Payson High School 2004 graduate Jason Amon has won the Wrangler Saddle Bronc championship at the Arizona State High School Finals Rodeo June 11 to 13 at Apache Gold Casino near Globe.
"I had to ride three broncs in three days," he said. "I won the first and third day and was third on the second day."
His best ride during the finals was a tally of 74 he racked up on the bronc Canadian Bred.
In addition to his win in the saddle bronc, Amon captured first place in the season-long standings of the bareback competition. He also was named the Arizona Reserve All-Around Champion for the 2003-2004 season.
With the state wins, Amon has qualified for the National High School Finals Rodeo July 19 to 25 in Gillette, Wyo.
In Gillette, he will be joined by Seth Barkley who qualified for nationals with a state third-place finish in the state saddle bronc competition.
Amon and Barkley are the only two Payson teenagers to qualify for the NHSFR.
The high school championship is the world's largest rodeo. It is expected to attract more than 1,500 contestants from 39 states, five Canadian provinces and Australia. More than $125,000 in prizes and $225,000 in college scholarships will be awarded.
The Sunday championship performance will be televised nationally on the Outdoor Life Network as part of the American Quarterhorse Association's weekly "America's Horse" series. It will air Aug. 15 and 22.
For winning the Wrangler title, Amon received a pair of 20X jeans and a special state event champion patch for his competition shirt.
According to Wrangler officials, the jeans and shirt manufacturer initiated the state awards program to go along with its Wrangler High School All Star team program.
Wrangler also provides college scholarship support that is distributed through 45 states.