International Finals Youth Rodeo Names Newest Hall of Fame Member

by Siri Stevens

(SHAWNEE, Okla.) – The International Finals Youth Rodeo will induct Justin McDaniel of Porum, Okla., into its 2014 Hall of Fame in a ceremony on July 9 at 5:30 p.m. at the Heart of Oklahoma Exposition Center in Shawnee.   “I would like to thank the IFYR for the induction into the Hall of Fame. Some of my greatest memories and accomplishments come from the IFYR. It was my goal to win multiple titles while I was competing at the IFYR, and I was very blessed to have won three championships, said McDaniel. “The IFYR was the biggest playing field for me at the time, competing against the greatest high school contestants from around the world,” he added.   “I’m very sorry to announce that I will not be able to make it to the induction. I’m still competing full time and currently ranked in the top 10 in the PRCA World Standings and chasing another world title,” McDaniel said. “The Calgary Stampede gave me the call at the last minute and invited me up for a chance to compete for $100,000. It is an offer I can’t refuse. I would like to thank everyone again for the induction it is truly an honor.” McDaniel is 27 years old and was the IFYR bareback champion in 2003 and 2004 and won the all-around competition in 2004. After high school McDaniel became a professional rider and joined the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, winning the bareback riding world title in 2008. McDaniel is a five time National Finals Rodeo qualifier. He has also won the National Finals Rodeo average title twice. McDaniel currently rodeos full-time while raising cattle on his ranch in Porum, Okla.   “We would like to welcome Justin McDaniel into the Hall of Fame and recognize his accomplishments as a past contestant of the IFYR,” said Mike Jackson, operations manager of the Heart of Oklahoma Exposition Center. “He excelled in several years of competition at the IFYR and continues to do so in his professional rodeo career, while contributing to the sport of rodeo.”   Mike Outhier became the first IFYR Hall of Fame inductee in 2007. Previous inductees include Jet and Cord McCoy and the late Mark McGee in 2009, Jackie Dube Jatslau in 2011 and Ken Etchieson and Suzanne Gilbert in 2012.   To qualify and become a Hall of Fame member, inductees must have competed in the IFYR at least 10 years prior and still be participating in the rodeo world. A selection committee reviews nominee records and in-turn makes a recommendation to the Civic and Cultural Development Authority that governs the IFYR. The Civic and Cultural Development Authority then votes on a final decision on the year’s inductee.     -10-     “The Hall of Fame was created to honor those who not only excelled during their time at the IFYR and their professional careers, but to those who have served as an inspiration to others along the way,” said Suzanne Gilbert, special events committee chairperson of the IFYR. “We are proud to induct Justin McDaniel into the 2014 Hall of Fame class and recognize his many accomplishments.”   The International Finals Youth Rodeo was founded in 1992 to present the top high school athletes from across the United States with a professional rodeo. The internationally-recognized International Finals Youth Rodeo is held annually at the Heart of Oklahoma Exposition Center in Shawnee. The rodeo offers 10 competitive events including barrel racing, pole bending, breakaway roping, goat tying, team roping, calf roping, steer wrestling, bull riding, saddle bronc riding and bareback riding and has an average of more than 1,000 contestants in recent years. For more information visit www.ifyr.com.   Located on Interstate 40, Shawnee is just 30 minutes east of downtown Oklahoma City. Shawnee boasts small town charm with big city offerings and unique shopping, dining and entertainment. The Shawnee Convention & Visitors Bureau was created in 1994 and today, is an award-winning agency providing quality programs which are fundamental in growing the tourism industry in Shawnee and helping create a better quality of life for its citizens. For more information visit www.visitshawnee.com or call 405.275.9780.

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