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Memorial Day weekend is always an exciting time. It signals the end of one season, while essentially escorting in the beginning of another and no matter what venue you choose to get your rodeo fix, those who served the US of A will be remembered and honored this holiday weekend.

What’s happening this weekend? Well, the junior high and high school regular season ends with the State High School Finals Rodeo in Okanogan. About an hour south the beginning of the summer pro rodeo season commences in Coulee City with the Last Stand Rodeo.

Let’s talk about the high schoolers first. Based on the most recent rankings on the state association’s site, Ellensburg’s Kyle Tutor sits in fourth in the team roping. Tutor heels for header Payton Euger-Segerman. Fellow high schooler Tanner Truhlicka sits in sixth place in steer wrestling. Both are high school seniors and have a great shot at making the National High School Finals Rodeo in mid-July in Lincoln, Nebraska.

For the junior high team, Audrey Wolfenbarger and Kassidy Bremner (both are eighth-graders) lead the charge in multiple events.

Bremner is third in the middle school girls All-Around standings thanks to her consistency in many disciplines. As of mid-May, Bremner is splitting first in the barrel racing standings, second in goat tying, third in pole bending, and third in breakaway. Bremner will probably challenge for the state title in barrels, poles, and breakaway this weekend.

Wolfenbarger is 12th in the All-Around with her best event being ribbon roping where she and partner Diesel Downey are sixth, but just a good weekend away from the top three or four. Wolfenbarger also competes in goat tying where she sits in 13th place, however, a solid state finals weekend can get her into the top eight. The same can be said for breakaway, where she’s 14th, but again, is just a great weekend apart from the top eight.

Both ladies could find themselves in Des Moines, Iowa in late June at the junior high National Finals.

We’ll keep y’all posted on the state finals results as they become available. But good luck to all those competing for Kittitas County.

Let’s go beyond the county borders and discuss the kickoff to the summer season. Regionally that includes the Last Stand Rodeo in Coulee City. Many Columbia River Circuit cowboys and cowgirls have Coulee circled on their calendars and for us here in the Kittitas Valley, you’ll recognize many names on Saturday and Sunday’s day sheets. Guys like Austin Foss and Shorty Garrett, two guys who won paychecks at the Bares & Broncs a week and a half ago, both told me they’d be there. Shorty is even working his wedding this weekend around his rodeo schedule. You want ropers? There will be plenty of Kittitas Valley calf, steer, and team ropers entered up in Coulee this weekend.

Shoot, if you get there early enough on Saturday, you can start your morning with the Cow Pie Jog, 3 1/2 miles of sweaty fun if that’s your thing. It used to be my thing and if I remember correctly, I set the course record in 1998 and broke it in 1999. Funny thing though, I can’t seem to find proof that happened. Don’t ask me for the statistics but focus on the wonderful yarn I weave.

Stay safe this Memorial Day weekend and remember to bow your head and tip your hat to those who gave their life for this great country. Good luck to our local competitors throughout Central Washington.

Jon Guddat covers rodeo – from the kids to the kids at heart – with a weekly rodeo column in the Daily Record. Contact Jon with story ideas at

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