For more than 40 years, the California Junior High School Rodeo has provided a place for youth to flourish and grow, with the priority of promoting western heritage and investing in the future of young rodeo athletes. California is the home to nine districts where 600 members of CHSRA compete. Each of these districts compete in eight rodeos throughout the year, accumulating points to determine their top five state qualifiers in each of 13 events.

The top 180 California rodeo athletes from grades 6-8 competed in the California state finals, a three-day competition, held in Red Bluff, Calif., from May 16-18, with Kami-Jo Jorian qualifying for and competing in five rodeo events. This year, Jorian and her horse, Badger, were awarded Champion Pole Bender for the state of California, taking fastest time of the three-round average. Jorian received a trophy saddle and a championship belt buckle. The top four competitors in each event are now qualified to go on to the National Junior High School Rodeo Finals in Huron, S.D., from June 23-29.

Jorian has been participating in rodeo events since she was 4 years old and has a dream to attend Cal Poly to compete on the rodeo team. She works hard, competes in Pole Bending, Barrel Racing, Goat Tying and Breakaway Roping, in addition to maintaining a 4.0 GPA. Jorian and Badger have won several awards and titles including All Around Cowgirl at our local Tehachapi Rodeo Association and 2018 California State Jr. High Reserve Pole Bending Champion.

Badger is a 6-year-old gelding who came to the Jorian family as an immature 2-year-old with no training. Through lots of hard work, and lots of love, Kami-Jo and her mom have turned him into an incredible champion. However, Jorian and Badger need your help to accomplish their dream; the only barrier they face is the expense. Jorian and Badger will be traveling from California to South Dakota. The three-day drive will entail travel to and from Tehachapi, entry fees and lodging expenses. The estimated cost to attend the National Junior High School Rodeo Finals in South Dakota is approximately $8,000.

A Go fund me account has been set up for donations at https://www.gofundme.com/help-kamijo-get-to-jr-high-national-rodeo-finals.

You can watch Jorian and Badger’s amazing performance at https://youtu.be/2_1yQPsX_LQ.

Carla Cook is a friend of the Jorian family.