The “world’s richest high school rodeo” will celebrate it’s 20th anniversary July 8-13, 2012. Contestants from across the country will converge on the Heart of Oklahoma Expo Center trying for their share of the $200,000 prize money.
A trio of IPRA world champions will be on hand Sunday afternoon on July 8 to work with the International Finals Youth Rodeo’s rough stock contestants. The three cowboys have the credentials and the experience to offer quality mentorship to the contestants.
Stacy Belt of Harrisonville, MO is a former IPRA Saddle Bronc Rookie of the Year. He has qualified for the International Finals Rodeo seven times and has also won the IFR average. Stacy also serves as the Saddle Bronc Riding director in the IPRA.
“I’m really excited about being at the IFYR. We will all be there to answer questions and help out the guys. A lot of the kids are already winning and ready to go on to college, but there will be some that have questions and hopefully, we will be able to help them. I plan to be at the IFYR for a couple of days to be available for the contestants. Each of the three of us has a lot to offer the guys,” said Belt.
Tennessee cowboy Josh Cragar is the 2011 IPRA World Champion Bareback Rider. Cragar is an 8-time qualifier for the IFR and is a 3-time IFR average winner. Cragar’s technical riding style and knowledge of the event will bring a lot to the table for the IFYR bareback riders.
Nathan Tull, an Oklahoma native, is also looking forward to working with the IFYR bull riders. Tull is a 5-time IFR qualifier. He earned the bull-riding Rookie of the Year title in the IPRA in 2005 and claimed the world championship in 2007. Nathan currently serves as the bull-riding director in the IPRA.
“In the bull riding I’m more limited to what I can actually accomplish than Stacy and Josh. They can actually demonstrate techniques and equipment on saddle horses and I can’t really do that with a bull. I want to cover the riding basics with them but plan to really focus on positive thinking and being mentally prepared to compete. I really like working with the young riders and want them to know I’m available for them if they need me,” said Tull.
“I think this mentorship will be a good thing for the IFYR rough stock contestants and I feel that the IPRA will be well represented,” said Stacy Belt.
The 20th International Finals Youth Rodeo kicks off Sunday, July 8 at 8 p.m. Performances will be held daily Monday through Thursday at 9 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. The top 15 final round will be held Friday, July 13, at 7:30 p.m. For more information and ticket prices visit www. Ifyr.com.
Photo Credit: Guaranteed Cowgirl- Peggy Gander