Cooper Cooke state rodeo

District 7 cowboy Cooper Cooke hangs on in the bareback short go round at the Idaho High School Finals Rodeo at the Bannock County Event Center last year. The high school state rodeo championships have been moved to Blackfoot.

BLACKFOOT – The Idaho State High School Rodeo Finals will bring its week-long series of performances to the Eastern Idaho State Fairgrounds in Blackfoot.

Originally scheduled to run June 14 through June 20 at the Bannock County Event Center in Pocatello, the rodeo was moved after Bannock County commissioners voted on June 2 that they would not host the rodeo because event organizers failed to present a comprehensive plan to meet the COVID-19 prevention guidelines outlined in Idaho Gov. Brad Little’s re-opening plan.

Rodeo officials scrambled to find another site and said Thursday there may be some adjustments made to meet the contracts of all involved. The rodeo will start on June 16 with a detailed schedule of events to be released soon.

“We are excited that the Idaho High School Finals Rodeo has chosen us as the venue for this prestigious event,” said Brandon Bird, manager of the Eastern Idaho State Fairgrounds. “We have always been happy to help with the youth and their events and look forward to working to make this event successful as well.”

“We consider this announcement to be great news for our high school cowboys and cowgirls,” said Kelly Duffin, spokesperson for the Idaho State High School Rodeo Finals. “We are confident that we can put on an event and do it safely and we are grateful for Blackfoot showing the confidence in us that we can do it as well.”

The annual Idaho High School Rodeo Finals traditionally hosts events in barrel racing, saddle bronc riding, pole bending, bull riding, goat tying, breakaway roping, tie-down roping, team roping, bareback riding, steer wrestling, cow cutting, reining, as well as trap shooting and .22 long rifle shooting.

State champions are crowned annually and the top four in each event form a team that advances to the National High School Rodeo Finals with a chance at earning a national championship as well.

Traditionally, high school rodeo produces a number of scholarship opportunities and the adults tied to the organization recruit and procure a large number of scholarships that are awarded annually to the contestants.

“This opportunity has been presented to us and we are looking forward to working to making it as successful as we can,” Bird said. “We know these kids have been working hard and we want to help them to achieve success with this event.”


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