EUGENE, Ore. -- Students have been practicing year round for the Southern Oregon High School Rodeo at the Oregon Horse Arena.
The rodeo, hosted by Umpqua Valley High’s Rodeo Club, brought together students from around the state. Some of he riders have been riding their whole life, and say they love the rush.
“I’m nervous, a little, right before I go. But then it pretty much goes away once I’m in the arena,” said 16-year-old Shania Schueller. “It’s kind of dangerous, but fun at the same time.”
Brayden Van Cleave was one of the students saddling up for competition.
“A lot of responsibility taking care of everything and i don't know a lot of work involved,” said Brayden.
The Vice President of the Umpqua Valley Rodeo Club, Marty Van Cleave, said it takes a level of maturity to be able to care for a living animal. As for the competition, it teaches them sportsmanship.
“When they have responsibility of taking care of animals it just shows them responsibility and the importance of taking care of the horses ..getting ready for a competition,” said Van Cleave. “Definitely a level of competition. Know even if their friends beat them you know there’s a good job and a pat on the back. Always encouraging each other.”
Students collect the points during the competition to carry throughout the year to the State Finals in Prineville.