Local teens to compete at National Junior High Finals Rodeo

Two will represent San Benito County in Huron, South Dakota.

Two local teens are bringing San Benito County to the national stage once again as they compete in the 2019 National Junior High Finals Rodeo in Huron, South Dakota, from June 23-29.

Local competitors include Kohen Nelson and Billy Aviles, who will represent District 4 of the California Junior High Rodeo Association. The pair beat hundreds of other rodeo contestants to place in the California Junior High Rodeo State Finals, which took place in Red Bluff in early May.

To qualify for the nationals, contestants must place in the top four in their event(s) at the state level.

Nelson will compete in the chute dogging event. He earned the reserve state champion title at the state finals.

“I’m excited to represent District 4 and the great state of California at nationals,” Nelson said. “I am hoping to have a very successful rodeo so that I make my family, Hollister and California proud of my accomplishments.”

Aviles advanced to the nationals in the ribbon roping, chute dogging and saddle bronc steer riding.

“I am excited about competing at a higher level and looking forward to doing good and also meeting lots of new people,” Aviles said.

The National Junior High Finals Rodeo features about 1,000 contestants from 44 states, five Canadian provinces, Australia and Mexico. It’s the world’s largest junior high rodeo.

Contestants compete for $80,000 in prize money, $200,000 in college scholarships and the chance to be named a National Junior High Finals Rodeo World Champion.

Live broadcasts of the finals will air on To follow your local favorites at the nationals, visit for complete results.


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Blaire Strohn

Blaire Strohn is 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, she is passionate about the agriculture community and western way of life.

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We’re already proud of you; both of you! Good luck and have a great time.