Two King Middle School students, Alexis Laughlin and Savannah Burchett, have earned the right to participate in the world’s largest junior high rodeo in South Dakota against thousands of contestants from four different countries through the National High School Rodeo Association.
The girls will compete in the first round on Sunday, June 24, at 7 p.m. The event will be broadcast live online at www.ridepass.com.
To earn the title of World Champion, contestants must finish in the top 20 based on their combined scores. The top 20 advance to the final event, a three round competition on Saturday, June 30.
Middle school might seem a little young to be competing in a rodeo, but Burchett is already an old hand. She has been riding in the junior division for two years, following big sister Shelby Burchett’s lead.
“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard,” said Burchett. “You don’t start out as the best. I used to be the slowest one out there and look at me now.”
This is Laughlin’s first year in the junior division but she began riding at the Triple Cross Cowboy Church before she even owned a horse. She learned to love the rodeo and continued working hard with the Southern Indiana Junior Association until she reached the minimum age to compete nationally.
“The rodeo made me stronger and have more confidence,” Laughlin said. “My advice is make your comebacks stronger than your setbacks.”
“Winning buckles and taking pride in their accomplishments are some of the things the girls like about their rodeo and the people treat everyone like family,” said Laughlin’s mother, Maureen. “We had a rodeo last weekend out at Triple Cross too, its nice we have a potluck and short bible study too.”
Triple Cross Cowboy Church is a local youth ministry that meets Thursday nights at 6 p.m.
Horses are provided or participants can bring your own. They hold a rodeo once a month and give out awards every three months or so.
The next rodeo is scheduled for Aug. 4. For more information, call Rusty Kreider at 859-319-9304.
To learn more, check out this week’s issue of the Harrodsburg Herald.