Local rodeo athletes competing at state finals

They’ll be representing San Benito County at two upcoming events. Top athletes move on to nationals.
Local junior high state finals qualifiers. Photo courtesy of Liz Westrick.

Local rodeo athletes of California High School Rodeo District 4 competed for their district finals at Bolado Park Event Center on April 20. Twenty-six San Benito County athletes will represent the region at two upcoming state finals: the California Junior High School Rodeo Association State Finals in Red Bluff on May 16-18; and the California High School Rodeo Association State Finals in Bishop on June 10-15. The top four junior high rodeo athletes and top four high school athletes will advance to nationals.

The top contestants in each state event will advance to the National Junior High School Finals Rodeo in Huron, South Dakota on June 23-29, and the National High School Final Rodeo in Rock Springs, Wyoming on July 14-20.

San Benito County rodeo athletes qualifying for state finals include:

California High School Rodeo Association

  • Lilla Bell—Team Roping (header), Breakaway Roping, Pole Bending, Reined Cow Horse
  • Jake Bourdet—Team Roping (heeler), Steer Wrestling, Tie-Down Roping
  • Tucker Bourdet—Boys Cutting, Saddle Bronc Riding, Team Roping (heeler), Tie-Down Roping
  • Sarah Brewen—Team Roping (header)
  • Beth Hitchcock—Team Roping (header), Breakaway Roping
  • Emilee Hitchcock—Barrel Racing
  • Brittany Moore – Barrel Racing
  • David Nino—Tie-Down Roping
  • Joseph Nino—Tie-Down Roping
  • Vince Nino—Team Roping (header), Tie-Down Roping
  • Trista Reid—Goat Tying, Pole Bending
  • Tristan Schmidt—Boys Cutting
  • Sierra Stelling—Goat Tying, Pole Bending
  • Hailee Westrick—Reined Cow Horse
  • McKenna Wood—Goat Tying, Team Roping (header), Breakaway Roping, Girls Cutting

California Junior High School Rodeo Association

  • Billy Aviles—Saddle Bronc Steer Riding, Ribbon Roping, Chute Dogging, Boys Breakaway Roping
  • Katherine Brewen—Barrel Racing, Girls Breakaway Roping, Pole Bending, Ribbon Roping
  • Michael Curto—Chute Dogging, Boys Goat Tying, Team Roping (heeler)
  • Cody French—Boys Goat Tying, Team Roping (heeler), Chute Dogging, Boys Breakaway Roping, Ribbon Roping
  • Makiley Loveless—Barrel Racing, Team Roping (header), Girls Goat Tying, Girls Breakaway Roping, Pole Bending, Ribbon Roping
  • Brandon Low—Team Roping (header), Boys Breakaway Roping, Ribbon Roping
  • Lillian Mendonsa—Girls Goat Tying
  • Kohen Nelson—Chute Dogging
  • Dan Nino—Boys Goat Tying, Team Roping (heeler), Boys Breakaway Roping
  • Lukas Perry—Boys Breakaway Roping, Team Roping (header), Chute Dogging, Bareback Steer Riding
  • Rylee Roberts—Girls Breakaway Roping, Ribbon Roping
  • Emery Sparling—Girls Breakaway Roping

For complete results from the state finals, visit



Blaire Strohn

Blaire Strohn was a popular and vivacious reporter for BenitoLink. Blaire passed away Sept. 25, 2019 after doing her best for years to heroically ignore the limitations of Cystic Fibrosis. Despite these challenges, she was a graduate student at Oklahoma State University focusing on International Agriculture. Blaire also graduated from California State University, Fresno with a Bachelors Degree in Agriculture Communications. Born and raised on a cow/calf operation ranch in Paicines, Blaire was passionate about the agriculture community and western way of life.