Paige Palin and Cash Trexler are headed to the Junior High School National Finals Rodeo in Huron,South Dakota. That rodeo will be June 24-30, 2018. The Montana State Junior High School Rodeo Finals were held over Memorial Day weekend in Townsend.
The junior high division of the National High Rodeo Association was created in 2004 to act as an introduction into the high school ranks of the high school rodeo. Some of the events are the samosa high school rodeo: barrel racing, pole bending, goat tying, breakaway roping, team roping, junior bull riding, and tie-down roping. In addition, there are events that are designed to teach the fundamentals of saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, and bareback riding. These are chute dogging, bareback steer riding, and saddle bronc steer riding.
This is Palin’s second time attending the finals. Last year she was third in barrel racing but this year she finished first on her horse Nova. She also took second in goat tying and third in ribbon roping with Jack McCallister of Hot Springs. She had been roping with Trexler but he broke his hand early this spring and had to sit out for four weeks.
“We just winged it when we got to the finals,” said Palin. “We were consistent.”
Palin said she has practiced every day this spring on all the events but especially goat tying. She said she spent a lot of time working on her tying skills. She and Trexler also roped quite a bit this winter at the Sapphire arena.
Palin was just promoted from eight grade to high school at Corvallis. She is the daughter of Christi and Randy Sacks, and Brian Palin.
Trexler won the breakaway roping at state and will be headed to Huron as well. He just completed sixth grade at Corvallis. He is the son of Reed and Kari Trexler.
Trexler is the youngest cowboy to qualify for nationals. He also competed in team roping, goat tying, and ribbon roping. After he broke his hand playing basketball in early spring, he had to take four weeks off but came back strong in the later rodeos. Trexler is riding Vixie, the same horse that took his brother, Cole, to nationals last year.
Palin and Trexler, along with their parents, are raising money to make the journey to South Dakota. This Thursday, June 14, there will be a fundraiser at Fin’s Tap House in Corvallis from 5-8pm. There will be a 50/50 raffle and other fun events.
The National High School Rodeo Finals will be held in Rock Springs, Wyoming. The check in date for this huge rodeo begins July 12 and closes July 15. The actual rodeo will begin Monday, July 16 and run through Saturday, July 21. Contestants will enter from all over the United States, Canada, and Australia.
Stevensville’s own Kayla Schmiedeke will be representing Montana as the Montana State Breakaway Champion. Schmiedeke finished second in first go around of the rodeo, sixth in the second round, and third in the short go to win both the average and the state title. She recently graduated from Stevensville High School and will be attending Montana State University in the fall.