Avari Dorrance named rodeo queen

Nathan Steele

“To be honest, it feels pretty amazing. I love the sport of rodeo,” said Avari Dorrance, the new reigning  South Dakota High School Rodeo Queen, on winning the title. She won the crown after competing in the sate finals in Fort Pierre June 11-15.
“It was a great experience,” said Dorrance.
Dorrance was the sole competitor for the title after two others backed out. Still, Dorrance felt it was important to compete for the crown just as she would otherwise, going through all the aspects of the contest.
“Even though I was the only competitor, I still felt I had a responsibilty to put on my best,”said Dorrance.
Dorrance also competes in breakaway and goat tying events. She says that her favorite is goat tying.
“It’s definitely a tough love sport,” said Dorrance.
Dorrance has competed in rodeo since she was about 10 years old, but didn’t grow up in the sport. When she developed an interest, she and her family moved out town, she got a horse, and years, later she’s now a rodeo queen.
“I feel very fortunate,” said Dorrance.
Dorrance is a junior to be at Custer High School and also participates in basketball and track. She encourages anyone who is interested in rodeo to really consider getting involved, adding that the local rodeo community is very welcoming.
“Anybody who is interested [in rodeo], just jump in. Once you can experience how amazing it feels, you won’t want to go back,” said Dorrance.
She leaves to compete in the national finals in Gillette, Wyo., July 12. She says she loves to live in South Dakota and is excited to represent the state at the competition.
“I’m looking forward to meeting the other queens and representing South Dakota to the best of my abilities,” said Dorrance.
“I get so much pride from doing it,” she said.

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