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NHSFR relocates to the Lazy E Arena

Immediate Release: June 5, 2020
The National High School Rodeo leadership has selected a new venue for the 2020 National High School Finals Rodeo. After much consideration and weighing multiple options, the NHSFR will call the Lazy E Arena in Guthrie, Oklahoma, home this year.

The 2020 NHSFR is now scheduled for July 17-23 at the Lazy E Arena. The Lazy E Arena meets the NHSFR needs for arenas, camping and stalling. We also appreciate that the facility was one of the first to cautiously and safely host events as coronavirus mandates were lifted, so the facility’s staff has the knowledge and protocols in place to meet local, state and federal health mandates to protect our contestants, attendees, volunteers and staff.

“We appreciate the abundant amount of support from the venues that reached out to the National High School Rodeo Association to host the 2020 event,” said James Higginbotham, NHSRA executive director. “The representatives from each of the venues who reached out had one thing on their minds and that was to put on a safe rodeo for the kids.”

For further information regarding the 2020 NHSFR and its entities, follow online at and on our social media channels.

NHSRA leadership seeks new host venue for 2020 NHSFR

For Immediate Release: May 29, 2020
Based on orders received from the Lincoln / Lancaster County Health Department, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the National High School Finals Rodeo will not be able to proceed as planned in Nebraska.

The state’s notice reads, “This decision is based, in part, on the risk of the spread of COVID-19 that would be posed to the citizens of Lincoln and Lancaster County that would result by bringing thousands of people from dozens of states and, potentially, several countries together. In addition, the large number of people expected to attend, the close proximity those individuals would be in, and the length of time individuals would be at the event are some of the factors causing serious concern with the LLCHD. Because this event has the potential to overwhelm the health resources of the community, not allowing the event to take place is necessary to control the spread of COVID-19 in Lincoln and Lancaster County.”

The National High School Rodeo Association is evaluating options for other venues to host the 2020 National High School Finals Rodeo.

“We are disappointed that we will not be able to host the 2020 National High School Rodeo in Nebraska; however, we also respect the decisions made by the state regarding the event,” said James Higginbotham, NHSRA executive director. “The youth are our future, and they deserve the opportunity to showcase their skills in the arena. Therefore, NHSRA leadership is evaluating the possibility of holding the event at a different location, while adhering to social distancing mandates to protect the contestants and exhibitors. We will share updates at as more information is available.”

For further updates, please follow the NHSRA website and social media channels for the latest information.

NHSRA cancels NJHFR, plans continue with NHSFR

For Immediate Release: May 1, 2020

The National High School Rodeo Association is canceling the 2020 National Junior High Finals, which were scheduled for June 21-27 at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa.

The NHSRA Executive Committee made this decision due to the uncertainty of the worldwide coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Multiple components played a role in the decision process, and the top concern was to protect the health and safety of our members, their families, our sponsors, corporate partners and NHSRA staff. The NHSRA spoke with sponsors and corporate partners to obtain additional input, which was taken into consideration when making this difficult decision. The association also took in to account the local, state and federal government guidelines and mandates and the shelter-in-place orders that have prevented contestants from competing at rodeos before this much anticipated event.

With the cancellation of this event, NHSRA is focused on planning a healthy and safe 2020 National High School Finals Rodeo, slated for July 19-25, 2020 in Lincoln, Nebraska. The association is working diligently to compile the best possible plan to host the event, pending local, state and federal mandates.

“It is with heavy hearts we had to cancel this event, the youth are our future, and they deserve the opportunity to showcase their skills in the arena,” said James Higginbotham, NHSRA executive director, “Their health is our top concern and one of the main factors we are discussing when planning a safe event for these competitors at the 2020 National High School Finals Rodeo. If any modifications are made to the event, we will share that information on our website and social media platforms.”

Covid-19 Update 3.26.2020

March 26. 2020


We hope you are finding comfort in these rough times. To follow with government compliance for the State of Colorado the NHSRA office staff is currently working from our homes. The state of Colorado entered a “Lock-down” Thursday morning 3/26 that will last until 4/11. However, the county the office resides in will be on “Lock-down,” until April 17th.

We are still in the process of prepping for the state/provincial and both national finals. Please feel free to continue reaching out with any questions, concerns, or just to say, “Hi.” All staff will be checking emails and voicemails consistently while at home.

To ensure you have the correct contact information please see below:

 The office number is 303-452-0820

James Higginbotham, ext. 216,,

Chanel Schvaneveldt, ext. 213,

Melissa Wolf, ext. 215,

Lyn Ankeny, ext. 217,

Bobbie Dechant, ext. 220,

Erin De Tar, ext. 214,

Gary Hawkes, ext. 219,

Cindy Hamilton-Stoelting, ext. 211,


If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to reach out, the entire staff is here for you.




COVID-19 Update 3.24.2020

March 24, 2020

NHSRA family,

First and foremost, we hope you are safe and healthy during these unprecedented times.

We are navigating daily through the cause and effects of the pandemic and will keep you informed of any updates.

State/ Provincial qualifying rodeos are currently under authority of the applicable State/ Provincial Association, in accordance of local mandates and/or recommendations put in place by their government officials and host rodeo facilities.

The 2020 National Junior High Finals Rodeo [NJHFR] is planned for June 21st -27th at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, IA.   The 2020 National High School Finals Rodeo [NHSFR] is planned for July 19th – 25th at the Lancaster Event Center in Lincoln, NE.  We are working closely with both facilities and following recommendations from the CDC and government officials as we continue planning.

An FAQ sheet with common questions, concerns, plans, etc. will be released later this week.  Please send questions to: or call us at: 303-452-0820 and we will address them.

Updates around COVID-19 related to NHSRA will be posted to our website, here:

Please continue to help stop the spread and carry out best practices to keep others healthy and safe. For more information around COVID-19, visit:

We are confident we are becoming stronger through this and will be united stronger together in the end.  In the meantime, keep your passion and love for the sport of rodeo by training at home.   Be safe and healthy.

God bless,

The National High School Rodeo Association


COVID-19 Update 3.18.20

March 18, 2020

Dear Members,

The National High School Rodeo Association would like to inform you of our plans for the rest of the 2019-2020 season. Considering the recent events, the Executive Committee has been in contact with each National Director and Secretary suggesting they follow government health protocol for your upcoming rodeos. Currently, it is the state or province’s decision, along with the facility, to have the rodeo or not. Regarding the 2020 NJHFR & NHSFR, those events are to remain as scheduled. The office will continue to work daily with the preparation and execution required. Please note this is a rapidly changing situation and we will be providing you with information regarding upcoming events. We are wishing you all safety and wellness in these uncertain times.


James Higginbotham, NHSRA Executive Director
Executive Committee & Staff