Trevor Haught is primed and ready to make a second run at winning a national high school bareback riding championship.
He'll have the opportunity to do so July 21 to 27 at the National High School Finals Rodeo in Farmington, N.M.
There, Haught will be one of 1,500 high school qualifiers representing 41 states, five Canadian provinces and Australia.
All will be vying for $325,000 in college scholarships and the chance to be named a NHSRA champion.
The Payson High School junior advances to the granddaddy of all prep rodeos as the Arizona state bareback champion. He nailed down the title June 19 and 20 at the state finals held in St. Johns.
Over the course of the high school season, which began Oct. 14 in Globe before culminating in St. Johns, Haught compiled 140.5 points in the bareback to easily outdistance event runner-up Michael Allison who finished with 114 points.
Over the course of the 10-rodeo season, Haught was a model of consistency almost always finishing among the top-three.
One of his best showings was chalked up Feb. 17 in Florence where he tied for first with a tally of 65. At Wilcox and Wild Horse Pass rodeos he finished second and at Prescott and Taylor he was third.
The 17-year-old's stellar showings throughout the year proved that staying aboard a 1,500-pound bucking bronc for eight seconds while gripping only a simple braided rein was not a problem.
Appearing on high school rodeo's national stage will be nothing new for the young cowboy who lives with his parents on the Cross F Ranch near Sunflower.
Last year, he qualified for the national finals as an Arizona state champion and finished 28th among the 127 entrants. That rodeo was held in Springfield, Ill.
"I want to do better this year," Haught said.
During the 2006-2007 high school season, Haught rode every bareback bronc he boarded, to eventually win the state crown with 163.5 points.
In addition to competing on the prep circuit, Haught entered the Bares, Bulls and Broncs United American Tour that featured a spring rodeo in the Payson Event Center.
There, he was the only Rim Country cowboy to pocket prize money tying for third with a score of 73. The teen also competes on the Grand Canyon Pro Rodeo Association circuit, competing mostly in open shows as an amateur.
Haught says his best tallies are scored on high-kicking broncos.
"I like the kind that kind of float, it gives me a little more time," he said.
The aspiring cowboy became interested in the sport during his eighth-grade year when he first climbed aboard a wild bronc.
"I really liked it and it was something I could do (well)," he said.
Although Haught is certain bareback riding will remain his favorite rodeo event, he's set to test his skills in at least two other competitions.
"I'd like to try saddle bronc (riding) and team roping," he said.
Those endeavors, coupled with his academic studies at Payson High School and the one-hour commute to and from his home, represent a full schedule for the teen.
Following graduation from PHS, Haught's goal is to earn a college rodeo scholarship and eventually compete on the PRCA circuit.
In traveling to Farmington for the National High School Finals, Haught and his family must foot the considerable bill to represent Payson and Arizona.
Currently, Trevor is seeking sponsors to aid with trip expenses.
"I'd really appreciate any help I can get," he said.
To become a sponsor or for more information, call Haught at (602) 448-0382.