Payson High School sophomore Jason Amon has qualified for the 54th Annual National High School Finals Rodeo July 22 to 28 in Farmington, N.M.
At the finals, Amon will be competing as a member of the Arizona state team in the saddle bronc event.
Amon earned a berth on the state's team by finishing third in the saddle bronc competition at the Arizona High School State Finals Rodeo June 14, 15 and 16 at the Apache Gold Casino in Globe.
Also participating from Payson were Lara Baker (barrel racing and team roping), Chancey Brown (breakaway roping and barrel racing), Jessie Brown (pole bending, breakaway roping, barrel racing and team roping), Jamie Ewing (team roping and barrel racing), John Ewing (team roping and calf roping), Klayton Haught (bareback riding), Lani Murdock (pole bending, breakaway roping and goat tying), Lindi Parker (pole bending and barrel racing), Shelbi Parker (pole bending and barrel racing) and Garrett Riggins (bareback riding).
In addition to qualifying for the National Finals, Amon will be a member of the Arizona Scorpion rodeo team that will be competing at the International Finals Youth Rodeo in Shawnee, Okla. He'll be joined on the Scorpions by Shelby Parker.
A foursome of other local youth is slated to participate in the International Silver State Youth Rodeo when it is held later this summer in Falon, Nev. Included are: Haught, Baker, Riggins and John Ewing.
The big show
At NHSFR finals, Amon will be joined by a field of more than 1,500 contestants from 39 states, four Canadian provinces and Australia. The event is billed as the world's largest rodeo.
In addition to competing for more than $125,000 in prizes, the contestants will be vying for more than $170,000 in college scholarships and the chance to be named the National High School Rodeo national champion.
To earn the national champion title, contestants must finish in the top 20 in two go-rounds of competition before advancing to Sunday's final championship performance.
This year, the Sunday championship performance will be televised nationally on the Outdoor Channel Network's weekly Rodeo Roundup series. It is scheduled to air Aug. 14 and 21st (check local listings).
Looking for team members
Teenagers from around the Rim country are being encouraged to join the local rodeo team which would offer them the opportunity to someday participate in the national finals.
For more information about the team, call Mike Amon at 474-0689 or Margaret Parker at 476-4301.
The first Arizona High School rodeo for the 2002-2003 season is Sept. 13, 14 and 15 in Payson.