After finishing 43rd last year out of 140-plus of the top middle school aged Rodeo kids in the world at the Jr. High National Finals, 14 year-old Logan Lauderman of rural Brighton and his family returned to Huron, South Dakota for the 2019 edition with the eighth grader from Pekin making his final appearance before graduating to the high school level next year.
The soon-to-be freshman at Pekin qualified in four events: break away roping, goat tying, team roping and chute doggin’ where he finished third in Iowa during the state competition in Marshalltown over Memorial weekend.
Logan’s father Brad explains Chute Doggin’.
“When they get older, they call it steer wrestling. You have to jump off a horse and grab the front horns and throw the steer to the ground that weighs 450 pounds.”
Just for the record, Logan weighs 140 pounds.
“Basically it’s strategy and strength and with him being tall, he has the leverage,” added Brad.
Logan just started the event this year and he really enjoyed it.
Although Logan didn’t do as well in the other events, after round one he was seventh and he finished 10th in round two, leaving him first in the world going into the final round Saturday night.
The NJHFR does their best to get the kids cool experiences, including letting all of the leaders in each category walk through the smoke and fireworks to an introduction similar to something you’d see at a PBR event.
“Logan thought that was a great experience,” said Brad. “We’re on our own and doing our thing as a family and it’s really cool from that perspective. You teach your kids up and down, but you know, some things are just out of your control.”
The big moment
Going into the final round Saturday night No. 1 in the world, “[Logan] needed to throw a steer to be all but assured a spot in the top eight, but couldn’t get that accomplished,” explained Brad.
“It’s all about how the animal operates. There’s a lot of different factors and basically he went from first to 16th in a matter of eight seconds. We knew what he had to get done and hoped for the best, but he had to throw it in the 3-4 second time frame to win a saddle and probably $6,000 in scholarships. The time was ticking away and he needed to get the animal down and he couldn’t, it’s over just that fast, but he had a good attitude and understands that it just wasn’t meant to be this year.”
Logan will move up to the high school level as a freshman at Pekin and his younger brother Reed will enter sixth grade and begin competing in the Jr. High circuit his brother just aged out of.
RFD TV also did an interview with Logan and all of the other top riders and it will be aired this fall.
The 2019-20 season starts in the first week of August, but both Logan and Reed will compete in the Washington County Fair rodeo in mid-July and are excited to ride in front of friends and family.