It wasn’t their rodeo but since the pandemic hit just about the time the spring high school and junior high rodeo season started, Cole and Cash Trexler were both afraid they wouldn’t have a last rodeo of the season. The fate of the Montana State Junior High Rodeo Finals and Montana State High School Rodeo Finals was unknown until three weeks ago when some of the restrictions for COVID-19 were eased. This allowed both Cash and Cole to compete in the final rodeos and then in their respective finals.
Cash, an eighth grader, earned his way to the Junior High Finals by competing in the timed events. He went into the finals, that were held in Sidney two weeks ago, as the two-time junior boys break away state champion. He finished the season as the champion in that event once again. Cash roped his first calf in 3.83 seconds, his second in 3.75 seconds, and the final calf in 3.61.
“I was a little nervous,” said Cash but I just wanted to be consistent,” he said.
Cash recently attended a roping school put on by Miles City’s Haven Meged, the 2019 world champion tie down roper. Cash said the clinic really helped him, especially with the little things he needed to fix.
Cash also placed third in goat tying, third in ribbon roping, fourth in team roping, and seventh in chute dogging. (The steer is let out of a bucking chute with the cowboy hanging on to their horns. The cowboy has to throw the steer down for a time.) Cash handily won the all-around champion, outscoring the closest cowboy by 29 points.
Normally, Cash and his parents, Reed and Kari Trexler, would now be planning a trip to the National Junior High Finals, but that rodeo has been canceled. He plans on competing in the Northern Rodeo Association (NRA) in junior breakaway and doing lots of practicing for next fall when he enters high school.
However, the Trexler family will be able to travel to Guthrie, Oklahoma, for the National High School Rodeo Finals. Cole Trexler is just finishing up his junior year at Corvallis. He competes in tie down roping, team roping, and saddle bronc riding and earned a trip to the finals.
“It was nice to finally be able to go back to rodeoing,” said Cole. “The committees that put these spring rodeos on really wanted to see rodeo back in their communities.”
Cole went on to say the 6 foot social distancing rule was a little difficult to adhere to but they tried. He said that at some of the rodeos, especially at the state rodeo, the contestants’ temperature was taken every morning. “That was weird.”
This last weekend, the Montana State High School Finals were held in Baker, Montana. Cole had accumulated enough points throughout the season in the saddle bronc event that he was able to hold on to fourth place. His only ride of the finals was his first bronc when he scored a 59.
“Shane Vaira brought the horses and they were pretty good. The second horse was really strong and felt different. The third horse flat out bucked!”
Cole went on to say he’d only been bucked off of three horses all season and two of those were at state. But the fourth place finish allows him to move on to the NHSR Finals in Guthrie, Oklahoma, at the Lazy E arena. Cole plans on competing in the rookie bronc riding at some of the NRA rodeos this summer.