Okeechobee’s own Carson Davis has earned a spot on the Florida National Junior High Rodeo team and will be traveling to Huron, S.D., to compete in the 15th annual National Junior High Finals Rodeo (NJHFR) from June 23 to June 29. Carson will be competing in the break-a-way, team roping and goat tying categories.
Carson is a seventh grader at Rock Solid Christian Academy in Okeechobee and his mother, Amy Davis, says he is very excited to be making the trip to South Dakota.
This was Carson’s first year competing in the Florida Junior High Rodeo Association, which consists of sixth, seventh and eighth graders. Out of the four events he has competed in during his first season, Carson is moving on to compete in three of them at the national finals.
Carson and others attending the national final held a fundraiser on June 4 at the Okeechobee Livestock Market. The group held a cake sale to help pay for the costs of making the trip to the national rodeo.
“Rodeo is a very expensive sport out of parents pockets,” explained Amy Davis. “Rodeo for these kids is a lifestyle. It’s a sport where these kids encourage each other and root each other on even though they are their competition. You become like family because you as a parent are rooting on not only your child but all the children. We’re raising funds to help with travel expenses which consist of fuel, hotels and food.”
Mrs. Davis reports that the cake fundraiser was successful and thanked everyone that came out to support Carson and his teammates.
The rodeo team has done fundraisers throughout their season that have consisted of barrel races, working concession stands at various rodeos, and putting on a ranch rodeo. Throughout the year various local sponsors have stepped up to help the team including Okeechobee Cattlemen’s Association, Arrow 5 Equine, Brand IT Gifts & Designs, Everglades Farm Equipment and the Okeechobee Livestock Market.
The NJHFR will feature roughly 1,000 contestants from 44 states, five Canadian proveniences, Australia and Mexico. In addition to competing for more that $80,000 in prizes, contestants will also be vying for more than $200,000 in college scholarships and the chance to be named world champion.
This year the Saturday championship performance will be televised nationally as a part of the Cinch High School Rodeo Tour telecast series on RFD-TV. Live broadcasts of all NJHFR performances will air on: www.RidePass.com. Performance times are 7 p.m. on June 23 and 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. each day thereafter.