Luke Skocdopole of Big Valley, Alberta, Canada prepares to compete in the tie down roping event on July 18, 2017 during an evening performance of the National High School Finals Rodeo in Gillette, WY. Each year the rodeo draws the best high school competitors from the United States, Canada and Australia to compete for the prestigious week-long world championships. This year 1,584 kids traveled to the small city in hopes of being crowned champion in at least one of the 25 separate titles.
Shay Hough of Gillette, Wyoming competes in the pole bending event on Saturday, July 22, 2017 in front of a large hometown crowd at Morningside Park. Hough, who would be later named the 2017 All-Around Cowgirl Champion, finished 2nd overall in pole bending with an average of 60.191.
A competitor tapes over a bandage before his go on Friday, July 21, 2017 at Morningside Park. Many of the riders perform various rituals before competing for both safety and superstitious reasons.
Dillon Gray of Littleton, Colorado competes in the bareback riding event on Wednesday, July 19, 2017 at Morningside Park. Gray, who wore an American flag button down to honor the men and women of the armed forces, finished the week 10th overall in the event with a score of 198.
Tyler Manion of Waverly, Illinois and Blane Maxwell of Bertrand, Missouri attempt to put McKenzie Wansing of Garden City, Missouri into a dumpster during a water gun fight on July 20, 2017 inside the Box Elder campground. Many of the competitors, who were staying in over 1,450 RV’s at the event, used kiddie pools and water guns to keep cool during their downtime.
Kathleen Taggett, left, and Pam Lytton, right, peek over a fence to catch a glimpse of their boys competing in the light rifle event on Tuesday, July 18, 2017 at the Gillette Gun Club.
Nolan Hart of Eagle Bend, Minnesota falls under his steer during the steer wrestling event on July 22, 2017 at Morningside Park. Hart, who walked away from the tumble, finished 16th overall in the event.
Braydin Evans of Stockton, Utah practices roping inside the Box Elder campground on July 16, 2017. Many of the competitors use plastic roping dummies in their spare time to improve their skills while they are not competing. Evans finished 84th overall in tie down roping.
Josh Parker of North Wilkesboro, North Carolina and Jacob Scroggins of Traskwood, Arkansas prepare to compete on July 18, 2017 inside Morningside Park. Many of the competitors at the rodeo are vying for not only a world championship but for the attention of future sponsors within the professional ranks.
Competitors and spectators crowd a starting chute during the breakaway roping event on July 16, 2017 inside Morningside Park. Breakaway roping, which is typically aimed to be completed in under three seconds, challenges cowgirls to lasso a calf the moment they exit a spring loaded door. Marissa Boisjoli of Calgary, Alberta, Canada logged the quickest time of the week at 2.11 seconds.
Colt Eck of Redfield, Kansas competes in the bareback riding event on July 17, 2017 inside Morningside Park. Eck finished 33rd overall with a score of 92.
Mark Price of Carlisle, South Carolina and Madisen Porter of Morgan, Utah sway to a slow song at the nightly contestant’s dance on July 19, 2017 inside the Cam-plex event facility. Each night the rodeo hosts a dance for the kids to meet and mingle after the day’s competition has ended.