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January 4, 2014

Valley youths prep for Farm Show rodeo

HARRISBURG — Following her stellar junior rodeo debut in 2013 in which she lassoed two first-place wins at just 11 years old, Rebecca Haines is back for more today at the 98th Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg.

The Mifflinburg 12-year-old is among several young Valley rodeo regulars vying for titles at the Pennsylvania High School Rodeo Association’s Championship, taking place in three phases today.

Events began Friday night, including goat tying, in which Rebecca placed first last year. She’ll also look to repeat her win in breakaway roping, in which she recorded a 5.1-second time last year, and will race barrels as well.

Last year was a big year for Rebecca, who was also a member of Pennsylvania’s state team in the 2013 National Junior High Finals Rodeo in June in Gallup, N.M. She competed in breakaway roping and goat-tying and learned the national stage, especially out West, was much more of a challenge.

“Farm Show is just as competitive,” she said from her hotel Friday, “but out West, they are very, very good.”

Her first year of rodeo, however, has taught her “not to get nervous,” she said. “You’re as good as the competition, and everyone tries as much as you. I’ve learned to have fun and do my best.”

To do her best is Rebecca’s goal for this Farm Show, she said, though she’d like to top her winning performances of last year.

Also at this year’s Farm Show rodeo:

Rebecca Darrup, a junior at Mifflinburg Area High School, returns for her third appearance in the arena.

Young rodeo veterans and roping champs Lance and Brock Hower, of Milton, who had qualified for national competition last year.

Megan Arbogast, of Beavertown, a breakaway roping expert who took part in the National High School Rodeo Finals in Rock Springs, Wyo., in 2013.

Goat-tying champ Kearinna Lauver, of Middleburg, also on Pennsylvania’s state team in the 2013 National Junior High Finals Rodeo in New Mexico.

Madison Valencia, of Mifflinburg, a seventh-grader making her junior rodeo debut.

 

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