Young equestrians make tracks in the dirt

  A total of 100 young equestrians of all experience levels competed in a series of challenging riding events during the 12th annual Taylorsville Junior Rodeo on July 27.

  Indian Valley Riding and Roping Club hosted the rodeo, which brought talented riders from throughout Northern California, Oregon and Nevada to the Taylorsville Rodeo Grounds.

  Approximately 25 percent of the riders were local, with half of them earning placements in different divisions of the rodeo. Four of the local horse riders won top honors:

  Tanner Meigs earned several titles throughout the day including Plumas County champion. He also placed first in the boy’s 11 – 14 single stake competition and third in goat tying.

  Eight-year-old Bailey Botts was chosen by the Wilson family as this year’s recipient of the Hard Luck Award, in memory of past rodeo competitor Ron Wilson Sr. Rodeo Secretary Veronica Tilton said Botts earned the award for persevering through the competition even after being bucked off her horse.

  Ben Cassol, the 2007 Plumas County champion, earned first place in the boy’s 6 – 10 steer riding competition.

  This year’s Silver Buckle Rodeo queen, Hannah Allen, won first in the girls’ 15 – 19 pole bending competition.

Overall all-around champ

  Traveling from Auburn, 15-year-old Wyatt Bankus was awarded a custom-tooled trophy saddle for earning the title of overall all-around champ.

  The saddle was co-sponsored by Johnny Goings, from Quincy, and Wes and Emily Neer, in the name of the Clayton Floyd Neer Memorial Fund. Wes Neer also volunteered his time to serve as the rodeo announcer during this year’s event.

Peewee Division

  For earning several placements in the Peewee Division, for competitors age 0 – 5, Jessie Wilson earned the title of all-around champ. He placed first in the peewee ribbon jerk and mutton busting competitions, and second in dummy roping.

  Wyatt Bullivant came in second, earning the title of reserve all-around champ. He placed first in dummy roping and second in the ribbon jerk competition.

Girls 6 – 10

  All-around champ for the girls’ 6 – 10 division was Lindsay Riedel. She took first place in barrels and steer daubing. She also earned lower placements in every other competition including goat tying and pole bending.

  Kamish Wagner earned first in pole bending; and Jayce Blake won first in goat tying.

Boys 6 – 10

  All-around champ for the boys’ 6 – 10 division was Kyle Stewart. He placed at least second in every competition, including first in goat tying and steer daubing.

  Logan Darst came in first in the single stake competition and, as already mentioned, local Ben Cassol placed first in steer riding.

Girls 11 – 14

  Emma Swift was named all-around champ for the girls’ 11 – 14 division. She earned her title by placing first in the breakaway competition and fourth in barrels.

  Maple Gramps earned first place in pole bending.

  Nichole Tomasello earned first in goat tying.

  Abigail Pfister and Hailey Riedel split the first place winnings in the barrel competition; however, Pfister earned the higher ranking.

Boys 11 – 14

  Cody Stewart earned the title of all-around champ in the boys’ 11 – 14 division. He placed in three categories: first in steer riding, second in goat tying and fourth in single stake.

  Casey Moor won first place in goat tying; Lane Wheeler earned first in the breakaway competition; and, as already mentioned, Tanner Meigs earned first in single stake.

Girls 15 – 19

  Emilie Barnes earned the title of all-around champ in the girls’ 15 – 19 division. She placed first in breakaway and barrels, and came in second in pole bending.

  As already mentioned, Hannah Allen earned first place in the pole bending competition.

  Lindy Lehman earned first place in goat tying.

Boys 15 – 19

  Wyatt Bankus earned the title of all-around champ in the boys’ 15 – 19 division for winning first place in all four categories: goat tying, breakaway, single stake and steer riding.

Team roping

  First place in the team roping category went to “Swift & Swift.” The team consisted of Emma and Grace Swift, who competed in the 11 – 14 age category.

  The second-place team was Barnes & Lehman; third place went to McEwen & McEwen; fourth place was earned by Banchio & Meigs; and fifth place went to Wheeler & Bankus.

  The top winners in each category, including the special award categories, were each given a custom buckle displaying their newly earned titles. For a complete list of buckle sponsors and rodeo results visit

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