Representing Killdeer in the National Youth Rodeo

Riley Reiss

“To be able to represent Team North Dakota at the NHSFR is probably one of the most accomplishing feelings one can have at this age. All year, kids put in long, hard hours in hopes of one common goal. Only a select few of those get the privilege to represent ND at the National Finals. Being able to get the opportunity to compete in Gillette this year was a great honor and especially something I won’t forget. This was my 4th time qualifying for Nationals and my 2nd time for the High School Team. I can say for a fact, as the years go on, the rush before you go in the gate or ride in the box  never goes away or lessens. The same goes for during the run. After my run this year in Gillette I wasn’t as upset as I thought I’d be. I was still pretty disappointed in myself for tipping a barrel, but after the IFYR in Shawnee, OK the week before and my horse Blue Duck now being sound, I was just happy he was feeling good again and clocking. So for not doing exceptionally well this year at Nationals, having a healthy horse is all that really matters to me in the end. If I had to do anything different this year, I think I would’ve went and bought some more chocolate covered strawberries at each performance. On a more serious note, I’d just like to give a genuine thank you to my family, friends, the community, and the KHS Rodeo Club for all the support and helping make The National High School Finals a possibility!”


“I felt that representing North Dakota at the highest level of high school rodeo was quite the accomplishment. I have competed three times at national level before. I felt confident before my event, but then I was disappointed after my run. I have a lot I can work on at home to prepare me for my next rodeo, or national finals.”


“It felt good to represent North Dakota. It was my first time making nationals. I’ve come close before in team roping but fell short the previous three years.

This year we were the #3 team going into short go at state, and the teams before us all caught, so we had to go out and make a clean run on a tough steer to make nationals, and we did it. This season had a lot of ups and downs, but it was good. Ty and I finally made nationals as a team.”


“It feels good to represent North Dakota at nationals. We have a lot of great cowboys, and to get the chance to represent them felt great. I competed at the junior high finals in Des Moines my 7th and 8th grade years, but I didn’t make it last year as a freshman. Before I go, I try to stay as calm as possible because it helps my horses stay calm, and everything works better. As soon as you nod your head, adrenaline takes over, and you stay aggressive until the flag drops. After going out in the first round, there’s really nothing you can do but go after the second round. I wouldn’t have done anything differently.”


“I felt proud to be there representing my state. It felt like a great accomplishment making it as a freshmen. I was lucky to have such an opportunity. I qualified all 3 years in Jr. High. In 6th grade, I ended up 12th in the nation in team roping. I qualified in 7th grade in tie down roping and chute dogging. In 8th grade, I qualified in team roping. Before my event, I was nervous to compete at a high school level. Although, having past experience with nationals helped some. The thrill of competing against older talented kids from all over is still exciting. During my event, I was excited and confident. I knew I had a partner that I could trust and knew we could be successful together. After it was over, we didn’t have the luck and results we had hoped for, but I didn’t lose any faith in our team. I was already looking forward to our summer and fall season runs. I wish I would’ve rode and roped a little more aggressively. I was trying to rope safe. I should have trusted myself and roped tough.”


Share this post