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Smith to vie for national breakaway title

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Las Vegas-area resident Jett Smith will be seeking a championship in breakaway roping later this month at the National Junior High Finals Rodeo.

Smith is a seventh-grader at Memorial Middle School in Las Vegas and the son of Kimberly and Cody Smith of Buena Vista. He finished among the top four in the New Mexico breakaway roping competition and also took part in ribbon roping and team roping this past season. He’s also an honor roll student.

The ninth annual National Junior High Finals Rodeo, said to feature more than 1,000 contestants from across the U.S., Canada and Australia, will take place June 23-29 in Gallup.

In addition to competing for more than $75,000 in prizes, contestants will vie for more than $100,000 in college scholarship money and NJHFR championships. To earn the title, they must finish in the top 20 based on scores in the first two rounds, qualifying for the Saturday evening final round. National championships will be determined based on their three-round combined times or scores.

The Saturday finals will be televised as part of the CinchTown Tour series on RFD-TV nationwide. Live broadcasts will also air on NHSRATV.com.

Performance times are 7 p.m. June 23 and 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. the succeeding days.

“Along with great rodeo competition and the chance to meet new friends from around the world, NJHFR contestants have the opportunity to enjoy shooting sports, volleyball, tug-of-war, contestant dances, family-oriented activities, church service sponsored by the Fellowship of Christian Cowboys, and shopping at the NJHFR trade show, as well as visiting historical attractions of New Mexico and nearby Arizona,” according to a news release.

For ticket information, call 1-800-590-1302.