Wheatland High School Rodeo has large crowds at the fairgrounds

Wheatland High School senior Jadea Graves is shown in the barrel racing competition. Graves was 10th in the barrels Saturday and sixth in the poles Sunday.

WHEATLAND – The Wyoming High School Rodeo Association saw kids from all over the state come and participate in the Wheatland High School Rodeo at the Platte County Fairgrounds this past weekend. The Junior High rodeo was held on Friday and the high schoolers had their turn at the reigns on Saturday and Sunday.

Since COVID is now a minor concern, the rodeos have been able to come off without a hitch. Two years ago, it wasn’t the case as Wyoming was one of the only states that held a rodeo.

Two years ago Jill Behrmann Graves said that “COVID is always one of the current challenges, who had children participating in the event. “But it doesn’t slow Rodeo down much after the initial response this past spring as we are naturally “socially distanced”.

The rodeo was held in conjunction with Wyoming High School & JR High Rodeo Association and this rodeo, and the rodeo shooting sports, are put on by the Wheatland High School Rodeo Team and parents.

According to Graves, the Wheatland Rodeo is usually the last rodeo of the fall season.

The High School National Finals Rodeo (HSNFR) is the largest rodeo in the world. Wyoming will send the top 4 in standings, for each event, after the spring season and state finals in June 2023. State final should be in Douglas.

“The other challenges involved with any rodeo is always weather and financial,” Graves said. “We have an amazing community that is so supportive of their youth. Even in this economy we appreciate the businesses and people of Platte County. Those kids go out and fundraise to pay for all the expenses.”

The Wheatland rodeo team consists of two seniors:

Jadea Graves, daughter of Josh and Jill Graves. She is a fourth generation rancher on her family’s operation south of Wheatland. Growing up on the ranch helped her become handy with a horse from a young age. She credits her mom for the introduction to rodeo and her dad for her love of cows. She is a part of the National Honor Society and Student Council. She is also active in FFA and 4-H where she also competes with her horses, shows cattle and enters some amazing art pieces. On Saturday Jadea placed 10th in barrels, sixth in poles (reigned cow horse). On Sunday she placed sixth in the poles competition.

Dayton Tillman, son of Mort and Cindy tillman. He participates in high school rodeo and FFA and plans on attending EWC in Torrington next fall in their welding program and also will participate in the college rodeo.  He says that his mom and his dad are his biggest supporters and said that in addition to his own family, the Mantle family has helped him with his horsemanship and has been like a second family. Dayton placed fourth in team roping on Saturday.

The lone junior for the rodeo is Jessie Graves who excels in light rifle and trap. She was the 2021 and 2022 National High School Rodeo Finals Qualifier. 2022-23 WHSRA Trap Director.

Freshman Rylee Griffis was entered in barrels, poles and goat tying this past weekend and on Saturday placed eighth in goat tying and on Sunday placed fifth in barrel racing. She is the 2022 Jr. High National Rodeo Finals Qualifier for goat tying.

Wheatland junior high student and rodeo cowgirl is Madi McIntosh whose events are barrels and poles.

Sponsors that the Wheatland High School Rodeo would like to thank are:

Platinum sponsor: Wheatland Country Store, Banner Health, Heartland Inn & Suites, Capstone Industries, Twin Pine Bison Co and True Ranches. Gold sponsors: AMAC Construction, Ace Hardware, Missouri Basin Power/BEPC, Guadalajara, Amped Electrical, Milliken Drilling, Blevins MFG. Silver sponsor: Downtown Laundry, Fired Up Rescue, Mountain View RV Park, Billy Evans Construction, Laramie Peak Motors, Bob Ruwart Motors, Platte Valley Bank, Phyllis Gapter #1 Properties, First State Bank, Rawhide Trail Design/Blayn Tamlin, Farm Bureau/Sally Houx, Wollington Agency, South Street Pharmacy, Mantle’s Hay & Stay/Burrowing Rodent Control, Hillside Rental. Bronze: Jan’s Cut & Yak, Quality Discount Liquors, Rite Agency, Kyle McIntosh, Allen’s Parts Supply, Baker Equipment Services, Cinema West, Hoffman Custom Construction, Mud Springs Vision Clinic, Z&W Mill, Julie Nichswonger Artwork, Cowboy Drug, Bobby’s Towing & Recycling, Green Handle Innovations, Keyhole Land Co, Loz Dominguez, The Barn/Weiser’s, Eastern Wyoming College, Dirty Blonde Salon, Tasty Treats, C&J Welding, Cowboy Genetics, Harnish Veterinary Services, Preuit Ranch, Big Dogs Lanes, Western Sky’s, Interstate Gas, Touch of Color, Premier Title Co., Thrifty Foods, Wheatland Chiropractic, Laramie Peak Vet. Friends of Rodeo: Lazy H Angus, Evans Quarter Horses, Justin & Dana Evans.

BOTTOM PHOTO CAPTIONS: 

Rodeo1: Wheatland High School freshman Rylee Griffis participated in the goat roping competition as well as the barrel racing and pole bending. She took fifth place in the barrels and eighth place in goat tying.

Rodeo2: Wheatland High School senior Jadea Graves is shown in the barrel racing competition. Graves was 10th in  the barrels Saturday and sixth in the poles Sunday.

Rodeo 3: Wheatland High School senior Dayton Tillman took a fourth place in team roping on Saturday.

Rodeo 4: The seniors were honored at the final high school rodeo event of the year. From left: Mort Tillman, Dayton Tillman, Cindy Tillman, Josh Sandlin, WHS Principal, Cory Dziowgo, PCSD1 superintendent, Jadea Graves, Jill Graves and Josh Graves.

Wheatland High School senior Jadea Graves is shown in the barrel racing competition. Graves was 10th in the barrels Saturday and sixth in the poles Sunday.

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