Justin Peterson to compete at national roping competition


Staff writer

For the past five years Justin Peterson has been roping cattle. And all that competition and experience paid off.

From June 29 through July 5, Peterson will be in Gallup, N.M., participating in the Wrangler Junior High Finals Rodeo (WJHFR).

Peterson got interested in roping because he grew up around it. His father, Dale, said, "It's something we do around here all the time. He grew up in it."

Justin said that although it was something he grew up with, it isn't something he feels obligated to do. "I enjoy it," he said.

While he's at home practicing, Justin uses a couple of colts. But when he's competing he has one horse. He said, "I ride one good rope horse when I rodeo."

It's difficult to predict the future, especially with six more years of school. But Justin said he plans to rope for a while and will probably continue roping through high school. "After that I'll probably just do a little bit of roping and work on the ranch."

Dale said, as a father he provides Justin with good horses and he attends the competitions as much as he can. He said, "It takes horses and it takes cattle and it takes time."

Over the past three years, Justin has accomplished quite a bit.

In 2005, 2006, and 2007, Justin was the Kansas Junior Rodeo Association champion in breakaway.

This year he was the Kansas Junior High School Rodeo Association champion overall for breakaway. He also placed third in the state with Troy Higgs of Chase County for team roping.

Justin will compete at nationals for breakaway, and he and Higgs will compete in team roping.

In team roping, Justin heads the cattle and Higgs heels, meaning Justin ropes the head and then turns the cattle left for Higgs to rope the heels.

With busy schedules and other commitments, the two boys practice a couple of times each month.

Peterson also is an active participant in 4-H where he shows pigs. He is 12 years old and will be a seventh grader in the fall at Marion Middle School. He is the son of Dale Peterson and Callie Peterson.