Koby Radley, of Montpelier, captured the championship title in bull riding at the 23rd annual International Finals Youth Rodeo, which ended on July 10 in Shawnee, Oklahoma.
The IFYR started with more than 930 contestants. After two long go-rounds and 10 performances, the contestants with the top 15 averages from each event competed in the finals that Friday night for a shot at the championships.
“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.”
Radley has been riding bulls for seven years. He was the only contestant this year to cover all three bulls.
“It was a tough pen of bulls,” Radley said.
The 17-year-old will be a senior this year at Parkview Baptist and plans to continue his education.
He started riding bulls for the adrenaline rush and plans to continue. “My cousins always did it, and I started.”
He is going to take his money and save it, he said. This is his second IFYR, and he plans to return.
The International Finals Youth Rodeo, founded in 1993, is a nonprofit organization that presents top high school athletes with a professional rodeo.
The internationally recognized IFYR is held annually at the Heart of Oklahoma Exposition Center in Shawnee.
For more information, visit IFYR.com or call (405) 275-7020.