Cord Belshe, Kimberly Cotter, Amy Hasbell, Benjamin and Raymond Shankland and Addison Wilson of Shawnee, Oklahoma, are competing in the 26th annual International Finals Youth Rodeo July 8-13 at the Heart of Oklahoma Exposition Center in Shawnee, Oklahoma. They are participating in the world’s richest youth rodeo, hoping to win their share of more than $250,000 in prize money and championship saddles and buckles.
The Shawnee residents will join more than 850 of the top high school rodeo athletes from around the world for the 2018 IFYR. Cotter, Hasbell and Wilson will compete in barrel racing, Belshe will compete in tie-down roping and Benjamin and Raymond will compete in bull riding.
Contestants will compete in 10 events running simultaneously in three arenas throughout the week. Events include barrel racing, pole bending, breakaway roping, goat tying, team roping, tie-down roping, steer wrestling, bull riding, saddle bronc riding and bareback riding. The IFYR consists of two long go-rounds and a short go. All contestants compete once in each of the long go-rounds. The top 15 averages in each event will compete in the short go finals on Friday.
“The International Finals Youth Rodeo attracts the best youth rodeo athletes in the world,” said Chris Dunlap, assistant director of the Heart of Oklahoma Exposition Center and International Finals Youth Rodeo. “The IFYR was developed to provide a professional level competition to high school athletes and now, more than two decades later, the IFYR is where any hopeful rodeo champion wants to be and be seen.”
The International Finals Youth Rodeo, held annually since 1993, is a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization that presents top high school athletes with a professional rodeo. The internationally-recognized IFYR is held annually at the Heart of Oklahoma Exposition Center in Shawnee, Oklahoma. The action-packed event includes hundreds of contestants vying to win more than $250,000 in prize money, competing in 10 events running simultaneously in three arenas over six days. In 2017, more than 920 contestants and their families traveled from 34 states and Australia to participate in the IFYR. For more information, visit IFYR.com or call (405) 275-7020.