By Josh Beavers
A pair of Lakeside students have achieved something that has never been done in Webster Parish.
Recent graduate Clara Robinson and sophomore Gemi Robinson are going to the rodeo nationals later this summer.
The National High School Rodeo Finals will be held in Gillette, Wyoming, July 16-22.
“I won Reserve Champion in the Girls Cutting event at Louisiana State Finals at the beginning of June,” Clara said. “Each state takes the top four in each event to the national level of competition.”
She continued: “I feel honored to be in this position. It feels like my hard work and dedication has gotten me to this point. The horse I compete on is hardworking and loves her job!”
Gemi competed in barrels, poles and Cutting at the state finals.
She is the fifteen year old daughter of Thomas and Christin Robinson.
“This will be my first time to compete at this level, and I’m very excited about it,” she said. “Rodeo has helped me build lifelong friendships, self value, good character, and taught me to put something before myself.”
Each year, the NHSRA produces the two elite youth rodeo events in the world – The National Junior High Finals Rodeo (NJHFR) and the National High School Finals Rodeo (NHSFR).
The NHSFR is the “World’s Largest Rodeo,” featuring approximately 1,500 contestants from across the United States, Australia, Canada, Mexico, and New Zealand. Athletes vie for national titles, assorted prizes and their share of thousands of dollars in college scholarships.
Action at the event is non-stop, with rodeo performances being conducted twice each day. The top-twenty contestants in each event then advance to a final round of competition to determine who will walk away with the coveted championship buckles.
Boys events at the NHSFR include Bareback Riding, Bull Riding, Saddle Bronc Riding, Tie-Down Roping, Steer Wrestling, Team Roping, and Cutting.
Girls events include Breakaway Roping, Barrel Racing, Pole Bending, Goat Tying, Cutting, Team Roping, and the NHSRA Queen contest. Boys and girls compete together in Team Roping and Reined Cow Horse.