TWENTYNINE PALMS — Two years after she finished 25th in the nation, local rodeo star Mackenzie Parker is heading back to the National High School rodeo, this time for the last time.
The high school senior, who had to skip graduation ceremonies to attend state finals, will travel to Rock Springs, Wyoming to compete in the 71st annual National High School Finals Rodeo July 14 to 20.
She will compete in breakaway roping, her specialty, with a new horse, Bear.
“It’s been rough seasoning him,” Parker said, though she also said he was a lot like Bugs, her previous horse.
“So that’s pretty cool,” she said.
Parker spent the year competing in nine rodeos in a district that includes San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange and San Diego counties. After finishing in the top five in her competition, she attended state finals where she finished in the top four and earned her way to the national competition.
She was number three. She will leave for Wyoming on July 10.
Next year she will take her rodeo prowess to Central Arizona College, where she will benefit from a full-ride rodeo scholarship to study animal science with an eye toward becoming an equine nutritionist.
Parker will join more than 1,650 other contestants from 43 states, five Canadian provinces, Australia and Mexico at the world’s largest rodeo
Contests will vie for more than $150,000 in prizes and more than $375,000 in college scholarships and the chance to be named an NHSFR World Champion by finishing n the top 20 to advance to the final round.
To follow Parker’s progress, go online to NHSRA.com daily for complete results..