Every year cowboys and cowgirls from all over the lone star state attend the Texas High School State Rodeo Finals. Some competitors like Kynlee Stevens discovered her passion for rodeo because of her love for horses.

Kynlee Stevens says, “I started when I was about five riding horses, and no one in my family ever did it. I just got into it and ever since I’ve been on it, I loved it.”

On the other hand some families have been competing for generations.

Josie Conner says, “Both my parents rodeoed and so I haven’t known anything different.”

Regardless of when they started or how they were introduced to rodeo, the passion for the sports is all the same.

Kynlee Stevens says, “I didn’t really know I ever liked horses, and then one of my friends got me into it and then once I started it I just kind of kept going, and it’s just real nice to be with the horses always.”

For those who compete at the highest level, traveling is a big part of it, and one of the many reasons people enjoy it.

Riley Webb says, “Oklahoma, Florida, Louisiana, we’ve been to Vegas.”

Josie Conner added, “It’s really just cool to see like the different people and the different atmospheres at all the different rodeos.”

All of the competitors I spoke with say these events aren’t just rodeos, they’re opportunities for them to meet up with their friends, and create new friendships along the way.

Riley Webb says, “When we come to the rodeos my friends are here and we get to do it together. It’s kind of like a rodeo family.”

Kynlee Stevens added, “It’s like great opportunities it’s always so blessed to be here and it’s just a really good thing to get to go to meet up with all of your friends and just great competition.”

The Rodeo continues through Saturday, June 12th, and all events will be held at the Taylor County Expo Center.