Cheyanne Tannery, a Kauai High School junior, won the only Kauai gold medal for the Kauai high school rodeo competitors at the Parker Ranch on the Big Island at the Hawaii High School Rodeo Association State Finals which wrapped up Sunday.
“June 2nd was her birthday,” said Wendy Tannery, Cheyanne’s mother, in a phone conversation. “June 2nd was also the day Dr. Scott Sims got his cancer diagnosis. He had operated on Cheyanne’s horse twice, and really liked her. While preparing her for the four-day journey to the Big Island, he told Cheyanne, ‘Win one more — for me.’”
Cheyanne went on to take the state title in the pole bending event, and finished as the reserve state champion (runner up) in the barrel racing event.
“Her horse, Frankie, earned the American Quarter Horse Association Horse of the Year award which comes with a scholarship,” Wendy said. “Cheyanne will be representing Hawaii in Wyoming next month during the National High School Rodeo Finals in both pole bending and barrel racing. This is the fourth time she’s riding n the nationals.”
Following Cheyanne, Coryssa Silva, a freshman, advanced to the championship round in barrel racing, pole bending, goat typing, team roping and breakaway roping.
“She was just a few points away from getting the Rookie of the Year award,” Wendy said. “When everything was done, Coryssa ended fifth in pole bending, fifth in breakaway roping, six in barrel racing, and eighth in goat tying.”
The state finals were dominated by the Hawaii District paniolo, the Big Island youth capturing seven of the nine top awards including Hawaii State All Around Cowgirl (Hailey Onaka), Hawaii State All Around Cowboy (Ty Shintaku), Hawaii’s Own All Around Cowboy (Kaili Brenneman) 2015-2016 HHSRA Rodeo Queen (Gabbie Gleason), Rookie Cowgirl (Sierra Gleason), Rookie Cowboy (Levi Higa), and Reserve All Around Cowgirl (Pua Kauhaihao).
Maui District rounded out the leaders with the final two top awards including Reserve All Around Cowboy (Kanoa Awai-Dickson) and Hawaii’s Own Reserve All Around Cowboy (Kaena Poouahi).
Cheyenne Andrade, the 2014-2015 Hawaii state rodeo queen and a recent graduate of Kauai High School) was excellent as she relinquished her crown to Gabbie Gleason, a junior at Kamehameha Schools-Keaau.
“Cheyenne displayed her horsemanship skills in the Queen horsemanship pattern and was the highlight of the Grand Entry on each day to open the rodeo,” Wendy said. “She was very strong in the team roping and breakaway roping, advancing to the finals in both events. She was also fast and had agility in the barrel racing and pole bending aboard a steed she borrowed from a Big Island trainer.”
The Kauai District All Around Champion Cowgirl, Kiara Ruiz, also enjoyed a great finals.
“Her competition horse just had a baby so Kiara had to ‘cowgirl up’ and compete on horses which were loaned to her from friends on the Big Island,” Wendy said. “Her strong riding skills helped place her 5th in the goat tying and 6th in barrel racing.”
Kelly Blackstad, another Kauai High School graduate, went out with a bang, marking her fastest times of the year in both barrel racing and pole bending, but missing the cut on the finals.
Jayden Tabilangan hails from Molokai, but rides for the Kauai District as the All Around Cowboy.
He finished third in the Tie Down Roping, fifth place in the Poo Wai U, and eighth place in team roping at the state finals.
Randy Cremer, a junior at Kapaa High School, is one of the state’s top ropers, said Wendy.
“His freshman year, he made it to the national finals in Rock Springs where he finished in the top 15 in the nation,” Wendy said. “He and Tabilangan teamed up to finish eighth overall at the state finals.”
Koby Blackstad, a sophmore at Waimea High School, rounded out the Kauai contingent at the state finals.
“Koby and Kiara Ruiz, his team roping partner, made a couple of great runs, but came up short of making it to the finals,” Wendy said. “With his hard work ethic and athletic abilities, Koby comes back next year to give everyone a run for their money.”