AJ Dolbear, who qualified for the Junior World Finals in Fort Worth, Texas, this year, had fun even though he did not place high enough to win an award.
Dolbear qualified through multiple events held during the summer season in the peewee bareback division, which challenges young children to ride bareback on a bucking horse. One of his qualification events was the 2020 Lake County Round-Up in which he placed first in the peewee division, stamping his ticket to Fort Worth.
Dolbear was excited to go, even though he knew the competition was going to be tough as the Junior World Finals brings the best from around the country to compete in early December. He rode across two days and was bucked off in three seconds on his first ride. The next day he had two rides as the flank strap fell off during his first ride, allowing him to try again. The second time he lasted for six seconds.
“I learned a lot. I feel more confident heading into next year,” said Dolbear.
Even though he did not place high enough to win a buckle he was excited about watching the competition and learning from his fellow competition. Dolbear practices on a barrel attached to ropes at his home that was built by his dad; he learned that other competitors in his age group have their own horses that they can practice on every day.
For the rest of the story pick up the Dec. 30 edition of the Lake County Examiner.