Southeast Iowa students compete in Fort Madison Rodeo

Published: Sep. 23, 2023 at 6:46 PM CDT
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FORT MADISON (WGEM) - On Saturday, junior high and high school students across Southeast Iowa rounded up their horses, saddles, and boots to compete in two qualifying rodeos.

200 brazen teens rode to victory at the Fort Madison Rodeo Arena. The competitions range from roping to bull riding to barrel racing.

Davis County High School senior Isabelle Carnhahn traveled from Bloomfield to be in the weekend competition. And with no pun intended, this isn’t her first rodeo.

““I think since I was five, I’ve been on a horse,” Carnhahn said.

Carnhahn said she placed second in the breakaway roping, which involves lassoing a calf whilst riding a horse.

“Basically, if you catch your calf and it’s just around the neck, then you get a time,” Carnhahn said. “And if you catch a leg in it, you don’t get a time and if you miss you don’t get a time.”

Carnhahn hopes to advance to the national competition in Rock Springs, Wyoming.

“It’s actually a world finals,” said Southeast Iowa High School Rodeo Association President Tim Mayher. “And we have multiple countries that will come and so the top four in every event get to go.”

Mayher said the competitions help build many life-long skills.

“They have to do their chores and get everything ready,” Mayher said. “It teaches them a lot of responsibility, but also gives them a networking opportunity throughout the state.”

If you want to watch these young warriors hold their horses, the competition continues onward from 8 a.m. until noon on Sunday. It’s open to the public.

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