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Representing Mt. Ayr Junior High school, sixth grader Wyatt Collier, of Grand River has qualified to compete in bull riding at the world’s largest Junior High National Rodeo in Perry, Georgia on June 17-24.
Wyatt is the son of Shayla and Camron Collier of Grand River and grandson of Mack and Jeanine Greene, Doug Collier, and Janie Stark.
Wyatt has competed in Iowa Junior High School rodeo for the last nine months, winning points to qualify in the National finals.
On May 27-29 he competed in the Junior High Rodeo finals in Marshalltown, where he placed fourth in the state of Iowa and won 4th place in the overall average at the state finals in bull riding. He qualified to go to the National rodeo finals in Perry, Georgia representing MACHS. He will compete against Junior High students from 43 states and five Canadian provinces, as well as Australia, Mexico, and New Zealand.
Bull riding is a rodeo sport that involves a rider getting on a bucking bull and attempting to stay mounted while the animal tries to buck off the rider. American bull riding has been called “the most dangerous eight seconds in sports.”
To receive a score, the rider must stay on top of the bull for eight seconds with the use of one hand gripped on a bull rope tied behind the bull’s forelegs. Touching the bull or themselves with the free hand, or failing to reach the eight-second mark, results in a no-score ride. Depending on the bull riding organization and the contest, up to four judges might judge the rider and four judge the bull on their performance. For most organizations, a perfect score is 100 points. In general, most professional riders score in the range of the mid-70s to the high 80s. The one and only item that both young and old bulls use is a bucking flank or flank strap. The flank strap is the key item used to make bulls buck. This cotton piece of rope sits in front of a bull’s hips and is tightened seconds before the bull is released from the chutes.