Rim Country Middle School student Bryndee Hall wrapped up her first-ever appearance in the National Junior High Finals Rodeo as Arizona’s top performer in the pole bending.
Competing against qualifiers from around the country, Hall did not knock down a pole on either of her two go-arounds, eventually finishing 26th in the nation.
Her effort was the best turned in by a state rider in the 9th Annual Junior High Finals Rodeo held June 23 to 29 in Gallup, N.M.
There, Bryndee was a member of the Arizona team that was comprised of top finishers from the state finals held earlier this summer.
At that rodeo, she emerged as the 2013 Reserve Arizona State Pole Bending Champion on her quarter horse, Babe.
In the state ribbon roping competition, she and her partner, Sam Garside of Prescott, finished fifth.
Bryndee also wrapped up the year in the top 10 in breakaway and barrel racing and was one of the top 7th-graders in the All Around Cowgirl competition.
In addition to showing well in the national pole bending finals, Hall was a member of the state sand volleyball team in Gallup that won the competition for the first time ever.
Following the teen’s return to Payson, her mother — Gila County 4-H Coordinator Lani Hall — praised the finals rodeo as one of the finest in the country.
“It was exceptionally well organized and the kids were so well behaved and respectful,” she said. “It was very impressive.”
With Bryndee’s inaugural appearance in the national finals now in the rearview mirror, she is looking forward to qualifying for the 2014 nationals, which will be held in Des Moine, Iowa.
While Bryndee excels in rodeo, she is also a straight-A honor roll student at RCMS and plays softball at the school and was a member of the Payson Little League All-Star Fast Pitch team.
The NJHFR rodeo drew more than 1,000 competitors from 41 states, five Canadian provinces and Australia to Gallup. All competed for more than $75,000 in prizes, $100,000 in college scholarships and the chance to be known as the best in the country.