GEORGE WEST – Two time state senior champion Rylee Howton is preparing for her last state rodeo event.
Howton will compete in her fourth straight state rodeo finals.
“I didn’t know what to expect my first year and now I’m more confident with what’s going on,” she said.
Howton will vie in the barrel racing and pole bending events at the finals.
The state finals rodeo is an annual, week-long event where high school students across Texas and surrounding states come and compete.
Numerous awards, scholarships and the opportunity to represent Texas at the National High School Finals Rodeo held each July are all up for grabs.
Contestants compete in rodeos throughout the year in one of 10 regions across the state. At the last rodeo of regional level competition, the top 10 competitors in each event are announced.
These contestants are then given the opportunity to represent their region on the state level at the THSRA state finals.
Howton earned a 2020 National High School Rodeo Association Student Athlete of the Month accolade earlier this season.
The George West graduate first started barrel racing, which is her favorite event.
“That was my first event I started in and from there I went to other events,” Howton said. “I’ve practiced longer with barrel racing and most used to that event.”
With a long background of FFA activities, rodeos and living on a ranch the amount of practice remains important throughout the year.
“There really isn’t an offseason,” Howton said. “I practice everyday when the whether is good.”
Howton will continue her rodeo career as she attends Texas A&M-Kingsville in the fall.
“I’m excited about it and it will be a change I’m ready for,” she said. “I will miss my friends, family and staff of George West because we became really close. It will be hard to leave some of them.”
Howton will pursuit a career in agribusiness and special needs education.