(Gillette, Wyo.) Shay Hough, a Gillette native rodeo contestant for pole bending and barrel racing is ready to strike again at the National High School Finals Rodeo (NHSFR). She’s spent so much time riding and practicing this summer; in fact, her mother Holly says they don’t see much of her during the summer. Competing as a Sophomore this year, this is Hough’s 2nd time qualifying for nationals.
Hough represents a tri-generational legacy of Wyoming champion rodeo women. Her grandmother Betty Hough was the 1965 NHSFR national champion in Breakaway Roping, and her mother also loved participating in rodeo. On the other side of the family is Betty Hough’s niece, and Shay’s second cousin, Mandy (Mankin) Hagler; the 1991 Breakaway Roping national champion. Mandy has two sisters who are also national qualifiers.
Both Betty Hough and Mandy Mankin’s names are listed on the board at Cam-Plex for NHSFR Campbell County Champions. Could Shay be next in line to add her name to the board and join the family legacy of championship?
Hough first qualified in Pole Bending last year for NHSFR as a freshman. She was the State Champion of Wyoming with 227.50 points; placing 8th in the average with a 61.083, and 9th overall with a 20.183. This year Hough will be riding her 16-year-old Quarter Horse, Tex, for both the Pole-Bending and Barrel Racing events.
This year, Hough qualified 1st in the state for Pole-Bending, and 2nd in the state for Barrel Racing. Her fastest time in Pole-Bending this year was 19.6 seconds. And although nerves affected her first run last year, she remains confidant that she can run more 19’s at this year’s competition.
Hough will be competing for Pole Bending on Monday morning, and Friday night. And for Barrel Racing on Tuesday night, and Thursday morning.
County 17 wishes her the best of luck. We will be cheering her on, and invite the public to join us on any of the previously mentioned days!
Shay Hough finished 2nd in Pole Bending, and was only knocked out of first by a tenth of a second.
However, last second she also was awarded the National All Around Cowgirl, with 930 points making her a champion rodeo woman right along with her grandmother, Betty Hough, and second-cousin, Mandy Mankin. Hough is the first girl to be awarded All Around in Wyoming, and certainly the first in Gillette.
The Wyoming Team placed 6th out of 44 teams with 4,821.42 points.