HURON, South Dakota — Abi DePriest is sitting pretty after one ride in pole bending at the National Junior High Finals Rodeo at the South Dakota State Fair Grounds.
DePriest, who is from Tenaha but attends school in Carthage, finished second in the first go round of the competition on Sunday night.
Dylan Dobbs of Jonesboro, Arkansas finished first in that race in 22.205, with DePriest taking second in 22.77.
After Monday morning’s go round, DePriest was sixth overall and Dobbs was fourth out of 56 pole benders.
Jaylee Lane of Morse, Texas was the overall leader in a time of 21.606.
There was another go round at 7 p.m. Monday night, but results were not available at press time.
“I thought I rode pretty good, but the time was very slow,” the 14-year-old said as the area saw more than five inches of rain. “It had rained for the past three days, so it was muddy and you had to take it slow, and it was raining while we competed. All the horses were struggling.
“But now the sun’s out and the times are going to come down some more. As long as we have a good track for my final ride I feel OK about it.”
There will be two go rounds a day at 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. and each of the more than 150 competitors will go twice.
DePriest’s second run isn’t until Saturday morning, while her friend and Texas state co-champion Lauren White will have both of her runs on Wednesday.
DePriest says it doesn’t bother her to wait almost a week between runs, nor would she mind doing both runs on a single day.
“It all depends on your horse,” she said. “Some are only good for one ride a day, while others can make several runs. My horse (Maverick) can do either one.
“It doesn’t really bother me having to wait. I’m just planning on going out and having a good solid run like I usually do.”
After Saturday morning’s go round, the top 20 will be determined and they will compete in a short go round Saturday night to determine the national champion.
A week between runs does leave DePriest with some free time and Monday they went sight-seeing to Mount Rushmore.