She’s been bringing kids here for 10 years to the International Finals Youth Rodeo. She still has two years she plans to come.

She’s been bringing kids here for 10 years to the International Finals Youth Rodeo. She still has two years she plans to come.

Tana Walters, who began coming to the IFYR when she first brought her son Cody to compete in the team roping, is back this year with her youngest daughter, Cheyenne Rose. Cheyenne is competing in only the barrel racing.

They are from Carthage, Mo.

Walters said she brought Cody here four years ago. He first came after they found out about it when he was on a team in junior rodeo, and the MJRC had a team which he was part of and competed in team roping.

He and his partner placed third in the first round that year, she recalls.

After that initial year here, the National Saddlery signed them up for their team.

“We enjoy coming. The kids get to compete, the best against the best, and it’s an experience for the kids. There’s a lot for the kids to do here,” she added.

Walters emphasized “I like to give God thanks and all the glory to be able to do this each year and keeping my kids safe and God allowing us to be here.”

There was a break in attending the IFYR between Cody, now 25, and her oldest daughter, Chadara, now 19, who turns 20 next week.

Chadara competed in barrels and pole bending, but never won any money during the years here although she made the short go her first year at the IFYR.

Cheyenne, who started coming to Shawnee at the age of 7 to watch her older siblings, began competing while Chadara was still in the competition here, Walters said.

She describes Cheyenne as the “social butterfly” and pointed out her youngest daughter has had the opportunity to meet and compete with kids of famous rodeo stars like Trevor and Lane Hedemann, whose father is Tuff Hedemann.

And, Walters adds, “Cheyenne loves going to the dances.”

She calls it “sorta, kind a vacation here but a hot one.” She and her husband Sam attend each of the performances through the week.

Walters takes off from her job of cleaning houses and Sam, who used to reside in Chickasha, takes off from working at a Ford dealership in Carthage.

Cody works at a feedlot in Carthage, while Chadara work two days at a beauty salon and three or four days at the feedlot as well. Walters said all five family members are still under one roof in Carthage.

Walters stated her kids never attempted to go to the National High School Finals Rodeo. She added it just wasn’t feasible, though Cody did some high school rodeo when he was younger.

Walters ended by saying “I hope all the kids have a good time and good luck to all the contestants.”