The Arkansas Junior High School Rodeo Association will host an event Saturday at the Saline County Fairgrounds.
The junior rodeo, which will be broken into two performances (9 a.m. and 1 p.m.), serves as the regional finals that count toward points for the year-end finals.
AJHSRA Board of Director Jim Lee of Benton said the top four from each event will be invited to the national finals, which will be held Monday, June 27, through Saturday, July 2, at Gallup, New Mexico.
Four student-athletes from Saline County will be competing: Roy Lee of Benton, Jacee Newcomb of Benton, Jacob Scroggins of Traskwood and Myles Neighbors of Benton.
Lee is an eighth grader at Benton Junior High School; Newcomb is a seventh grader at Benton Middle School; Scroggins is a sixth grader at Glen Rose Middle School; and Neighbors is a sixth grader at Benton Middle School.
Lee serves as the vice president of the association, which is made up of 68 student-athletes, all of whom will be competing in several events this weekend.
Events for the sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade boys and girls include pole bending, barrel racing, goat tying, team roping, calf roping, breakaway roping, chute dogging and bull riding, Jim Lee said.
Newcomb currently ranks third overall for girls with 2,874.65 points. She is first in pole bending, seventh in barrel racing, second in girls greakaway roping and third in girls goat tying. She and Ryan Sutton of Bismarck are 12th in ribbon roping.
Roy Lee ranks second overall for boys with 3,540.9 points. He is first in boys goat tying, third in tie-down calf roping and ninth in chute dogging, He and Jacie Sullivan of Mount Vernon are first in ribbon roping.
Lee and Neighbors are fifth in team roping.
Neighbors ranks fifth overall for boys with 3,095.8 points. He is first in chute dogging, third in boys breakaway roping, sixth in boys goat tying. He and Kaci Starkey of Gentry are seventh in ribbon roping.
Scroggins ranks 21st overall for boys with 637.45 points. He is ninth in boys goat tying and 12th in tie-down calf roping. He and Jolee Higginbothom of Sheridan are 12th in team roping. He and Rainey Davis of Sherrill are 14th in ribbon roping.
The admission fee is $5, and a full concession stand will be available.
Lee said the event is broken into two performances to “help contestants with things like hauling.”