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Pahrump Valley crowns state rodeo champions

Another year, another state champion for the Pahrump Valley High School Rodeo Club. This time it was Garrett Jepson, who captured the team roping title at the state high school finals that began June 11 in Alamo.

Jepson and JoseyRay Funk went into the finals sharing the state lead with Cade Bell of Humboldt County and Jayce Blake, an independent competitor, with 130 points. But Jepson and Funk recorded the best time of the entire finals in their second go, 7.950 seconds, good for 15 points. Their 22.060 time on the third go was good for another 9.0 points, and their combined time of 230.10 was 13 seconds better.

That gap enabled Cole and Rilee Christensen of Moapa Valley to leap-frog Bell and Blake and finish second, 11.5 points behind the champions. Even better for Jepson, while the junior high school nationals were canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the National High School Finals Rodeo remains on as scheduled, July 17-23 at Lazy E Arena in Guthrie, Oklahoma.

The Pahrump Valley club would have been represented well at the nationals in Des Moines, Iowa.

“Jace Jepson had a great year,” said Buddy Krebs, the rodeo club’s director. “He’s a state champ and would have been going to nationals. Teagan McInnis had a great year and would have been going to nationals, and Brandon Mountz won the junior high bull riding state championship, and he would have been going to nationals.”

Results from the junior high state championships were not available at press time, but going into the finals McInnis was fourth in the state in ribbon roping, tied for fourth in barrel racing, sixth in girls goat tying, ninth in pole bending, 10th in girls breakaway and 23rd in team roping.

Jace Jepson shared the lead in both boys breakaway and team roping and was fifth in chute dogging, sixth in bull riding, seventh in boys goat tying and 11th in ribbon roping, while Mountz was third in bull riding.

“Our team had a great year,” Krebs said. “We have seven kids on our team and five of them competed in the state finals. December Colon was a rookie, and I think she had a good year, too.” Colon tied for 20th in pole bending.

Krebs is already looking ahead to next February, when it will be Pahrump’s turn to host a high school rodeo. Last year, it was run in conjunction with the Pahrump Balloon Festival at Petrack Park, and the Chamber of Commerce helped subsidize it.

“This year we’re not doing the rodeo with the chamber, they decided to move their dates,” Krebs said. “We haven’t worked out all of the details, but we’re trying to get the whole park and call it Pahrump Days and bring in a carnival and vendors, hoping to make some money for the high school rodeo club.”

Krebs said the club will need $25,000 to make it happen. “We’re going to be hitting up businesses for sponsorships, and everything helps,” he said.

Those wishing to help support the Pahrump Valley High School Rodeo Club can reach Buddy Krebs via his Facebook page.

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