Backus competes at state high school rodeo finals
by Jeff Richards
Contributing Writer
Jun 19, 2014 | 635 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Kortney Backus of Moab competes at the Utah High School Rodeo Association state finals in early June. Courtesy photo
Kortney Backus of Moab competes at the Utah High School Rodeo Association state finals in early June. Courtesy photo
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Kortney Backus, 15, who recently completed her freshman year at Grand County High School, took fifth place overall in the rodeo queen competition at the Utah High School Rodeo Association’s (UHSRA) state finals, which took place June 2 through 7 at Heber City, Utah.

Backus was one of 11 girls who competed for the state rodeo queen title, which was won by Baylee Lafluer of Plain City. According to Backus, Lafluer will represent Utah at the National High School Rodeo Association’s national finals, which are scheduled to take place in Rock Springs, Wyoming, in mid-July. Winning the title of queen is an honor that Backus says she also hopes to achieve during her high school career.

Backus was named Miss Congeniality during the competition on Wednesday, June 4, and she appeared throughout the remaining days of the rodeo along with the other members of the state rodeo royalty, including queen Lafluer and attendants McKenna Hales of Morgan, Sadie Waller of Price, and Kaeylynn Iverson of Tabiona.

Backus, who last fall competed solo as Grand’s lone rodeo competitor, switched this spring to join Carbon High School’s rodeo team. The switch allowed her to fully participate in the UHSRA circuit.

“I finished out the year with my best overall performances,” said Backus, who tied for third place in speech and tied for fourth in horsemanship in the queen competition at state. She also placed ninth out of 15 queen competitors in overall points for the season, she said.

Backus said she plans to compete again as a sophomore for Carbon’s rodeo team in the fall season, which begins Aug. 10.

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