A Moniteau County youth got the chance to compete in a national rodeo final earlier this month.
Bella Fulks, daughter of Morgan and Lance Fulks, competed at the National Little Britches Finals Rodeo in Guthrie, Oklahoma from July 7- 12. Fulks, who is 11 years old and attends Latham Elementary School, competed in the barrel racing and pole bending events at the competition.
Fulks finished the first round of pole bending with a time of 22.470, earning her a 42nd place finish out of 165 participants. In the second round, she finished in 91st out of 157 with a time of 26.508.
In the first round of barrel racing, Fulks had a similar placement to her first round of pole bending — 44th out of 189 — with a time of 15.240. Round two brought a lower placement, 72nd out of 182, but with a similar time of 15.433.
Fulks has had plenty of experience competing in rodeos.
“I was six years old when I started competing, but I have been riding horses my whole life,” Fulks said.
She is a member of the National Little Britches Rodeo Association and the Missouri Family Rodeo Association. Starting in the fall, Fulks will also join the Missouri Junior High School Rodeo Association.
Fulks said she enjoys the friendships she has made and the traveling and seeing new places she has been able to do thanks to competing at rodeos.
Pole bending is Fulks’ favorite event, as she said she felt it was the most challenging of the events she competes in.
Competing at the national finals was very exciting for Fulks.
“I got to compete against kids from all over the nation,” Fulks said. “I also made lots of new friends.”