Magdalena youth bullrider competes at world’s largest junior high rodeo

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Kelvin Chavez, an eighth Grader from Magdalena Middle School, is the New Mexico state champion bull rider.

Courtesy of De’Ann Chavez: Kelvin Chavez competes at the New Mexico State Junior High Rodeo Finals in Lovington.

Chavez competed, along with his teammates from all around the state, in the ninth annual National Junior High Finals Rodeo in Gallup June 23 through 29. He is ranked number one in the state for junior high bull riding.

The National Junior High Finals Rodeo featured more than 1,000 contestants from 41 states, five Canadian provinces and Australia. It is the world’s largest junior high rodeo. Contestants were vying for more than $75,000 in prizes and over $100,000 in college scholarships, not to mention the chance to be named the NJHFR National Champion in their event. To earn this title, contestants must finish in the top 20 — based on their combined times/scores in the first two rounds — to advance to the Saturday evening final round. National champions will be determined by their three-round combined times or scores.

Chavez rode his first bull, with a score of 38, taking 21st in the first round, but had no score in the second round, so he finished 31st in the average and missed the final round.

“I think I did pretty good,” Chavez said.

He plans to continue bull riding in High School, when he starts this fall.