High school competitors from across the state were in Delavan this weekend for an annual rodeo,
"I've been rodeo-ing since I was in Kindergarten," North Mac High School senior Skyler Maguire said.
"Ever since I was little, I was around horses all the time and I fell in love with it," Kylie Brueggeman, a junior from Carlinville, added.
"I'm going to guess we have close to 70--75 students in High School rodeo," said District 2 President Mike Kelter. "It's points. They take the top 10 point winners and go to State Finals, and the top 4 go to the National Finals. "
"Barrels is my favorite, because that is what I started doing," Brueggeman said.
"I do all of them," Maguire added. "My favorites are team rope and breakaway. I'm better at those events. There aren't days that I'm like, 'Oh I don't want to go ride right now.' It's an everyday thing. I love being on horses, and I love riding. It also takes a lot of practice if you want to be good. It's not cheap, that's for sure."
"I think we went down in numbers, because of the expense. it becomes very expensive," Kelter added. "It's family organized. Everybody is friends, and everybody works together. The kids work hard. It's just a good thing."
" We're all pretty close, a lot of us are," Brueggeman said. "There is competition between us, but we do want the best for everybody. I'm really close with all my horses. I'd sometimes rather be with them than most people."
"I've learned so much doing it,: Maguire added. "I couldn't imagine my life without it or be the person I am without it either."
The Illinois High School Rodeo Association holds eight events - four in the Fall and four in the Spring.
If you are a high school student and interested in rodeo, you can go to its website at http://www.ilhsra.org/
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