High school rodeo contestants will be converging on Clovis this week for the New Mexico High School Rodeo Finals.
The events are scheduled Wednesday through Sunday at the Curry County Special Events Center. State event winners will represent New Mexico in July’s National High School Finals Rodeo in Farmington.
“We’re very excited to get the rodeo,” Connie Harrison, Curry County administrative services coordinator, said. “The rodeo has been a team effort with Curry County, the (Clovis/Curry County) Chamber of Commerce and the Rodeo Committee as far as it goes in putting this on.”
Twelve events have been scheduled over the next five days for contestants from New Mexico, Arizona and Utah. The events are saddle bronc riding, bull riding, barrel racing, pole bending, goat tying, breakaway roping, cutting (both boys and girls events), team roping, calf roping, steer wrestling and bareback bronc riding. Also included are light rifle shooting and trap competitions.
Ernie Kos, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce, said the event is a huge boon for Clovis.
“It’s going to be a tremendous economic impact, and showcase Clovis to all the rodeo families that will be here,” Kos said.
Also, the rodeo will showcase the events center, where it is a big new happening, she said. Kos believes the center had a lot to do with the rodeo coming to Clovis.
Trent Bilberry of Elida, who serves as president of the High School Rodeo Board, said he was one of many board voters who wanted the event brought to Clovis.
“When Clovis opened the event center, it made it a more likable choice, being indoors,” said Bilberry, who is competing in calf and team roping events.
Other local competitors include Jesse Clark of Dora and Christian Pettigrew of Fort Sumner.
“It’s just not the contestants, it’s their parents and coaches that are coming,” Kos said. “Right now, we have a total of 249 people coming, and that is including their family and coaches, but as far as contestants themselves go, I have 165.”