Strathmore teen qualifies for national shooting finals

Butterfield High School student Jordan Church, 17, competes this month in the light rifle competition of National High School Finals Rodeo

STRATHMORE – A 17-year-old student from Butterfield Charter High School has her sights set on being the best in her sport.

Jordan Church, a junior at Butterfield and part-time student at Strathmore High School, earned a position on the California state provincial team for National High School Rodeo. She will travel with her teammates to Gillette, Wyo. to compete at the 74th annual National High School Finals Rodeo (NHSFR) in the light rifle competition July 17-23.

The NHSFR is the world’s largest rodeo, featuring more than 1,650 contestants from 44 states, five Canadian Provinces., Australia, Mexico and New Zealand. In addition to competing for more than $150,000 in prizes and over $150,000 in added funds, contestants compete for more than $375,000 in college scholarships and a chance to be named an NHSFR World Champion. To earn the title, contestants must finish in the top 20. Based on their combined times and scores in the first two rounds, they might have the chance to advance to Saturday evening’s final round. World champions are to be determined based on three-round combined times and scores.

“It gives kids the opportunity to be involved with horses and see what it’s like to be in the rodeo western lifestyle,” Church said. “They have a lot of different events, some are more in rodeo, some are more Western, like the shooting, for instance. Which is what I made it in.”

Jordan said she’s been shooting most of her life, since she was around 8-9 years old, and started out with BB guns. Due to her talent and her high accuracy she found excitement in being able to shoot from a long range distance in a more competitive setting.

If she is awarded NHSFR scholarship funds, Jordan said she plans on enrolling at either Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo or Colorado State University.

Jordan has been involved in rural and agriculture youth programs for many years such as 4-H and FFA (Future Farmers of America) and played instruments including piano, guitar and trumpet. She also enjoys painting, creative writing and anything that involves animals.

As for future implications going forward, Jordan said this could be inspirational to girls that share her interests in shooting and athletics. “I think it could be pretty inspirational to other kids, maybe other females who think that you have to be a boy to be good at shooting, or really athletic,” she said. “I think it could be inspirational for a young shooter or somebody who wants to start shooting. It doesn’t even have to be about shooting, just about a woman achieving a sport in general.”

This year’s championship rounds will be televised nationally as part of the Cinch High School Rodeo and Tour telecast series on RFD-TV. LIVE broadcasts of each NHSFR event and competition are planned to continue daily at 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. through July 23. 

Along with the rodeo competition and chances to meet people from around the world, NHSFR contestants have the opportunity to enjoy dances, family-oriented activities, church services sponsored by Golden Spur Ministries and shopping at the NHSFR tradeshow.

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