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Mission Valley duo competes at national prep rodeo

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OKLAHOMA — Mission Valley cowgirl Morgan Shepard and bull rider Caden Fitzpatrick both recently competed at the National High School Finals Rodeo.

The event began on Friday, July 17, and ended last Thursday, July 23, at the Lazy E Arena in Guthrie, Oklahoma.

Shepard made her first appearance at the NHSFR. She qualified for the national experience by placing fourth in the pole-bending event during the 2020 Montana High School Finals Rodeo last month in Baker. Pole bending is an agility event where rider and horse weave a serpentine path around six poles arranged in a line. Shepard posted a first go-around time of 27.2 seconds, followed by an improved time of 21.885 seconds. 

The Charlo cowgirl had a cumulative time of 49.085 seconds to finish with a ranking of 106 in a division that featured 162 cowgirls competing for the coveted first place buckle.

Fitzpatrick qualified for his fourth NHSFR appearance by finishing third in bull riding at the Montana High School Finals Rodeo. Unfortunately, the talented young Polson bull rider came up short of posting a qualified eight-second ride during competition.  

Both Fitzpatrick and Shepard were team members on the Montana rodeo squad that finished 10th in the overall team standings among the 40-plus teams that participated at the NHSFR. 

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