GREEN RIVER — Chance Anderson of McKinnon slid on his favorite boots, buttoned up his starched shirt and joined some of the toughest cowboy athletes from every corner of the nation at the High School National Finals Rodeo in Gillette, July 17-23.
The rodeo showcases the top four athletes in each event from every state or province in the nation and the competition, as you can imagine, is fierce.
Although Anderson showed perseverance, fortune wasn’t on his side.
“It was a rough year for me at the finals,” Anderson, a senior from Green River said. “I was six seconds on my first steer and seven on my second, but I broke out on my second steer so it added 10 seconds to my time. That mistake put me out of the short go. If I wouldn’t have broke out, I would be sitting third going into the short go.”
Like many cowboys, Anderson began his career in the arena watching the one person he looked up to most.
However, Anderson admitted the joys of rodeoing far outweigh the sacrifices he makes.
“My favorite part about rodeo is the feeling I get right after I come off my horse and throw the steer, and I know it was a good run,” Anderson said. “The crowd is cheering, it is one of the best feelings you can ever feel.”
Pictured: Chance Anderson reaches for the horns of a steer while bailing off of his horse during the steer-wrestling event at an earlier rodeo. COURTESY PHOTO/Chance Anderson