We're continuing our feature articles written by the 2010 Brownell's/NRA National Youth Shooting Sports Ambassadors, and this week we have a report on the National High School Rodeo Association (NHSRA) finals from Ambassador Jessy Hagey from Tremont, Illinois. Jessy attended the event this July and was kind enough to share her recap of the rodeo and marksmanship showdown.
Youth Ambassador Jessy Hagey (second from right) with members of the Army Marksmamship Unit and Claudia Olsen with NRA Youth Programs (second from left).
Gillette, Wyoming - The National High School Rodeo finals is home of rodeo and shooting events. The top four competitors in each state or province head to the NHSRA finals. This includes competitors in the Light Rifle and Trap competitions.
At the finals, contestants are allowed to bring their own gun and ammunition. We also provide guns and ammunition for those who don't have them. Weatherby generously donated 20 rifles to use for this year's finals. Each gun goes through a safety check to make sure it's equipped for the competition.
In the past, the Light Rifle competition has been bench rest shooting from 50 yards away. This year it was changed to three positions: standing, kneeling, and prone from 50 yards. This was no match for a girl named Courtney Elliott from North Carolina who ended up winning the Light Rifle Competition. The Trap competition was also tough this year. Tanner Brundage won the Trap competition with a score of 24 and 18 runs from the right. These winners didn't earn just bragging rights but also buckles, scholarships, ammo, and other prizes. Scholarships were awarded to the top four finishers as well.
The week at Nationals didn't just consist of shooting events full of seriousness; we also held what we call a Family Fun Day. The Family Fun day is when you team up with a family member or friend and shoot! What is more fun than that? Your scores get combined for the placings and buckles that are awarded from first to third place. This year the Family Fun day winners in Light Rifle were Jim and Justin Jenson and for the Trap Fun Day it was Garrett Peterson and Dakota Gausted.
This year at Nationals we were lucky to have members of the US Army Marksmanship Unit with us. After the Family Fun Day they held a demonstration on just some of the things they do. I have never seen anyone shoot an M&M or an orange with a shotgun! It was very cool to see. Each one of them was talented in their own way.
Each year the National High School Rodeo's shooting program grows. At the Nationals this year we had competitors that came all the way to Wyoming just to shoot. As the years go on I hope that our shooting program continues to grow and next year we'll see even more people out on the range to shoot!
Thanks for the report, Jessy, and congratulations to all of the winners at the 2010 National High School Rodeo Finals! We've got a few more stories from our Ambassadors, so stay tuned for more from these young people making a difference in their organizations and the shooting sports.