Maeson Roberts, Neosho, competed this week in the 25th annual International Finals Youth Rodeo (IFYR) in Shawnee, Okla., at the Heart of Oklahoma Expo Center.

Maeson Roberts, Neosho, competed this week in the 25th annual International Finals Youth Rodeo (IFYR) in Shawnee, Okla., at the Heart of Oklahoma Expo Center.  
Roberts participated in team roping with his roping partner, Forest Myers, Mount Vernon, in the first round.
In the first go, the pair placed 19th out of 171 teams with a score of 7.1.  The top 15 averages in all events advanced to the short go or the final competition. Roberts and Myers ranked below the top 15 so did not compete in finals.  
Roberts is a 2017 graduate of Neosho High School and was active in Future Farmers of America (FFA) all four years of high school. This fall, he will attend Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture (NCTA) in Curtis, Neb., and will be compete as part of their intercollegiate rodeo team.  Roberts also plans to major in animal science. He is the son of Kelly and Avery Roberts, Neosho and is employed at SweetWater Farm.
Participants must be or have been high school students during the past year, no older than 18 at the time of the competition.
"The International Finals Youth Rodeo was developed to provide high school athletes with a professional level rodeo,” said Chris Dunlap, assistant director of the Heart of Oklahoma Exposition Center and International Finals Youth Rodeo. “Twenty-five years later, the IFYR is where any hopeful rodeo champion wants to be and be seen.”
The 2017 IFYR this year was held from July 9-14 at the Heart of Oklahoma Expo Center in Shawnee, Oklahoma.The IFYR is the world's richest youth rodeo with more than $250,00 dollars in prize money, championship buckles, horse trailers and championship saddles. Roberts is one of 85 top high school rodeo riders from around the world competing in 1,452 events during the IFYR.  
Contestants hail from 35 states and Australia Ten events rans simultaneously in three arenas throughout the rodeo week. The events included barrel racing, pole bending, breakaway roping, goat tying, team roping, tie-down roping, steer wrestling, bull riding, saddle bronc riding and bareback riding.                                           
Rodeo is a sport that takes skill, practice, and hours of hard work. There's always an element of danger.   Rodeo evolved from ranch work into a sport as the western frontier began to tame.  Wild West Shows combined entertainment with showmanship of cowboy sills  Buffalo Bill Cody held what is considered the first rodeo but sport wasn't officially called rodeo until 1911.  By the 1920s, rodeos had become annual events in many U.S. locations.  Rodeo today is a professional sport popular around the world.