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April 17, 2013

Three Velma youths win HOYRA competitions

VELMA — The legacy of rodeo is alive and well in Velma’s youth.

Three Velma-Alma students won team roping contests this weekend at the Heart of Oklahoma Youth Rodeo Association (HOYRA) competition at the Lazy-E in Guthrie. Kaden Roden, seventh grade, placed first the 14 to 18 year heel competition; Brodie Williams, seventh grade, placed first in the 13 and under heel competition; and Tyler Ray, 10th grade, placed first in the 14 to 18 head competition.

The youths compete all year long, and at the end of the year, the winner is determined in the finals. The winner is determined based on points. For winning their competitions, the boys received saddles, belt buckles and jackets.

“I started (team roping) about two years ago,” Williams said. “I won the saddle last year, too.”

Williams is the only of the three to have won previously. This was Ray’s first time to compete in the HOYRA competition, while Roden has competed twice.

Each said he enjoys competed, having been drawn to rodeo by family.

Ray has been competing since he was 10 years old. He said his grandfather and brother were big influences in his rodeo participation. He practices about two to three times a week to hone his skills.

And Roden started less than two years ago, but found his place in the rodeo world.

For Williams, rodeo has been a calling of his family and something his father has raised him in, despite having only competed for the past two years.

“It’s pretty much all my family does,” Williams said. “My dad taught me everything he knows.”

Ray and Roden said their competitions were difficult, but they still managed to come out on top.

“It was pretty close,” Ray said.

The three boys said they have enjoyed team roping and participating in rodeos. For them, it’s not just a sport; it’s a way of life.

Each of them has reasons for competing. A family legacy of competition is only part of it. They each enjoy it, which is what has compelled to continue competing.

“I like being able to hang out with my family and friends, and winning,” Ray said.

Roden said competing takes a lot of hard work, and it’s imperative for the person competing to know how to best handle his horse.

Williams agreed, saying the horse puts the rider in roping position every time. He said his favorite part is the competition.

“I like getting to compete against rodeo people from all over the world,” Williams said.

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