ROCK SPRINGS – Planning for the National High School Finals Rodeo (NHSFR), is in high gear out at the Sweetwater Events Complex. The NHSFR will kick off on Sunday, July 13, 2014 and run thru Saturday, July 19, 2014. The marketing materials have just been approved and actually feature a previous Wyoming High School Rodeo Finalist, Teal Stoll.
Teal Stoll, originally from Pavillion, Wyoming, was a finalist and competed in Gillette in 2011 and then in Rock Springs in 2012 and 2013. As a Wyoming native, Teal learned about riding and rodeo from her mother. Stoll said, “I always had a horse. I grew up with my mom putting me on a horse at the age of 2 or 3 and walking me through barrels.” From a young age Teal’s love for rodeo just continued to grow.
As a ranch family, the Stoll’s made sacrifices to give Teal the opportunities that were available to her through rodeo. Stoll explained, “During the rodeo season you cannot miss an event. You must devote your whole life to it. Because my family had a ranch, my dad would have to stay home and take care of the ranch and my mom would take me to all the events.”
Stoll has competed in both barrel and pole racing in high school. She did try roping and goat tying, but did not enjoy that as much. During her first year in high school rodeo Stoll qualified in 2011 in barrel racing. “It was unreal. Rodeo events are highly competitive and so tough. The National High School Finals Rodeo is such a ‘big’ rodeo and it is so cool being surrounded by 1,500 other kids that do what you do.”
In 2012 and 2013 Stoll qualified in both barrels and pole racing and was headed to Rock Springs. Stoll explained, “Each time is exciting. There are so many things that can go wrong. It is hard to describe how cool the finals are. There is so much excitement. The events are huge and displayed on screens around the arena. It is one of those events that you really need to come and see first-hand to see the magnitude of the events.”
Teal is now in her first year of college at Northern Wyoming Community College, in Gillette Wyoming. She is working on her business and accounting degree. She said that she had just got out of class and was at home when she found out she was going to be on some of the marketing materials for the NHSFR. The Sweetwater Events Complex started by posting the artwork on Facebook. “I was really surprised. I was just sitting at home and people started texting me and posting stuff on Facebook. It is so cool that Houdini and I are featured on the artwork.” Teal explained that Houdini, her horse, is such a funny and beautiful horse. She said that if he was a human he would be dressed to the nines and be in a tuxedo because he really is the ‘poster pony of horses’.
As Teal continues with her education, her long term goal would be to open an equine rehabilitation facility. Her overall goal is to help horses, but in the meantime she continues to barrel race because there is no pole racing after high school. Stoll does have her Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA) permit and might go on to National Finals Rodeo. She said, “Right now I just want to experience it all and have fun.”
Stoll encourages people from all over Wyoming to come and watch the National High School Finals Rodeo in Rock Springs, “The tradeshow is great and has tons of stuff. The entire event is so much fun and all the events are so exciting. It is hard not to love.”
The Sweetwater Events Complex boasts a 20,000 square foot exhibition building, a 42,480 square foot agricultural complex and parking for more than 1,000 vehicles. Located just five miles from downtown Rock Springs, WY, Sweetwater Events Complex hosts Wyoming’s Big Show®-Sweetwater County Fair; horse events and rodeos; moto-cross, BMX and stock car racing; demolition derby; concerts and more.
The National High School Rodeo Association, Inc. (NHSRA) is headquartered in Denver, Colo. One of the largest youth organizations in the nation, the NHSRA has an annual membership of around 13,000 students’ grades 6-12 from 43 states, five Canadian provinces and Australia. The teams, on average, consist of the top four in each event. Students qualify for the National High School Finals Rodeo (NHSFR) at their respective state and provincial finals.
The National High School Finals Rodeo dubbed the “Largest Rodeo in the World” showcases more than 1,500 cowboys and cowgirls from 43 U.S. states, five Canadian provinces and Australia. Many of the NHSFR qualifiers compete in more than one event. The National High School Rodeo Association is governed by National Directors (one representative from each state/provincial association). These volunteer board members are dedicated to the success of the NHSRA and the youth of North America. This group also plans the National High School Finals Rodeo each year.