Roberts Student in Jr National Finals Rodeo

By: 
Eleanor Guerrero
CCN Senior Reporter

Colt Holdbrook, 10, and a fourth grader at Roberts School, has qualified for the Junior National Finals Rodeo (JrNFR) in Las Vegas Nevada in mini bareback riding. This event runs in conjunction with the National Finals Rodeo in December. 
“I am so excited,” said Colt. “It was my goal when I started.  I also feel very blessed to get to do this and am actually amazed. God answered my prayers!”
He first started riding last fall with the goal of making the JrNFR. 
He will be representing Montana in Las Vegas Dec. 6-12, at the Las Vegas Convention Center where the rodeo will be held. 
He competed in the Montana Mini Buckers winter series at Miller's Horse Palace and finished 3rd in the mini bareback and 2nd in bulls.
Colt said, “I really liked the competition and getting to be in rodeos.” He has been following his brother, Shawn Holdbrook, around to them for years. His mother, Mariah said, “It gave him an opportunity to be like the big boys in our family. He also really likes the other kids involved. His main goal with starting to ride bareback horses last fall was to make the JrNFR.”
Shawn, a national champion rider himself, was there to do more than watch. Colt said, “Yes, he helped me a ton.  He was one of the reasons that I made it!” 
Shawn said, “"I think it is awesome that he has the opportunity to go.  It will be an awesome experience on a huge stage." 
Mariah said, “Colt is really excited because his cousin, JR Vezain is competing in the NFR in bareback riding so he is pretty excited to be getting to be in Vegas competing at the same time as one of his rodeo heroes (his brother being the other.)”
Colt explained, “I started riding last fall when I was eight.  I turned 9 after my first rodeo and had to move up a division.”
But riding minihorses is not his only talent. Colt has been riding steers for a few years. 
“I started riding mini bulls and horses this fall,” he said. “I have competed in a couple different rodeo series and then state and regionals.” 
This past summer, he competed in the 406 Rodeo's summer series. He competed in the state finals in September in Livingston and qualified for regionals in Rock Springs, Wyoming in November.  He just finished regionals placing in the top 7 to qualify for the Jr NFR. 
Just qualifying for the Jr. NFR is not enough said Colt. He has bigger dreams. “I hope to win it or at least finish in the top 5. There is some pretty stiff competition.”
Colt has still managed to maintain a perfect academic record. All the time he has been moving up the rodeo charts, Colt has maintained a 4.0 grade point average. This has been accomplished while rodeoing most of the year. 
Champion bareback rider, brother Shawn, competed himself at Nationals again this year. He finished in the top 10 in the world. 
Colt says, “Shawn is super excited for me. He has really helped me a lot and I look up to him.”
Even at 10 years old, his focus is clear: “My dream is to become a professional roughstock rider.” 
Such a trip is a big challenge. Anyone wishing to help sponsor Colt’s journey can contact Mariah Holdbrook at 671-2323.

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