Abigail James of Rosepine and Jack Wright of DeRidder are competing in the 27th annual International Finals Youth Rodeo July 7-12 at the Heart of Oklahoma Exposition Center in Shawnee, Oklahoma.
James and Wright are participating in the world’s richest youth rodeo, hoping to win their share of more than $250,000 in prize money and championship saddles and buckles.
James and Wright will join more than 750 of the top high school rodeo athletes from around the world for the 2019 IFYR. James is vying for prizes in cowgirls breakaway roping and team roping and Wright in saddle bronc riding.
Contestants will compete in 10 events running simultaneously in three arenas throughout the week. Events include cowgirls barrel racing, cowgirls pole bending, cowgirls breakaway roping, cowgirls goat tying, team roping, tie-down roping, steer wrestling, bull riding, saddle bronc riding and bareback riding. The IFYR consists of two long go-rounds and a short go.
All contestants compete once in each of the long go-rounds. The top 15 averages in each event will compete in the short go finals on Friday.
“The International Finals Youth Rodeo brings phenomenal high school athletes from all over the world Shawnee, Oklahoma, each year,” said Stephanie Meiler-Gideon, interim director of the Heart of Oklahoma Exposition Center and International Finals Youth Rodeo. “The IFYR gives these athletes the chance to compete at a professional level and allows them to showcase their rodeo skills for all to see.”
The International Finals Youth Rodeo, held annually since 1993, is a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization that presents top high school athletes with a professional rodeo. The internationally-recognized IFYR is held annually at the Heart of Oklahoma Exposition Center in Shawnee, Oklahoma.
The action-packed event includes hundreds of contestants vying to win more than $250,000 in prize money, competing in 10 events running simultaneously in three arenas over six days. In 2018, more than 875 contestants and their families traveled from 34 states and Australia to participate in the IFYR. For more information, visit IFYR.com or call (405) 275-7020.