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(Courtesy Photo)

Artesia native Jade Jackson is heading to the National Junior High Finals Rodeo in Lebanon, Tenn.

The New Mexico Junior Rodeo Association recently held their state finals in Gallup to determine who would advance to the national level. The association held eight regular-season rodeos and state, which consisted of two long go-rounds and one short round, with only the top 10 in each event competing in the short go. The top four then advanced to nationals.

Jackson came out on top this year, earning a New Mexico state title in team roping. She normally competes in barrel racing, pole bending, goat tying, ribbon roping, breakaway roping and team roping, and qualified to compete in the short go in breakaway and team roping.

In the breakaway, Jackson ended up sixth in the state.

In team roping, she and her partner, Teagan Burto, roped their first steer in 9.78 seconds. They went on to Round Two, roping their second steer in 9.70 seconds to win the round. They then roped their third and final steer in the short round to secure the state title.

The team also won the first- and second-round averages.

The National Junior High Finals Rodeo will be held June 18-24 in Lebanon for the second year in a row. Thousands of sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders from each state who qualified in the top four in their events will be competing for national titles.

Jackson is the daughter of Jody and Larissa Jackson, and has one sister, Jewel. She will be an eighth-grader at Park Junior High School next year and achieves her goals in and out of the arena, maintaining a GPA of 3.2 or higher in order to compete in rodeo.

Jackson works hard each and every day to be able to compete and get better at what she loves. She says she likes to keep these mottos in mind: “If you don’t jump, you’ll never know if you can fly” and “Remember, when you’re not working to improve, your competition is. Always give your best. Practice like a champion, ride like a champion, live like a champion. Talent is God-given; be humble. Fame is man-given; be thankful.”

Jackson says she gives all glory to God and then her parents and family for their support in helping her achieve her goals.

She would also like to thank her sponsors for their support: Mack Chase, Double J Welding, Harvey Smith Welding, Artesia Horse Council, Bill Eaton and Shannon Brown, Just Rope Clothing, OE Nutra, Horns & Heels, Flow Products, Bogle Ltd., Johnny Berry, Homer Raglan Memorial Fund, Bryan Printers and Stationers Inc., Artesia Animal Clinic, JS Ward & Son, Ken Aaron, Team Alliance, A Cowgirl’s Closet, and Gunderson Heating and Cooling.

Those wishing to watch Jackson’s progress during the rodeo can tune in to cinchtv.com.