14-year old WV cowboy wins a world championship

Des Moines, Iowa, – Koalton Heckler, 14, of Mill Creek, West Virginia won “World Reserve Champion” in chute dogging at the National Junior High Finals Rodeo in Des Moines, Iowa.

Chute dogging is an event that prepares youth and junior high cowboys for steer wrestling. Competitors must bring the steer to a line ten feet from the chute and wrestle (or “dog”) the steer to the ground.

Featuring roughly 1,200 contestants from 43 U.S. States, 5 Canadian Provinces, Australia, and Mexico, the National Junior High Finals Rodeo (NJHFR) is the world’s largest junior high rodeo. This year Team West Virginia sent 13 students to NJHFR to compete in multiple events to be National Junior High Finals Rodeo World Champion. To earn this title, contestants must finish in the top 20 – based on their combined times/scores in the first two go-rounds to advance to the final round. World champions are determined based on their three go-round combined times/scores.

Heckler posted impressive times in the first two rounds – placing 17th in the first round with a 4.1 and winning the second round with a 2.72 run which landed him in the final competition between the top 20 contestants worldwide. In the final “short-go” Heckler delivered with a 2.65 – tying for first place and posting the fastest time of the week.

“We are incredibly proud of Koalton’s achievement and of all of the young men and women who rodeo with WVHSRA,” said Brandon McCormick, President of the West Virginia High School Rodeo Association.

In addition, to winning bragging rights, champion buckles and a medallion for fastest time, Heckler received over $1,000 in scholarship funding.

This year WVHSRA gave out $20,000 in scholarship funding to graduating seniors. If you are interested in joining or want to find out more about the WVHRSA you can visit: www.wvhrsa.org

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