WILLITS, 7/4/21 — Willits Frontier Days held its annual Junior Rodeo “Under the Lights” on Friday July 2, 2021. With with much excitement, dozens of cowgirls and cowboys from across Northern California participated in 95th annual Willits Frontier Days, “the longest continuous running rodeo” in California. Last year the event was held in October without spectators, only event participants, a few board members, judges, and timers, because of Covid-19 restrictions.* This weekend, Mendocino Voice was there for all of it – from the mutton busting to steer daubing – and spoke to some of the participants.
Here are some photos from the June 2 event, including portraits and a short Q&A with some of the young contestants, and you can scroll down for the full competition results at the end of the article:
Name: Dally Sue Hunt
How long have you been riding? 4-5 years but this is my first time for Willits.
What are you competing in today? Sheep riding, roping, barrel racing and daubing
Name: Emerald Mueller
Horse: Crown Royal
How long have you been competing? Couple years
What are you competing in today? Barrels, poles and goat tying
“I’m nervous and excited! It’s my first time competing at the Willits rodeo.”
Name: Willow Peregrina
How long have you been competing? I’ve participated in the Redwood Valley Rodeo and Laytonville. This is my first year in Willits.
What are you competing in today? Daubing and roping
Name: Weston Hoaglen
How long have you been competing? All my life. Three years in Willits.
What are competing in today? Steer daubing and riding
Name: Abbey Lenney
Horse: Passionate Candy, “P.C.” for short.
Hometown: Santa Rosa
How long have you been competing? My first rodeo was 3 or 4 years ago.
What are you competing in today? Barrels and daubing
Name: Mady Pecora-Smith
Hometown: Garberville, Humboldt County
Horses: Anita and Kit Kat
How long have you been competing? All my life! 12 years, 11 maybe. I ride in the district and local rodeos all year round but this is my first year competing in Willits.
What are you competing in today? Barrels and poles
Name: Danielle Barry
How long have you been competing? I’ve been down here since I was little, competing for the last 3 or 4 years.
What are you competing in today? Barrels, poles, steer daubing and goat tying
On the cancelled rodeo last year: “It was a sad year. I still competed in rodeos though. We wanted this [junior rodeo] and we will make it better than ever.”
Name: Grady Fonsen
How long have you been competing? I’ve been doing this awhile. It’s my first time in for steer daubing.
What are you competing in today? Daubing, barrels, pole bending and roping
Name: Claude Mora
What are you competing in today? Roping and sheep riding
How long have you been competing? This is my first time. I’ve been practicing. My daddy’s been dragging me out for weeks!
And here are the final scores from the Willits Frontier Days 2021 Junior Rodeo:
- W.F.D. Dummy Roping: 1st: Dally Sue Hunt; 2nd: Claude Mora ; Tied for 3rd: Willow Peregrina and Kade Gudel
- W.F.D. Mutton Busting: 1st Easton Grider; Tied for 2nd Andel Ramirez and Ora Sizemore; 3rd Weston Boesel; 4th Willow Peregrina
- W.F.D. Steer Daubing (Jr.): 1st Canyon Darger; 2nd Emerald Mueller; 3rd Natalie Marcum-Soto
- W.F.D. Steer Daubing (Sr.): 1st Jace Hower; 2nd Cole Carmesin; 3rd Ella Rockwell; 4th Rainy Minton
- W.F.D. Goat Tying (Jr.): 1st Emerald Mueller; 2nd Mazzi Mcallister; 3rd Stoney Bauer; 4th Canyon Darger
- W.F.D. Goat Tying (Sr.): 1st Rainy Minton; 2nd Bethany Grieve
- W.F.D. Goat Tail Un-Tying: 1st Russell Johnson; 2nd Mikayla Black; 3rd Claude Mora; 4th Payton Shull
- W.F.D. Team Roping (Jr./Jr.): Header: 1st Stoney Bauer; 2nd Jace Hower; Healer: 1st Richard Ferri; 2nd D.J. Albee
- W.F.D. Team Roping (Jr./Sr.) Header: 1st Jace Hower; 2nd Garret Christiansen; 3rd Rainy Minton Healer: 1st Brian White; 2nd Lane Christiansen; 3rd Casey Minton
- W.F.D. Single Stake: 1st Keirra Felton; 2nd Mikayla Black; 3rd Willow Peregrina; 4th Alina Wilson; 5th Kade Gudel
- W.F.D. Pole Bending (Jr.); 1st Canyon Darger; 2nd Mady Pecora-Smith; 3rd Triniti Freudenberg; 4th Mazzi Mcallister
- W.F.D. Pole Bending (Sr.): 1st Rainy Minton; 2nd Camrin Pivniska; 3rd Danielle Barry; 4th Harlie Bartolomei
- W.F.D. Steer Riding: 1st Richy Ferri
- W.F.D. Steer Stopping : No winners
- W.F.D. Tie-Down Roping: 1st Garret Christiansen
- W.F.D. Chute Dogging: 1st Ky Parrish; 2nd Cole Carmesin; 3rd Kevin Rountree
- W.F.D. Breakaway Roping (Jr.): 1st Stacey Bauer; 2nd Lisa Arkelian
- W.F.D. Breakaway Roping (Sr.): 1st Rainy Minton; 2nd Bethany Grieve
- W.F.D. Steer Stopping (Jr.): No winners
- W.F.D. Steer Stopping (Sr.): 1st Cole Carmesin; 2nd Sienna Radelfinger; 3rd D.J. Albee
- W.F.D. Barrel Racing (Young Gun): 1st Keirra Felton; 2nd Dally Sue Hunt; 3rd Mikayla Black; 4th Weston Boesel; 5th Payton Shull
- W.F.D. Barrel Racing (Jr.): 1st Canyon Darger; 2nd Triniti Freudenberg; 3rd Mady Pecora-Smith; 4th Emerald Mueller
- W.F.D. Barrel Racing (Sr.): 1st Emma Pecora-Smith; 2nd Sydney Smith; 3rd Abigail Lenney; 4th Danielle Barry
- Bull Riding: No winners
- Saddle winners: Sr. All-Around Cowgirl is Rainy Minton; Saddle Winner Sr. All-Around Cowboy is Jace Hower; Jr. All-Around Cowgirl is Canyon Darger; Jr. All-Around Cowboy is Richy Ferri; Young Gun All-Around Cowgirl is Mikayla Black; Young Gun All-Around Cowboy is Claude Mora.
*Editor’s note: this article has been updated to include details of last year’s rodeo event, held in October 2020.