Wood River and Carey cowboys and cowgirls are on the road this weekend for the first of six Fifth District High School rodeos, this one at Glenns Ferry. The circuit debuts at 7 p.m. Friday, April 15 with a second rodeo Saturday at 5 p.m.
This year's Wood River rodeo team starts with junior Haillie Taylor, who finished third in last spring's overall girls' standings behind winner Valene Lickley of Jerome and runner-up Darby Fox of King Hill. Taylor ranked second in barrel racing and second in pole bending back in 2010.
Taylor, a key player on Wood River High School's state runner-up girls' basketball team, is also one of the best female cow cutters in the Gem State, which she proved during the first 5th District cutting event March 29 at the Shane Prescott Arena in Twin Falls.
Taylor (70) won the first cutting that evening over junior Jessica Lancaster of Jerome. Taylor (71) enjoyed another excellent ride and finished just behind sophomore Shania Laird of Logan, Utah (72) in the night's second cutting.
The season's second cutting was Sunday, April 10 at Sun Tree Arena. Go-round winners were Laird (71) and senior Katie Sparks of Jerome (73). Taylor finished fourth in each go-around with scores of 65 and 60.
After two cuttings, Sparks (34 points) leads the way over Laird (29), with Taylor (26) and Lancaster (26) tied for third place in the standings.
Other Wood River rodeo team members for 2011 are junior Jared Anderson, sophomore Eli McNees and freshman Kein "Booga" Sutton. The Carey rodeo teamers are Dani Hennefer and Taylor Castle, both doing barrel racing and pole bending.
Here is the district schedule, all Friday rodeos 7 p.m. and Saturday evenings 5 p.m.:
April 15-16 at Glenns Ferry; April 22-23 at Jerome; April 29-30 at Gooding; May 6-7 at Shoshone; May 13-14 at Blaine County Fairgrounds in Carey; and district finals Friday, May 27 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, May 28 at noon in Shoshone.
State high school rodeo is June 14-18 at Bannock County Fairgrounds in Pocatello.
Cutting dates, Tuesdays at 5 p.m., are April 19 and May 10 are Gooding's Shu Fly Arena, and May 17 at Annie Reynolds Arena in King Hill.