HURON, S.D. — A local teenager will be competing in the 2019 National Junior High Finals Rodeo, which begins Sunday in Huron.
Tanner Marie Christoffers of rural Brewster qualified to compete in the goat tying event after marking a personal record tie time of 9.37 seconds at the Minnesota Junior High Rodeo Finals in Cannon Falls earlier this month. The reserve champion earned her first ticket to the world’s largest national junior high rodeo competition, in which roughly 1,000 youths in grades six through eight will compete from 44 states, five Canadian provinces, Australia and Mexico.
“I was super-excited and almost cried, but I didn’t,” the 13-year-old said of her reaction upon her name being announced as reserve champion.
Christoffers also earned another honor during the state competition. She was selected by Minnesota Junior High National Director Chris Hanneken to be this year’s female recipient of the Corral Boots Courage, Character and Community Award.
Described as someone who exemplifies the type of character the Minnesota High School Rodeo tries to mold, Hanneken praised Christoffers for being a vocal supporter of the very individuals she competes against.
“It is very evident she sincerely wants everyone to perform at their highest level and congratulates them for a job well done,” he said.
“I’m really happy for them when they do good and I feel bad when they do bad,” Christoffers said about her fellow competitors.
Given the caliber of the competition, Christoffers admitted she was surprised to earn a spot at the upcoming national competition. The former Jr. Miss Rodeo Minnesota spends a lot of time practicing mounting off her horse mid-sprint and tying down the goat.
The incoming Heron Lake-Okabena freshman leaves today for Huron, although she doesn’t compete until Wednesday.
The June 29 championship performances will be televised nationally as part of the Cinch High School Rodeo Tour telecast series on RFD-TV.
Christoffers is the daughter of Adam and Stacey Christoffers. She's a member of the Rost Rustlers 4-H Club in Jackson County.