In early December, four of our local cowboys and cowgirls qualified for the Tuffest Jr. World Championship Rodeo in Tulsa, Okla. Qualifiers were Taylen Lytle and Taylissa Lytle of Cut Bank; Skylar Connolly, Valier; and Ethan Marceau, Browning. Everyone fell short of making the short round but had some good times. We would like to thank everyone who has helped these kids with their career in rodeo and that helped with their fundraisers and sponsorships for the trip.
Taylen Lytle was 23rd out of 70 ropers in the average falling short of the Top 15. Taylissa Lytle started with a good time of 4.06 in break away and missed her second calf. Skylar made it in the barrels. Day one she had a tough time and came back on day two with a time of 16.02. Ethan tied both his calves but fell short of placing in the Top 15.
The two girls kept going and decided to compete in the Lucky Lotto Events, Race for the Ram Barrel Racing Jackpot. Taylissa took her chances on her break away horse, Punkin and entered the jackpot. She took her horse out back, set up trashcans to practice that morning and ended up winning the 4D competition. She and Punkin won over $600 and were put in the drawing for the Ram pickup. Day two Skylar won the 4D competition winning over $600 and was also put into the drawing for the 2020 Ram Truck. Only 12 of the 280 girls made the competition for the drawing. Our Team Montana did amazing with Skylar winning the truck!
(See related story on page A12.)
Skylar and Taylissa have been friends forever and loved to see each other during their high school rodeos. A huge congratulations to our Team Montana. Taylissa and Skylar received a warm recognition from Ivy Conrado Saebens, four-time NFR qualifier during the truck ceremony and were invited to have their pictures taken with Ivy.
Currently Taylen, who received a rodeo scholarship from the University of Montana, is doing amazing. He is sitting fifth in the Big Sky Region and made the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association Top 25 standings in the Tie Down Roping. Taylen is attending the UM Technical College and has a B average in the Heavy equipment Program. Way to go Taylen Lytle!
Ethan, a junior at Browning High School, is currently 13th in the State High School standing for all-around and is in the No. 1 spot for bull riding in the state standings. Congratulations Ethan!
Other students in the high school rodeo that are doing amazing are Cameron Falcon, fifth in Montana’s Bull Riding event; Tahj Wells, who holds the No. 1 spot for Jr. Bull Riding.
Our newest additions to junior high school rodeo are Talvin Champ, currently 12th in the State for junior boys break away, 13th for junior boys goat tying and 12th for the junior chute dogging; and Leela Pepion, who is competing in junior goat tying and junior pole bending.
We need to build our rodeo team up so if there are interested students, please contact Jay Lytle or the Browning High School Rodeo coach for more information.