Sixteen-year-old, Groveton student Carson Ray, won the 2018 National High School Finals Rodeo in Rock Springs, WY, for Cutting Horses, held July 15-21. Ray is new to the circuit, which makes the win that much more amazing. Last year he started riding a cutting horse named Rocket, that belonged to his father. He had watched the cutting horse competition for a while with a growing interest in the sport.
Once Ray started riding Rocket, he discovered a love for both cutting horse competition and the horse himself. He found trainers who helped him refine his technique. Starting with high school cutting horse shows, Carson progressed to the National Cutting Horse Championship in just 18 months. He loves the sport and plans to continue competing.
The NHSRA website explains:
The NHSFR is the “World’s Largest Rodeo,” featuring approximately 1,500 contestants from across the United States, Canada, and Australia. Athletes vie for national titles, assorted prizes and their share of thousands of dollars in college scholarships. Action at the event is non-stop, with rodeo performances being conducted twice each day. The top-twenty contestants in each event then advance to a final round of competition to determine who will walk away with the coveted championship buckles.
Carter told KTRE.com :
“I was very excited,” Ray said. “Not many people get to do that in my high school. I started back in October in 2016. I missed nationals by one spot last year and made it this year. It is hard to think I would have made it this soon.”
“You have to work hard at it,” Ray said. “It is not a show-up and go. You have to have practice.”
After his short round was done, Ray would have to wait to find out if he had won the event.
“I knew I had a really good run,” Ray said. “I was second out of 20, so I had to sit through 18 more and wait to see if it would hold up.”
As an incoming junior, Ray has two more chances to defend his title.
“We will just see what happens,” Ray said. “There is a lot of competition, so I will have to try to make it back. Anything can happen.”
Trinity County is proud of Carson Ray. This is just one more proof that we have some of the best students in the USA.