Four locals to ride at national rodeos

Thursday, June 14, 2018
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From the left: Alaina Griffel, Clay Haverland, and Seirra Belvin

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Courtesy photo

Tyson Oster

Four local rodeo competitors have earned places on the big stage with impressive performances at recent state competitions.


Tyson Oster, a home-schooled eighth-grader from Columbus, took home first place in junior bull riding at the Montana Junior High School Rodeo Finals in Townsend at the end of May.

As the state champion, Oster earned a position on the Montana state rodeo team. The group will be competing at the 14th annual National Junior High Finals Rodeo (NJHFR) in Huron, S.D., June 24–30.

About 1,000 contestants from 43 U.S. states, five Canadian provinces, Australia, and Mexico will take part in the NJHFR. It is the world’s largest junior high rodeo, according to a press release.

Competitors will be vying for more than $80,000 in prizes and more than $200,000 in scholarships. After the first two rounds, the top 20 contestants will advance to finals, and the world champion will be determined based on the combined results of all three rounds.

The championship round on Saturday will be televised nationally on RFD-TV, and live broadcasts of all NJHFR events will air on, according to the press release. Complete daily results will be posted on


Alaina Griffel, Clay Haverland, and Sierra Belvin all competed well at the Montana High School Rodeo State Finals last week in Baker.

Griffel, a junior at Columbus High School, placed third in break away, and Haverland, also a Columbus junior, earned fourth in bull riding. Both will compete at the 70th annual National High School Finals Rodeo (NHSFR) in Rock Springs, Wyo., July 15–21.

Belvin, a Reed Point junior, will also be competing in Rock Springs, but she is in a unique event – the queen competition. At the state rodeo, Belvin was crowned Miss Montana High School Rodeo from a group of four contestants. This will be the second year in a row Belvin has held the title.

For the national queen competition, Belvin will compete in several categories: horsemanship, modeling, personal interview, written test, and speech.

More than 1,650 high school kids will compete at this year’s NHSFR, representing 43 states, five Canadian provinces, Australia, and Mexico, according to a press release. NHSFR is the largest high school rodeo in the world.

More than $200,000 in prizes and $350,000 in scholarships is available to competitors. World champions are crowned based on a three-round combined time or score.

Similarly to the junior high competition, the Saturday performances of the NHSFR will be televised and all events will air online. Daily results will be posted on

Both the NJHFR and NHSFR are opportunities for contestants to make new friends while facing the best competition in the world. In addition to the actual rodeo, the kids will take part in a variety of activities including shooting events, volleyball, and dances.