Osceola Competes in State Finals

Qualifies for National Finals

By Tabitha Osceola

KISSIMMEE, FL — The Florida High School Rodeo Association State Finals were held in Kissimmee from June 8–11. The top 15 contestants in the state competed for a position to go to the National High School Rodeo Association Finals in Springfield, Ill.

Tribal citizen Shelby Osceola qualified in three events: goat tying, breakaway roping and team roping; for the state finals. On the first day of the state finals she walked into the competition sitting in 15th place in goat tying, sixth place in the breakaway roping and 11th place in the team roping.

Going into the weekend it was the breakaway roping competition that Shelby Osceola had the chance of becoming one of the top four in the state of Florida. The breakaway roping, which Shelby started the weekend off in, was a very close competition with only seven points between the first and sixth positions.

The weekend was a tough battle for Shelby, especially after the first go round on Thursday night when she missed with her first loop but was able to come back with her second loop and caught her calf in 12.63 seconds putting her seventh place in the go round. Luckily, Shelby did not lose a position in the standing and was able to hold her sixth place.

The second go round at night on June 9, Shelby went out and took fourth place in the round by roping a quick time of 5.29 seconds. By the end of the second go round Shelby was sitting in the fifth place position in the standings but her vision of going to the National Finals still felt far away with only one round to go.

The afternoon of June 11 was the final round; after this round the standings would be posted and the top four in the state of Florida would be representing Florida at the National High School Rodeo Finals. Shelby on her last go roped a good game and then she had to wait for the rodeo to be finished so she could see how she sat in the standings.

Shelby Osceola after a long, tough weekend of rodeo competing against some the best ropers in the Florida High School Rodeo Association looked at the final standing sheets and saw she had finished 14th in goat tying, 12th in team roping and fourth in breakaway roping.

Shelby walked away with a big smile on her face because all her hard work had paid off. She is going to the National High School Rodeo Finals in Springfield in July to represent the state of Florida and compete against the top four for each state throughout the nation.