Starting at a very young age, young athletes spend their entire rodeo careers training for the opportunity to compete at National High School Finals Rodeo (NHSFR). The ten rodeo athletes highlighted in this piece have not only put in the intense training and dedication necessary to compete at nationals, but they are also the 10 finalists and newest members of Boot Barn’s Future Stars of Rodeo team, a competition held annually among the athletes who have qualified for NHSFR. We were honored to have them join our team and to have learned more about them at NHSFR this year.
Tanner Basset from Boscoble, Wisconsin
Events: Saddle Bronc and Steer Wrestling
"The last four years I’ve come here to National High School Finals Rodeo I’ve been super nervous. But I feel like I’m finally going to do something this year."
Cashae McGee from Rhame, North Dakota Event: Goat Tying
“I love the adrenaline rush of the sport, but I love the people in rodeo as much or more. The friendships you make in the sport of rodeo will last you a lifetime and I appreciate that I can compete alongside my peers and they always encourage you.”
Zaine Mikita from Byers, Colorado
Events: Tie Down and Cutting
“Rodeo has taught me more than I could ever imagine. The patience, heartbreak, determination, and responsibility that all come with rodeo has taught me to be the person I am today. And for that I am totally and completely grateful.”
Rebekah Nottestad from Mandan, North Dakota
“It is like your main goal in high school rodeo is to get to National High School Finals Rodeo. To get here, you’re going to have to be on your game. And then once you’re here, it’s like all-out nothing to lose, trying to go for it. Rope sharp.”
Trent Sorey from Pendleton, Oregon
Events: Tie Down Roping and Team Roping
“I was born into a very history-rich town of cowboys and I come from a family of cowboys and wheat farmers. I was just born into it. From when I could walk I was riding a horse. And this fall will be the first time I will miss a rodeo since the day I was born.”
Jennie Martinez from Queen Creek, Arizona Event: Barrel Racing
“I love the sport of rodeo. My passion for rodeo shows both in and out of the arena.”
Caydon Roshau from Bismarck, North Dakota
"I'm always constantly going. Improving. Trying new things to get to the next level and make that pro-level eventually."
Kayla Earnhardt from Mooresville, North Carolina
Events: Pole Bending and Goat Tying
"Never give your hopes up even if you have a bad season. You still got finals. You got three more runs that you can make up for it. And just go out there and do what you know how to do."
Carson Houser from McClusky, North Dakota Event: Bull Riding
“I hope that I can inspire the future generations of bull riders to turn around and help the next ones in line work their way to the top.”
Kylie Hildren from Velva, North Dakota Events: Team Roping and Girls Cow Cutting
“I feel it’s a big accomplishment to be the only girl team roper to make nationals from North Dakota.”