Idaho High School Rodeo

Josh Dobbins of Pocatello looks to get the eight-second count in a recent rodeo.

BLACKFOOT – The Idaho State High School Rodeo Finals will bring its week-long series of performances to the Eastern Idaho State Fairgrounds.

Originally scheduled to run June 14 through June 20, there may be some adjustments made to meet the contracts of all involved, organizers said Thursday.

“We are excited that the Idaho High School Finals Rodeo has chosen us as the venue for this prestigious event,” said Brandon Bird, manager of the Eastern Idaho State Fairgrounds. “We have always been happy to help with the youth and their events and look forward to working to make this event successful as well.”

This all came about in a quick manner since the Bannock County Commissioners felt compelled to drop the event from the schedule of events at the Bannock County Fairgrounds earlier in the week.

That decision had sent the Idaho high school rodeo world into a bit of a frenzy with regards to the state finals, just a couple of weeks away.

“We consider this announcement to be great news for our high school cowboys and cowgirls,” said Kelly Duffin, spokesman for the Idaho State High School Rodeo Finals. “We are confident that we can put on an event and do it safely and we are grateful for Blackfoot showing the confidence in us that we can do it as well.”

The annual Idaho High School Rodeo Finals traditionally hosts events in barrel racing, saddle bronc riding, pole bending, bull riding, goat tying, breakaway roping, tie down roping, team roping, bareback riding, steer wrestling, cow cutting, reining, as well as trap shooting and .22 long rifle shooting.

State champions are crowned annually and the top four in each event form a team that advances to the National High School Rodeo Finals with a chance at earning a national championship as well.

Traditionally, high school rodeo produces a number of scholarship opportunities and the adults tied to the organization recruit and procure a large number of scholarships that are awarded annually to the contestants.

“This opportunity has been presented to us and we are looking forward to working to making it as successful as we can,” Bird said. “We know these kids have been working hard and we want to help them to achieve success with this event.”

The Idaho High School Rodeo Association has been working to ensure that all aspects of safety are adhered to and have enlisted the help of health professionals and their teams to make that this can be done.

For Blackfoot residents, this is another step to recovery from the past several months of self-quarantine and restrictions that will follow the guidelines of Gov. Brad Little’s fourth stage of Idaho Rebounds.

While there are still some things to be worked out between the EISF and the IHSRA, Bird said, this is a very promising event for Blackfoot.

There are still a number of items that need to be worked out between the parties involved, Bird said, but it looks good for the fairgrounds to be this year’s host.