The Huntsville Item, Huntsville, TX

Local News

June 7, 2008

Walker County rodeo students to compete at state finals

In mid-June, hundreds of students from all over the state will gather in Abilene for the Texas High School Rodeo Association’s 2008 State Finals Competition.

Seventeen of those students share a special brotherhood: all are students of Bubba Miller’s Cowboy Church and Rodeo School in Walker County.

Bubba Miller has been training kids of all ages in various rodeo events at his training facility just off Interstate 45 for 3 years, and has sent more than 30 of them to the state rodeo finals. This year’s group is the largest he’s had so far.

“We had 11 last year,” Miller said. “But I never expected it to grow this much. It’s a great feeling.”

The group ranges in age from 15 to 18, competing in bull riding, saddle bronco riding, bareback riding and steer wrestling. They come from as near as Huntsville and Madisonville, and from as far as Lufkin and Dayton.

Four of the students are from Walker County and three attend Huntsville High School.

Seven of the students, including seventeen-year-old Justin Tabor of Elkhart in east-central Texas, will be competing at the state level for the first time.

“I’m pretty amazed,” Tabor said. “I was only in three rodeos this year and I wasn’t supposed to ride for six months.”

Tabor lifted his sleeve to proudly show off a scar on his right shoulder, a souvenier from a bull’s charge.

“I got gored,” he said. “They told me not to, but I was back riding in two weeks.”

Tabor will be competing in bull riding in Abilene.

Sixteen-year-old Taylor Price will be representing Huntsville High School in both bull riding and bareback riding for the second consecutive year. He was the only freshman roughstock rider in the state last year to qualify for two events in Abilene.

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