Three area teens ranked nationally while representing Kansas at the National High School Finals Rodeo last month.

Faith Miller and J.D. Robson, both of Lyon County, and Weston Patterson of Coffey County, made the trip from July 17 - 23 to Guthrie, Oklahoma.

Miller placed in the top 10 nationally in girls cutting, Patterson placed in the top 10 nationally for saddle bronc riding and Robson placed in the top 20 nationally in steer wrestling.

To attend the NHSRA finals, the contestants have to be a part of their state high school rodeo association and make the top four in the event they choose to participate in.

Normally, the Kansas High School Rodeo Association has rodeos all year round. However, due to the ongoing novel coronavirus, all the rodeos for spring 2020 were canceled. Contestants to qualify for nationals were based off of how well they did in the Fall 2019 rodeos.

Miller, 18, is a 2020 Manhattan Virtual Academy graduate. Placing in the top 10 for girls cutting was a fitting way to end her high school career.

“I made the short go. I was in the top 20 the first round, I was in the top 10 [in the second round], and in the short round I was in the top 10 again,” she said. “It went really well, it was the best I had ever done at the national high school finals. It was a good way to end my senior year.”

Each round works by splitting up all the national contestants up by morning and night performances. Then, whoever does the best in each performance will come back for the short round.

Girls cutting requires contestants to show their skills on horseback, both to show to demonstrate a horse’s athleticism and a rider’s ability to control their mount. Contestants walk their horse into a small herd of cattle and try to keep one cow out of the herd. Contestants are judged on presentation and how well their horse cooperates.

“I was really excited. I came in on the first go and I didn’t quite have the run I needed to, but it ended up being really good. The cattle got really tough the first go, and then the second go I just wanted to come back and have another solid run,” she said. “Making that short go, I had never been in the top 10 in the short go so that was super exciting. I finished my senior year really well.”

Miller advises any young kids who are interested in pursuing rodeo to work hard and to always believe in your dreams.

“I just want to put a thank you to my mom and dad and everyone who has helped me. Emporia has done a lot for me over the years,” she said.

Miller plans to attend college in Garden City on a rodeo scholarship. She will do breakaway roping and plans to major in nursing.

Robson, 18, will be a senior this fall at Manhattan Virtual Academy. He placed in the top 10 nationally on the first go, but finished in the top 20 nationally at NHSFR for steer wrestling.

Steer wrestling involves a horse-mounted rider chasing a steer, jumping off, grabbing the steer by the horns and wrestling it to the ground.

“There’s a lot of tough kids out there, big crowds — all around good rodeo,” he said. “The community worked hard since all this COVID stuff [happened], we’re very lucky to have it this year and it was a ton of fun.”

Robson plans to finish his senior year and continue participating in Kansas High School Rodeo Association events. He hopes to make the finals again and participate in open and amateur rodeos.

He advises any aspiring cowboys and cowgirls to find someone who knows what they’re doing; work hard and all your hard work will pay off.

“I’d just like to thank all my friends and family, the Millers for helping me throughout the year, Brian, Frances and my good buddy Dawson Price for letting me ride his horse,” he said.

Weston Patterson, 18, is a 2020 Waverly High School graduate who placed in the top 10 nationally in saddle bronc riding — a rodeo event in which the contestant rides on a bucking horse to throw off the rider.

“I won sixth in the first round and I got bucked out of the second round. I still scored enough points that I was able to flip into the top 20 to make the short round. I was 65 points, so I ended up 10th in the nation overall in saddle bronc riding,” he said.

Patterson was the state champion in bronc riding in 2018 and 2019, but he placed second this year. He believes that if the spring rodeos were not canceled due to COVID-19, he could have had more points to be state champion for the third year in a row.

“Rodeo is kind of becoming a dying tradition, but there’s a lot of good to it,” he said.

Through the KHSRA, he has established many connections and the rodeo became his second family. Everyone is friends with everyone and there is a large support system, he said.

“If I was to do it again, for dang sure get equipment,” Patterson said. “Good equipment is a key to it. Find someone who’s knowledgable in whatever event you want to get into. Everybody thinks it’s just who has the best horses, who is more athletic, who has more money ... as long as you’re willing to work hard and stay humble and keep looking at the bright side of the little things you’re gonna get better and you won’t even know it.”

Patterson plans on attending Clarendon Community College in Clarendon, Texas on a rodeo scholarship this fall. He plans to continue doing rodeos with intentions on pursuing a career in the pro rodeo circuit.

(5) comments


BAN rodeos !!

Yes,.. Ban rodeos along with Acting / Dressing up like a Cowboys as well ,... Cowboys are a mentally ill purely ego driven narcissistic bunch . These idiots dress up like complete clowns and pretend to be something from the 1870’s ,.. sometimes they even feel the need to speak with a Twang ,... Give Me. A Break !!!! I suppose if being a Milkman was in Style they’d all want to dress up like a Milkman , wear a white bow tie and deliver the milk .

Like bullfighting in Mexico ,..Rodeos are a complete disgrace to satisfy the Ego driven and mentally ill . People that attend rodeos need their heads examined for supporting this cruelty .



More than 43 million people identify themselves as fans of ProRodeo, and many of them attend PRCA-sanctioned rodeos around the country annually. According to the Sports Business Daily, rodeo is seventh in overall attendance for major sporting events, ahead of golf and tennis.

What do animal rights organizations all have in common? A DONATE button. Become a nonprofit organization, create a web site, and watch the money flow in. Vacations, lodging, travel expenses, and food, are all tax deductable from the money they pull in from donations. Plus they can hire their own relatives to work and pay them an over inflated salary for a few hours of some kind of work. I am surprised they can't shut down this kind of tax payer abuse. If they really cared about animals, as much as their hype claims, why not get a real job and use their own money.

Eric Mills

Be aware that EVERY animal welfare organization in North America condemns

rodeo due to its inherent cruelty. Injuries and deaths are commonplace,

veterinary care rare. The PRCA has required on-site vets only since 1995,

after FIVE animals were killed at the California Rodeo/Salinas that

year.Most of rodeo is bogus from the git-go. REAL working cowboys/girls

never routinely rode bulls, or wrestled steers, or rode bareback, or

barrel raced, or practiced calf roping as a timed event. And they

certainly did not put flank straps on the animals, or work them over with

"hotshots," kicks and slaps in the holding chutes. Some "sport"!

Indeed, rodeo is not a "sport" at all. That term denotes willing,


participants. Rodeo does not qualify. Rather, it's a macho exercise in

DOMINATION, and should be outlawed. Legislation is in order: local, state,

federal. The United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales) banned rodeos back

in 1934. Can the U.S. and Canada be far behind?

Lest we forget, COVID-19 was HUMAN-caused, a direct result of our gross

mistreatment and

abuse of animals, both wild and domestic. There are connections to be

made here, folks. Are we up to the task?

Eric Mills



"Women should not rodeo any more than men can have babies. Women were put

on earth to reproduce, and are close to animals. Women's liberation is on

an equal to gay liberation--they are both ridiculous." (--in the book,

"RODEO: An Anthropologist Looks at the Wild and the Tame," by Elizabeth

Atwood Lawrence, University of Tennessee Press, 1982)


"The eighteen-year-old rodeo queen and her princess told me that rodeo

people, including themselves, 'hated Democrats, environmentalists, and

gays.' I was astonished that their political and social outlook could be

reduced to such simple platitudes of hate. And why?" (--"Rodeo Queens

and the American Dream," by Prof. Joan Burbick, Public Affairs, NYC, 2002)


"I keep 30 head of cattle around for practice, at $200 a head. You can

cripple three or four in an afternoon. Then your horse costs around

$5,000, so it gets to be a pretty expensive hobby." (--Dr. T.K. Hardy,

quoted in NEWSWEEK, 10/2/72)


"Do I think it hurts the calf? Sure I do. I'm not stupid." (--in the

February 6, 2000 SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, "Choosing Champions")


"If PETA truly wanted the skinny on animal injuries, they'd have to post

observers in the backyard practice lots of aspiring rodeo kids. As a

calf roper once confided to me, 'Yeah, I accidentally killed and

injured lots of calves when I was learning. I mean, I plain roped their

heads off till I really learned how to handle them and not hurt them.'"

(--"The Mud, the Blood & the Poop: A Rodeo Insider Takes You Behind the

Chutes of America's Cowboy Sport," in the COLORADO SPRINGS INDEPENDENT,

August 19, 2004)


"Do animals feel fear? Nyaah, they don't feel fear. They're an ANIMAL!"

(--Russ Fields, president Rowell Ranch Rodeo Committee, in a 5/19/18

KGO-TV Channel 7 news segment, San Francisco)


"The single worst thing you can do to an animal emotionally is to make it

feel afraid. Fear is so bad for animal I think it's worse than pain."


"If it gets to the point where people think rodeo is inhumane or cruel,

they quit coming, and then we're out of business." (--in the July 27,

2018 WYOMING TRIBUNE EAGLE, "CFD, animal activists see two different


NOTE: Animal injuries and deaths in the rodeo arena are routine, and

likely only the tip of the iceberg. One can only imagine the

injuries/deaths in the untold hours of unmonitored practice sessions,

using the same animals repeatedly. There are an estimated 5,000 rodeos

held annually in the U.S., only a small percentage of them sanctioned.

The great majority don't even require on-site veterinarians to care for

injured animals. The PRCA has done so only since 1995, after FIVE animals

were killed at the California Rodeo in Salinas that year. Some "sport"!


The animal activists speak and what a wonderful caring bunch of people they are. Bless their hearts.

“We have no ethical obligation to preserve the different breeds of livestock produced through selective breeding …One generation and out. We have no problems with the extinction of domestic animals. They are creations of human selective breeding.” – CEO Wayne Pacelle, as reported in Animal People News, May1993

Audience member: "If you were aboard a lifeboat with a baby and a dog, and the boat capsized, would you rescue the baby or the dog?" Regan, "If it were a retarded baby and a bright dog, I'd save the dog." Tom Regan, "Animal Rights, Human Wrongs," speech given at University of Wisconsin, Madison, October 27, 1989.

"If killing [animal research scientists] is the only way to stop them, then I said killing them would certainly be justified." Jerry Vlasak quoted in Washington Post, March 11, 2008.

If (a particular researcher) won't stop when you ask nicely, when you picket in front of his house, or when you burn his car, maybe he'll stop when you hit him over the head with a two-by-four." Jerry Vlasak, The Chronicle of Higher Education, February 20, 2011.

"I have no problem with breaking and entering, destroying labs, burning buildings, and busting open cages." Camille Hankins, Win Animals Rights and spokesperson for Animal Liberation Front, AR 2010.

"If we really believe that animals have the same right to be free from pain and suffering at our hands, then, of course we're going to be, as a movement, blowing things up and smashing windows ... I think it's a great way to bring about animal liberation ... I think it would be great if all of the fast-food outlets, slaughterhouses, these laboratories, and the banks that fund them exploded tomorrow. I think it's perfectly appropriate for people to take bricks and toss them through the windows. ... Hallelujah to the people who are willing to do it." Bruce Friedrich, PeTA's director of Vegan Outreach, Animal Rights Conference, 2001

“My goal is the abolition of all animal agriculture.” –HSUS Director of Animal Cruelty PolicyJohn “J.P.” Goodwin

"Owning animals is the equivalent of slavery." Hope Bohanec, In Defense of Animals, AR 2010.

"I'm not only uninterested in having children. I am opposed to having children. Having a purebred human baby is like having a purebred dog; it is nothing but vanity, human vanity." Ingrid Newkirk, PeTA's founder and president, New Yorker magazine, April 23, 2003

"The life of an ant and that of my child should be granted equal consideration." Michael W. Fox, Scientific Director and former Vice President, The Humane Society of the United States, The Inhumane Society, New York, 1990

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