After seven Aledo Rodeo Team members competed, two rose to the top at the first-ever North Texas High School Rodeo Association Scholarship Rodeo, recently held at Will Rogers Memorial Center.
“The two most important parts of our mission are the education of today’s youth and the enhancement of the facilities here at the Will Rogers Memorial Center. It’s an opportunity for us to support these young men and women in their professional endeavors,” Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo Communications Manager Matt Brockman said about the inaugural event. “Traditionally in our 124-year history, we have involved youth in the livestock exhibition, showing and judging contests, and so high school rodeo was just a natural extension. When we were able to open up Dickies Arena and move our professional rodeo performances over there, that freed up Will Rogers Coliseum to host some different types of rodeo and this just made sense for us to organize.”
Aledo Rodeo Team members that qualified for the scholarship rodeo were Morgan Merrill, bull riding; Sean McCarthy, team roping; Eryn Foust, barrel racing; Trey Griffin, team roping; Mathew Allanach, chute dogging; Mason McElroy, saddle bronc; and Greyson King, saddle bronc.
King, a sophomore, came out on top winning first place and receiving a $2,000 scholarship, a belt buckle and a jacket.
This was King’s first year on the Aledo Rodeo Team.
“He’s played football for Aledo since second grade and he told me he was quitting football and I said, ‘Why? You don’t quit football in Aledo,’ and he said he wanted to try rodeo. He’s really only ridden a horse at Pine Cone Christian Camp when he’s gone there and that’s the extent of him being around a horse,” King’s mother, Holli Hartford King, said. “It’s been so fun. He told me the night before [the scholarship rodeo], ‘Don’t worry mom, I got this tomorrow,’ and he did and I couldn’t believe it. It was so exciting and just seeing his face was awesome. The Aledo rodeo family are just great people and it’s neat to see all the team members helping him get his horse ready and cheering him on. There’s no competition between each other, it’s more of a boost for each other and it’s awesome.”
King said he worked as hard as he could leading up to the rodeo competition.
“I constantly worked at it — would travel to Granbury to get on bucking machines and come to Weatherford to get on bucking horses whenever I could,” King said. “Rodeo just seemed like more of a challenge to me and football just didn’t give me the rush that it use to give me, so rodeo seemed like it would be a good fit to give me that adrenaline kick I needed.”
Aledo Rodeo Team Parent Sponsor Jane McCarthy said King is determined to improve each week and that it was nice seeing his teammates support him.
“It has been a pleasure for me to watch Greyson progress over this season. It is his first year in saddle bronc,” McCarthy said. “He is determined every weekend to improve and hasn’t let any of his no time calls hold him back. It was really nice to see the other team members supporting Greyson in his win, they were just as happy for him as he was happy to win — great team spirit.”
As for what’s next, King said he just wants to continue to work on his rodeo skills.
“I’m just going to keep working and constantly trying to better myself,” King said. “I’m going to be on the team all the way through my senior year and I may do some side rodeos too.”
Foust was another team member that worked her way to the top, coming in second place in barrel racing.
“Eryn is the only Aledo Rodeo Team female to make it to the stock show scholarship rodeo,” McCarthy said. “She did so on a horse that she trained herself. She has been very helpful this year in guiding along the young freshmen barrel racers.”
Foust’s mother, Amy Foust, said although her daughter has ridden in the Will Rogers arena before, she’s never performed in front of a big crowd like the scholarship rodeo.
“It was kind of cool because it was the first time they’ve ever done it so it was new to everybody. She has ridden in that arena once before, but not with a big crowd like that and I think the crowd is what made it exciting for her,” Amy said. “She’s getting to a point in her riding career that she’s starting to ride in some of these bigger rodeos — she made the junior NFR last year. She definitely is a hard worker, she rides pretty much every night of the week unless there’s bad weather. She’s dedicated to her horses and she bought that horse with her own money and it was broke, but she trained the horse on barrels herself.”