Former Payson High School rodeo star Seth Barkley is now making a name for himself on the collegiate circuit.
The 2005 PHS graduate is a freshman member of the Cochise College Rodeo team that won the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association regional championship May 6 in Las Cruces, N.M.
Barkley and his teammates now advance to the NIRA finals in Casper, Wyo., held in June.
Barkley entered the regional finals ranked fifth in saddle bronc riding.
His efforts there produced enough points to propel him into second place.
Competing on the national scene will be nothing new for Barkley.
As a PHS senior, he was among the about 1,500 young cowboys and cowgirls who took part in the 57th Annual National High School Rodeo Association Championships in Gillette, Wyo.
He qualified for the granddaddy of prep rodeo competition by winning the Arizona state saddle bronc championship.
"He won every (high school) rodeo his senior year except one," said his mother, Sherrie "Cricket" Barkley. "We are very proud of him."
For his state win, Barkley was awarded a custom-made saddle and buckle.
As a PHS junior, Barkley won three saddle bronc events during the high school rodeo campaign.
The wins came at a Tucson rodeo, in Prescott and at the Arizona State Fair.
At a Yuma rodeo, he finished fourth in saddle bronc riding.
At the 2004 Parker prep rodeo, Barkley hooked up with Jamie Ewing to finish fourth in the team roping.