The 23rd annual International Finals Youth Rodeo came to a close July 10 in Shawnee. The world's richest youth rodeo awarded more than $200,000 in prize money, championship saddles and buckles.

The 23rd annual International Finals Youth Rodeo came to a close July 10 in Shawnee. The world’s richest youth rodeo awarded more than $200,000 in prize money, championship saddles and buckles.

The IFYR started with more than 930 contestants and it was a week marked by torrential downpours, lightening delays and heated competition. After two long-go’s and 10 performances, the top 15 averages from each event competed in the finals Friday night for a shot at the championships.

Brett Stuart of Bridgeport, Texas, took home the All Around Cowboy title and Shelby Lankford of Blanchard, Oklahome earned the title of All Around Cowgirl.

Ali Armstrong of Lexington, Oklahoma, won the championship in barrel racing, Alex Odle of Brush, Colorado, took home the pole bending championship and Blair Bullock of McAlpin, Florida, won the breakaway roping championship.

Kenzie Huffman of Strasburg, Colorado scored the goat tying championship and Laramie Eppler of Iowa Park, Texas, and Taylor Hurst of Navasota, Texas, worked together to earn the championship in team roping.

Marcus Theriot of Poplarville, Mississippi, earned the calf roping championship, Bridger Anderson of Carrington, North Dakota won the championship in steer wrestling and Koby Radley of Montpelier, Louisiana, captured the championship title in bull riding. Blaise Freeman of Snyder, Texas, won the championship in saddle bronc riding and Paden Hurst of Navasota, Texas, earned the bareback riding championship.

“These athletes have put everything they’ve got into this rodeo and their hard work paid off,” said Michael Jackson, operations manager of the Heart of Oklahoma Exposition Center and International Finals Youth Rodeo. “They came out to each performance and competed with their best effort. We congratulate all of our champions and wish the best of luck to all of our contestants.”

For photos and more on each champion, be sure sure to see Sunday's News-Star.