CJRA: Quality Rodeo Experience

by Rodeo News

CJRA members  - Lazy HH Photography

By Laurie Dineen

“The Colorado Junior Rodeo Association (CJRA) has been one of the best kept secrets in rodeo and we want kids of all ages and backgrounds to feel like they can come and compete and grow into great rodeo contestants and young adults,” says Danielle Wollert, CJRA President.  “CJRA offers a family friendly and financially feasible environment for kids ages 5 – 18 with the pay-off not only in winnings, but scholarships, lifelong friendships and skills as they grow into young adults.”
The CJRA was established in 1994 with the goal to offer families the opportunity for their children ages 5 – 18 to learn and build their talents in the rodeo arena.   Focusing on timed events, CJRA has worked hard to maintain the original goal – ‘to provide a quality rodeo experience allowing youth to advance their rodeo talents in the spirit of fair competition and the appreciation of good sportsmanship, while rewarding its members with cash paybacks, awards and scholarships throughout each rodeo season and providing over $125,000 in awards at our finals each year.’
Over the years, the rewards have paid off with many CJRA members further pursuing their dreams of becoming professional rodeo competitors. Getting their start first as pee-wees, then as juniors and finally the senior division.  Many CJRA contestants have achieved continued success as they moved on to compete at the college level, amateur and pro rodeo circuits.  Ask any young rodeo contestant and they will tell you their goal is to compete at the WNFR someday.  CJRA Members like Kyle Hughes, Josh Peek, Wade Sumpter, Kody Lostroh, Josh Koschel, Shali Lord, Garrett Tonozzi, Ty Blasingame, Brock Hanson, Shay Carroll and Dakota Kirchenschlager have achieved their ultimate goal as WNFR or PBR contestants.
“CJRA was the first rodeo association I belonged to,” said Shay Carroll.  “It is the foundation for what I have accomplished in my rodeo career.”  Carroll also stated that the CJRA opened his eyes to the level of competition out there and that everything he has achieved is a result from his involvement with CJRA.  “Roping at the WNFR is a dream come true and I owe it all to the years I spent as a CJRA member,” Carroll said.  “The CJRA taught me two things: 1) that there is someone out there who is working harder than you are, and 2) you are rewarded for all your efforts, hard work and determination.  “I would highly recommend the CJRA to any kid out there that wants the challenge to become better.  The CJRA is a great family oriented association.  I owe everything I have achieved to so many of the members and their families throughout my years of being a member.  I just can’t thank them enough,” exclaimed Carroll.
Jay and Tammy Ellerman were instrumental in the creation of the CJRA back in 1994 and Tammy served as the CJRA President for 18 years.  “It is exciting to watch the kids improve having known them as pee-wee’s, and now as young adults fulfilling their dreams.  I feel the CJRA has provided them with many skills that will carry them on to greatness in their life’s journey,” said  Ellerman.
Kyle Hughes was a CJRA member during the inaugural season more than two decades ago. Today he and his wife Manchie, who also grew up competing in the TX Jr. Rodeo Association, are raising the  2nd generation of CJRA members with their kids now participating as contestants.  “We have a 9 and 6 year old that competed this past summer in the CJRA and 3 year old that will gearing up to rodeo as we attend the rodeos as a family,” said Manchie.  “We thank the CJRA for being such a family based association as there is nothing greater you can give your kids than your time. Rodeo weekends can be hectic, but we couldn’t be happier. When we think back on our childhoods, Kyle and I have such fond memories of Jr. rodeo. We are blessed to be able to offer our kids the same and we thank the CJRA for being a part of that. What a great foundation for the kids’ future no matter what path they choose.” Manchie manages the kids and horses while Kyle helps judge at the CJRA rodeos.  “I am glad to be able to give back to the association and am excited to be able to continue the legacy of the CJRA,” said Kyle.  “The CJRA prepared me physically as well as mentally to compete well after my high school years.  The organization taught me many of life’s lessons in and out of the arena.  We’re excited that our kids will have those same opportunities.”
Shali Lord was one of the first members of CJRA.  She was 14 and competed until she was 18.  “I think the CJRA prepared me to become a better competitor at college and higher levels of rodeo around the country,”  Shali stated.  After the CJRA,  she went on to compete at the college level and made it to the 2005 WNFR.  She is a multiple time Mountain States Circuit Finals and Dodge National Circuit Finals qualifier and continues to ride and train barrel horses and compete professionally today. “My husband, Phy and I have enjoyed helping at the CJRA finals at Lamar as part of the Elks committee and we are really excited when our son Slade, now 4, can start competing in the Pee Wee division,” Lord exclaimed.
Current President, Danielle and husband Waco Wollert agree that the CJRA provides the foundation for members and their families to develop their rodeo skills and while helping them grow into great young adults.  “CJRA is a family oriented rodeo association that teaches respect, responsibility, good sportsmanship, lifelong skills and builds positive relationships.” said Danielle.
From just getting started or moving to the next level of timed event rodeo competition, check out the Colorado Junior Rodeo Association.   You’ll find that the low membership fees and high jackpot payoffs combined with the family friendly competition and atmosphere are unbeatable!
For more information please visit our web site – coloradojrrodeo.com and become a friend on our Facebook page.
We can’t wait for you to join us for the 2016 season!

                © Rodeo Life Media Corporation | All Rights Reserved • Laramie, Wyoming • 307.761.9053

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