POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI) – The Idaho High School State Rodeo Finals are taking place this week at the Bannock County Event Center in Pocatello.
The competition is off to an exciting start and when you watch some of the best in the state compete, their talents are on full display.
Minico High School senior Lucas Cruz says competing at this event is something he always wanted to do.
"My dad started rodeoing when he was younger, and it just kind of got passed down and that's what I've been enjoying doing," Cruz said.
Cruz is competing in the tie down and team roping competition and says the calf roping on Wednesday was just as hard as it looks.
"Here in the calf roping, the calves are really strong and they're bigger," Cruz said. "It's a tough competition to see who comes out on the top."
The rodeo has also been a lifelong pursuit for Katie Brackett from Castleford High School, who is vying for the title of queen in this year's contest.
"I grew up on a ranch, so I've been around horses and cattle my entire life and my parents competed in rodeo," Brackett said. "All of my siblings compete in rodeo, and it's one of the most fun things I've ever done and one of the most rewarding as well."
When you look up in the stands and out on the track, you can see just how important this event really is.
"The community here is so strong," Brackett said. "Everybody is here to pick each other up in our lows and comfort each other, and we all celebrate our successes and everybody's here just to have a good time and compete to the best of our abilities."
Even though the rodeo has a winner and a loser, the fun of the competition never falls flat.
"It's a blast," Cruz said. "Hanging out with your buddies and just doing what you love, it's the best."
"I've had a lot of fun here," Brackett said "The queen contest was one of the best this year. It was one of our biggest. And it's been so much fun to be here with the other girls and all the other contestants."
The winners of this year's competition will be heading to the National High School Rodeo in Gillette, Wyoming July 16-22.