Kolten Weber, son of Todd and Diane Weber of Watson, and grandson of Robert and Sandra Weber of Granite Falls, has earned a position on the Minnesota High School Rodeo team.
He will be traveling with fellow teammates to Rock Springs, Wyo., on July 14 to compete in the six-day, 65th annual National High School Finals Rodeo (NHSFR) in the saddle bronc competition.
Weber is a 2013 graduate of Lac qui Parle Valley High School, where he started his high school rodeo career in the ninth grade. He has competed in calf roping, team roping and saddle bronc riding.
A national competition is a long way from Weber's beginnings with roping.
"We've always had livestock at home, ever since I was little. I started roping when I was two," Weber said. "I started cap roping when I was in ninth grade, and doing cattle bronc when I was a junior."
Since then, throughout the 2012-13 season, Weber has stepped up to be serious contender for first place positions. Going into the state finals there was a three-way tie for first place. Even though he fell behind on the first two days of the competition, on the final day Weber pulled off a remarkable ride which secured him the title of 2013 Saddle Bronc Champion.
Weber said that what draws him to the sport is the unique type of competition it offers.
"It's the challenge, and the adrenaline gets you pumped up. It isn't a competition against you and someone else, it's about you and an animal, and who is the toughest one that day. When I have a buddy competing against me, I'm rooting for him, too," Weber said.
The NHSFR features more than 1,500 contestants from 41 states, five Canadian provinces and Australia; the NHSFR is the world's largest rodeo.
In addition to competing for more than $200,000 in prizes, NHSFR contestants will also be competing for more than $350,000 in college scholarships and the chance to be named an NHSFR National Champion.
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