The second half of the High School rodeo is off! In February, High School Rodeo athletes from around Central California competed in King City for the annual King City Invitational.

Despite the short days and less time to practice, the competition was still 100 percent as athletes from grades 6 through 12 competed for glory, money, and prizes.

Throughout the rodeo season, high school rodeo athletes compete for points to make the annual California High School Rodeo Association State Finals in Bishop, and the junior high finals in Red Bluff. The top five athletes in each event qualify for state finals. The top four from state finals go to nationals to compete for the coveted world championship. Which pulls from the approximate membership of 12,500 students from 42 states, Canadian, and Australia.

With two more rodeos until state finals, athletes are working their hardest at practice to advance to statewide and national rodeos this year.

Coming up, March 3 and 4 is another high school rodeo at the Santa Maria Elks Rodeo Grounds, with the last rodeo of the district schedule to be held April 7 at the Madonna Inn rodeo grounds, admission is free.

Contributor Loretta Burke is a member of District 7 High School Rodeo, and a student of journalism at Paso Robles HS.