Leader Staff Writer
Taylor and Riley Skinner, sons of Jeff and Lisa Skinner of Tremonton, recently competed in the State Rodeo Finals. Taylor finished within the top four in the tie down roping, which qualified him for Nationals. Riley did not qualify this year but plans to work hard in order to prepare for next year.
Taylor, 18, and Riley, 16, have always had a rope in their hands. Taylor said, “I have been roping ever since I can remember. Even when I was little, I jumped on my little bouncy horse and would imitate dad.”
Their dad got them into the sport. However, the boys felt he pushed them too much and they lost interest in it for a while. Riley said, “We did not want to do it anymore because he pushed us too much. He gave up on us and let us make our own decision.”
Taylor said, “He really wanted it for us and we just kind of didn’t want to do it because we felt like it was pushed upon us.” He added, “I do not think I ever really quit because we still rode horses. We did not enjoy if for a long time but now I do a lot.”
When Taylor got into junior high he decided he wanted to be a part of the high school rodeo team. Several of his family members have been involved with rodeos. Taylor said, “It is just part of our culture.”
Riley added, “When [Taylor] started [high school rodeo] I noticed my dad liked that and I wanted to do it also. I followed him right into high school rodeo.”
This year they competed in the district rodeo at Bear Lake. Taylor was earning points in each event but it was not going to be enough to win. He decided to try bull riding to gain extra points.
He said, “I did not know anything about bull riding and I had never rode one before.” He added, “I wanted to get those extra points but also decided if I was ever going to ride a bull in my lifetime it would be now. This was a good opportunity to start.”
Taylor rode three out of four bulls, which gave him 29 points. He ended up winning the reserve all-around cowboy, saddle and buckle by one point, and he took fourth place in bull riding.
Taylor and Riley both qualified for the State Rodeo Finals in Pocatello, Idaho. At state Riley finished in the top 15 in tie down calf roping. Taylor finished 7th in the steer wrestling and 3rd in the tie down calf roping.
Even though Riley did not qualify for nationals he is motivated to do so next year. He said, “This will make me work harder for next year. I plan on making it in all my events and will step it up.” He added, “I qualified for nationals my freshman year for team roping. That was pretty cool. I had a lot of support to get me there.”
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