Gillette was the host site of the 2022 High School National Finals Rodeo, with team Wyoming representing with its best cowboys and cowgirls.
The top 4 in each event after the state finals rodeo in June were invited to compete at the HSNFR.
Tavy Leno from Sheridan was the 2022 Wyoming High School State Champ in the breakaway roping and 3rd in the goat tying.
She was in first place after 2 runs in goat tying at the HSNFR (3rd place in round 1 and 2nd place in round 2), and because she was in the top 20, she qualified for the championship short-go.
When the dust settled she finished in 5th place overall.
Leno wasn’t the only Wyoming competitor that did well at the HSNFR.
Rayne Grant of Wheatland was the 2022 Wyoming High School State Champ in pole bending, state runner-up in barrel racing, and 4th in goat tying.
On top of all that she is the 2022 High School National Champ in pole bending, the National Runner-Up in barrel racing, and 11th in goat tying.
Her finishes were more than enough for her to win the 2022 High School Cowgirl All-Around National Championship.
Grant’s horse was named American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) Horse of the Year for girls.
For the boys, Tuker Carricato of Saratoga, is the 2022 Wyoming State Runner-Up in the bareback riding, but at the HSNFR, he did 1 better, winning the 2022 High School National Championship Belt Buckle.
Hayden Welsh of Gillette is the 2022 Wyoming High School State Runner-Up in bull riding, and finished as the 2022 High School National Runner-Up.
Other Wyoming High School Cowboys and Cowgirls who placed in the top 20 nationally are:
Ashlyn Goven (Rozet) – 10th in barrel racing and 10th in pole bending
Roedy Farrell (Thermopolis) – 7th in bareback riding
Cody Boller (Weston) – Tied for 16th in boys cutting
Kaeley Hutchison (Rozet) – 5th in breakaway roping
RaeLee Caldwell (Gillette) – 4th in goat tying
Broc Schwartzkopf (Douglas) – Tied for 6th in reined cow horse
Jake Schlattmann (Greybull) – 7th in saddle broncs
Jade Espenscheid (Big Piney) and Cord Herring (Veteran) – 6th in team roping
Kolten Miller (Gillette) – 14th in tie-down roping
In the team standings, Team Wyoming boys placed 3rd behind Utah and Texas, while Team Wyoming girls placed 2nd behind Texas.
After combining the boys and girls team scores, Team Wyoming placed 3rd behind Texas and Utah.