Michael Phillips

Michael Phillips of Waynesburg is leading the Junior National Finals Rodeo’s North East division and ranked second in its South East division. He is the 2018 state champ in Ohio, where he must travel to compete. (Photo courtesy of Stephanie Phillips)

SHAWNEE, Okla. – Michael Phillips of Waynesburg is competing in the 27th annual International Finals Youth Rodeo July 7-12 at the Heart of Oklahoma Exposition Center in Shawnee, Oklahoma. Phillips is participating in the world’s richest youth rodeo, hoping to win his share of more than $250,000 in prize money and championship saddles and buckles.

Phillips will join more than 750 of the top high school rodeo athletes from around the world for the 2019 IFYR. He is vying for prizes in bull riding.

Contestants will compete in 10 events running simultaneously in three arenas throughout the week. Events include cowgirls barrel racing, cowgirls pole bending, cowgirls breakaway roping, cowgirls goat tying, team roping, tie-down roping, steer wrestling, bull riding, saddle bronc riding and bareback riding. The IFYR consists of two long go-rounds and a short go. All contestants compete once in each of the long go-rounds. The top 15 averages in each event will compete in the short go finals on Friday.

“The International Finals Youth Rodeo brings phenomenal high school athletes from all over the world Shawnee, Oklahoma, each year,” said Stephanie Meiler-Gideon, interim director of the Heart of Oklahoma Exposition Center and International Finals Youth Rodeo. “The IFYR gives these athletes the chance to compete at a professional level and allows them to showcase their rodeo skills for all to see.”

The International Finals Youth Rodeo, held annually since 1993, is a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization that presents top high school athletes with a professional rodeo. The internationally-recognized IFYR is held annually at the Heart of Oklahoma Exposition Center in Shawnee, Oklahoma. The action-packed event includes hundreds of contestants vying to win more than $250,000 in prize money, competing in 10 events running simultaneously in three arenas over six days. In 2018, more than 875 contestants and their families traveled from 34 states and Australia to participate in the IFYR. For more information, visit IFYR.com or call 405-275-7020.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.