Local Kids Qualify for National Rodeo

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MIDDLE CREEK TOWNSHIP -- Two girls from our area will help represent Pennsylvania in a rodeo competition next week in New Mexico. The girls will rope cattle, tie up goats and race their horses around barrels in the National Junior High Rodeo Competition.

For Rebecca Haines of Mifflinburg and Keariana Lauver of Middleburg, riding horses is something they do seven days a week.

"During school hours I get home at 3:30 and from 4 to 8 I'm on a horse's back," Keariana Lauver said.

The girls spent the day practicing their rodeo skills at Keariana's arena near Middleburg. The two will travel to Gallup, New Mexico later this week for the National Junior High Rodeo Competition! They qualified for the national competition at a Pennsylvania state competition over the weekend.

"I'm most excited for the barrelĀ racing. That's my event. That's your favorite? Yep, that's the one I do the most," Keariana said.

While Keariana races around the barrels, Rebecca will rope cattle!

It will be a real calf during the competition. Her coach taught her how to rope cattle less than two years ago.

"They started to teach me how to swing a rope and how to throw at a cow and release catch it," Rebecca Haines said.

Both girls will compete in the goat tying event.

"You have to have a good goat because sometimes the goats are really bad and run all over and kick the whole time. It's just a challenge every time you go into the ring with a different goat," Rebecca said.

Between gas, food and lodging, the trip will cost each family about $3,000. The parents say it's worth it because it's something the girls have been looking forward to for a long time.

"It's a lot of time and effort, but she puts a lot of time and effort to train at home. She enjoys it and loves it so we're just supporting her," Chad Lauver said.

"I think it's really good because it's a family affair. Everyone's there, everyone's helping out. It helps the family get stronger and closer," Glenda Haines said.

Three other kids from our area will also compete in the National Junior Rodeo next week. The kids must have good grades to compete in this event, and they can win scholarships and sponsorships.

It is important to add, Larry the goat was not hurt!

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