Seminole Indian, Andrew Alvidrez, a Junior, has qualified for am impressive 4th time, to go the National High School Rodeo Association Finals.
Andrew is the oldest son of Luis and Veronica Alvidrez. He has two sisters and a brother, who will travel with him. He calls this bunch, "My biggest cheering section."
He has earned his place on the Texas Team, and will be traveling with fellow teammates to Rock Springs, Wyoming, July 13-19 to compete at the 66th annual National High School Finals Rodeo, in the Bull Riding competition.
"Bullriding just feels like what I was born to do," says Alvidrez, "We have baby pictures of me throwing my hand in the air, since I was two."
The National High School Rodeo Association is one of the fastest growing youth organizations, with an annual membership of approximately 12,500 students from 41 states, five Canadian provinces, and Australia.
The Association sanctions over 1,100 rodeos each year. The NHSRA is governed by a national Board of Directors, which consists of one member from each state or province.
A staff at the national headquarters in Denver, Colorado handles the day-to-day operations.
Each year, the NHSRA produces the two elite youth rodeo events in the world - The National Junior High Finals Rodeo (NJHFR) and the National High School Finals Rodeo (NHSFR).
The NHSFR is the "World's Largest Rodeo," featuring approximately 1,500 contestants from across the United States, Canada and Australia.
Athletes vie for national titles, $200,000 in prizes and their share of more than $350,000 in college scholarships.
Fierce competition raises the stakes. Alvidrez is an avid athlete, with a punishing workout regimen. When asked how he was preparing for Wyoming, he said, "I am trying to cut a little weight, to be more solid and explosive."
Action at the event is non-stop, with rodeo performances being conducted twice each day.
The top-twenty contestants in each event then advance to a final round of competition to determine who will walk away with the coveted championship buckles. National champions are based on the best three-round, combined scores/times.
Boys events at the NHSFR include Bareback Riding, Bull Riding, Saddle Bronc Riding, Tie-Down Roping, Steer Wrestling, Team Roping, and Cutting.
Girl's events include Breakaway Roping, Barrel Racing, Pole Bending, Goat Tying, Cutting, Team Roping, and the NHSRA Queen contest.
Boys and girls compete together in Team Roping, but are separate in all other events.
This year, the Saturday championship performance will be televised nationally as part of the Cinch Highschool Rodeo Tour telecast series, on RFD-TV. Live broadcasts of each NHSFR performance will also air online at NHSRATV.com. Performance times are 7:00 p.m. On July13 and 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. Each day, after that.
Along with great rodeo competition and the chance to meet new friends from around the world, NHSFR contestants have the opportunity to enjoy shooting sports, volleyball, contestant dances, family oriented activities, church service sponsored by the Fellowship of Christian Cowboys, and shopping at the NHSFR trade-show.
To follow Alvidrez or any other favorite at the NHSFR, visit NHSRA.org for daily complete results.
"I have to thank God, my family and all of the friends who support me. This isn't an easy life, and I couldn't do it without them," Alvidrez said, proudly.