  In the practice pen, the Hutchison’s kids challenge each other, however in competition, they are each other’s biggest advocators.

Best friends- Pete Maher of McLaughlin, SD and Jace Boote, Binford, ND- have grown up together on the rodeo grounds, watching their siblings compete through the ranks of Junior High, High School and College rodeo. Now, it’s their turn to demonstrate their skills on the big stage in their individually qualified events and together as team roping partners, as their siblings cheer them on.

Cowboy Friends, Cowboy Champs-left to right: Pete Maher and Jace Boote. [Photo: submitted]

The sport of rodeo comes with unforeseen injuries, stopping everyone in their tracks to assist and pray for the rodeo athlete.  Chet Delaney of Alaxander, ND caught his thumb in the dally during the team roping event, resulting in his first airplane ride to Robbinsdale, Minnesota.   Prayers were answered as Chet returned home after a weeklong stay and multiple surgeries to repair his thumb. Please continue to keep Chet in your prayers as he begins his recovery journey.

An awards ceremony wrapped up the NDJHRD State Finals, crowning the 2024 State Champions and declaring the National Qualifiers.  Team North Dakota will be represented by 36 contestants, prepared to compete against the best at the upcoming National Junior High Rodeo Finals.

For NDJHRD State Finals and year end results, please visit the NDJHRD website, and/or follow their Facebook page: North Dakota Junior High Rodeo Division.   As Team ND makes their way to the NJHRF, the media pages will post draws and results for family and fans to stay connected.

Good Luck to Team ND at the National Junior High Finals; you have put the time in the practice pen, you are meant to be here, the moment is yours!

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