Prescott and Chino Valley have turned into a stage for the Rim Country’s cowgirls and cowboys to showcase their considerable rodeo talents.
The two towns became a platform with the formation of the Yavapai County Junior Rodeo circuit earlier this year.
After learning of the new organization, 9-year-old Bryndee Hall and Chelsie Stodghill, 12, hooked up with several other Payson youths to participate in YCJR’s inaugural three rodeos.
They were held June 6, July 18 and Aug. 1 at the Five M Ranch in Chino Valley and the Prescott Rodeo Grounds.
Both Hall and Stodghill emerged from the competition clutching All-Around Junior Cowgirl championships in their age groups.
The two competed in barrel racing, pole bending, goat tying, breakaway and team roping.
In team roping the youths were allowed to invite an adult to be a partner and both chose Travis Stodghill.
Hall roped as a heeler and Chelsie Stodghill as a header.
Although Chelsie Stodghill is only about to be a teenager, she’s proven good enough to compete against the finest of adult ropers
At the Gracie Lee Haught Memorial Team Roping Aug. 8 and 9 at Payson Event Center, she teamed with Joe Mike Clem to finish fourth in the average among the No. 10 ropers.
Stodghill’s and Hall’s championship victories in Yavapai County represent monumental accomplishments since the two were competing against cowgirls from around the state.
“I was really surprised at how many were there and how wide an area they came from,” said Lani Hall, Bryndee’s mother, who also is the youth development agent for the Northern Gila County 4H program. “They came from all over.”
In addition to the exploits of Bryndee Hall and Chelsie Stodghill, Bree Hall, 4, Brylee Hall, 11, and Bryce Stodghill, 11, represented the Rim Country in the YCJR events.
Bree Hall was named the Reserve All-Around Peewee Cowgirl at the June rodeo.
Bryce and Brylee placed in the pole bending and goat tying. Bryce also placed in the boy’s calf tying.
With the YCJR rodeos at an end, the local youths will turn their attention to school classes, the Northern Gila County Fair Open Horse Show, the upcoming Mogollon Montoneras gymkhanas and the Queen Creek Junior Rodeo events.
Queen Creek-sponsored rodeos will be held Oct. 4 and 5 at the Payson Event Center.