The Montana High School Rodeo Association has chosen the Majestic Valley Arena in Kalispell to host its 2014 and 2015 state finals, with an option to extend the agreement to 2016 and beyond.
The event, which takes place each June, draws the top qualifying high school rodeo riders from across Montana for five days of competition in barrel racing, pole bending, goat tying, breakaway roping, saddle bronc riding, bull riding, tie-down roping, steer wrestling and team roping.
“We are thrilled to bring Montana’s biggest rodeo event of the year to Kalispell,” said Rob Brisendine, group sales manager with the Kalispell Convention & Visitor Bureau. “Word continues to spread among rodeo organizers that Kalispell is home to one of the best indoor arenas in North America and our community embraces the excitement and tradition of these events.”
The announcement comes on the heels of the Cinch Bucking Horse Championships, which brought North America’s best cowboys and roughest saddle broncs to Kalispell on Oct. 19. An audience of 2,200 watched 22 riders and 45 horses compete for the richest purse of the year in the U.S.
Contestants in the state finals, which take place June 3 – 8, 2014, will compete for prizes including college scholarships and scholarship assistance to continue their educational careers. The top four competitors in each event will qualify for the National High School Finals Rodeo, which take place July 13-19, 2014, in Rock Springs, Wyo. That event is considered the largest rodeo in the world, with 1,500 competitors from 41 states, five Canadian provinces and Australia.
The nearly 400 members of the Montana High School Rodeo Association begin their competition season in the autumn, with events in communities across the state.
The Montana High School Rodeo State Finals have been hosted in Bozeman for the past five years.
The addition of the state finals to Kalispell reflects a broad effort to build the shoulder tourism seasons.
“We anticipate that the Montana High School Rodeo State Finals will bring more than 4,000 people to our community for nearly a week, which means great things for all businesses in our local hospitality industry,” said Brisendine.
“That’s why events like this are an important part of economic development for our community, filling our hotels and restaurants at a time of year when business has historically been slower than the peak summer travel season.”
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