Tennessee Youth Rodeo Association Finals

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By Nancy Brannon; Photos by Kelly Klenk Shurley

The Tennessee Youth Association Rodeo (TYRA) Finals were held in Martin, Tennessee May 13-14, 2017. This was the last rodeo of the 2016-2017 TYRA season, with the last chance to earn points for the year-end awards. A new TYRA Rodeo Queen was crowned: Miss Lainey Hutchison, daughter of Chad and Amy Hutchison. It was also time to select new officers and board of directors for the 2017-2018 season.

The theme for this year’s TYRA Rodeo Finals was “Rodeo Luau,” carried through Saturday’s performance and the Saturday night BBQ dinner. Everyone was encouraged to be creative and dress in their favorite “luau” attire. Of course, competitors in the arena were required to adhere to the dress code. The theme for Sunday’s performance was State of Tennessee colors.  

Incoming President Randy Prince praised the “quality of families and mutual support” that earmark the TYRA. “We had a big community meal in the parking lot after the rodeo. How many other organizations do that? This is a true family, who support each other, and the kids encourage, mentor, cheer for and support each other.”

This was the last Youth rodeo for outgoing President Jason Needham, whose daughter is moving up to Tennessee High School Rodeo.

Prince had much praise for 2017-2018 TYRA Rodeo Queen Lainey Hutchison, too. “She gave the best speech of any Queen’s contest I’ve ever heard. She gets up at 4:30 every morning so she can ride her horse before school. She’s really dedicated and she’ll be awesome!”

The TYRA 2017 All-Around Cowboy, with 599.5 points, is Jason Yarbro. Jason earned points in Steer Bareback, Steer Saddle Bronc, Breakaway, Chutedogging, Team Roping, Goat Tying, and Sr. Bull Riding.

Second, with 429.5 points, was Connor Griffith, who also earned points in these categories, except for Sr. Bull Riding. Third was Lane Webb, with 363 points, earned in Breakaway, Chutedogging, Team Roping, and Goat Tying.

The TYRA 2017 All-Around Cowgirl is Emma Kate Wilder, with 369 points earned in Breakaway, Barrel Racing, Pole Bending, Team Roping, and Goat Tying.

The Reserve All-Around Cowgirl is Blaize Deere with 333.5 points, also earned in Breakaway, Barrel Racing, Pole Bending, Team Roping, and Goat Tying. Deere has previously won the All-Around award, but got some tough competition from Wilder this year.

As the season ended and total points were added, these young cowboys and cowgirls were the top riders in their events.

Steer Bareback Riding: Connor Griffith, 95 points.
Steer Saddle Bronc: Jason Yarbro, 99.5 points
Girls Breakaway: Emma Kate Wilder, 99 points
Boys Breakaway: Lane Webb, 112 points
Barrel Racing: Allie Maxwell, 91.5 points; second, Mackenzie Johnson, 91 points
Chute Dogging: Bou Reich, 105 points
Pole Bending: Mackenzie Johnson, 91 points
Team Roping: Lane Webb and Bryson Tays, 212 points

Next stop for the TYRA is the National Junior High Rodeo Finals (NJHRF), June 18-24, 2017 at the James E. Ward Ag Center in Lebanon, Tenn. Twenty-two TYRA competitors qualified to attend this year’s NJHRF, and excitement is building for a momentous event in the home state. Follow the action of this rodeo at: https://www.nhsra.com/junior-high-division/
Find more information about TYRA at their new website: www.tennesseeyouthrodeo.com and find them on facebook at Tennessee Junior Rodeo Association.

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