HEBER CITY — Recent Pine View graduate Kurtis Turner capped off his senior year by capturing the state championship in Bull Riding over the weekend.
Turner, who was ranked third in the state early in the season, had a great spring, pulling himself into the top spot by last week’s championship go-round. He was bucked off on his first ride, but notched stellar scores of 81 and 85 the next two rounds to clinch the state championship.
“These were tough bulls, some of the toughest in the country,” said Kendall Turner, Kurtis’s father. “Only Texas is comparable with the quality of bulls we have. Typically Utah kids do well at Nationals. In fact, a Utah kid has won the last two in a row.”
Kurtis, 18, lives in Washington City, but rides for the predominant rodeo club for youth in southern Utah, Dixie Rodeo Club. His state score, combined with his 70 points for winning the the regular season title, gave him the state championship by a whopping 22 points over second-place finisher Justin Gardner of Uintah Basin. Turner and Gardner were the only two bull riders to actually stay on the beasts more than once at the UHSRA Championships.
Turner, who won a new saddle and a belt buckle, will now prepare for the National High School Rodeo Finals, which take place July 15-23 in Rock Springs, Wyo.
Another Dixie rider, Brody Adams, also won state and will participate in the NHSRA Finals. Adams, with Clay Crozier of Uintah, won the team roping competition.
Dason Coronado, Cedar City, was also crowned state champ in the Boys Cutting event.
Several more Dixie Rodeo competitors qualified for Nationals by placing in the top four in their respective events.
They include: Kyna Hafen (second in Breakaway Roping and second in Goat Tying); Lane Burgess and Ben Prisbrey (fourth in Team Roping), and Dax Barnson (second in Tiedown).
Enterprise riders who qualified for Nationals include: Carol Lee Holt (second in Barrel Racing, third in Pole Bending); Katelyn Holmes (third in Barrel Racing), and Kanton Vause (fourth in Steer Wrestling).
For full state high school rodeo results, go to http://uhsra.org/results/rgn1rod144.htm.
Copyright 2012 St. George News.