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‘Dang good feeling’: Arizona cowboys capture world titles


In his final attempt, James Arviso was crowned the National High School Finals Rodeo champion.

Navajo Times | Quentin Jodie
James Arviso of Winslow captured a world title with heeling partner Cashton Weidenbener during the National High School Finals Rodeo. The pair roped three draws in 19.24 seconds. He is pictured her during the state finals of the Arizona High School Rodeo Association.

Arviso teamed up with heeling partner Cashton Weidenberger as the two won the three-head average with a total time of 19.24 seconds, which was capped by the 5.8 run they turned in during the short round performance.

“I really can’t describe it, but it’s a sure dang good feeling,” Arviso said.

The Winslow cowboy said they roped great during the weeklong event in mid-July, as they finished with a second-place run of 5.94 seconds in the first round. They added 7.5 effort in the second round for 13.44 aggregate on two heads.

“We made the best run we could on that first steer,” Weidenbener said. “We had a stronger one in the second round, and all we wanted to do was catch to make the short round.”

As it turned out, those two runs earned the duo the first-high call-back for the short round, as they were the last ones to rope.

“We’ve been in this situation before and the team that went before us went pretty fast,” Weidenbener said. “We knew we had to put the best run we could on that last steer.

“We knew it would go left, so we had to take our first shot to win it,” he added.

Arviso credited his heeling partner for getting the job done in their penalty-free runs.

“He’s cold as ice,” Arviso said of Weidenbener. “He doesn’t say much, but he does his job. I’m glad that I had him behind me on all those steers.”

Weidenbener said he liked roping with Arviso the past couple of years and to end with a world title is icing on the cake.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better partner than James,” he said. “This was our last high school rodeo and now I’m headed to Weatherford College on a rodeo scholarship.”

As for Arviso, he plans on making his own path as a professional team roper.

“I’m going to keep my foot on the pedal,” he said while adding that he wouldn’t have done this without his grandfather Victor Begay.

“He’s been behind me, and he’s been pushing me,” he said. “I’m doing great because of him.”

About The Author

Quentin Jodie

Quentin Jodie is the Sports Editor for the Navajo Times. He started working for the Navajo Times in February 2010 and was promoted to the Sports Editor position at the end of summer in 2012. Previously, he wrote for the Gallup Independent. Reach him at


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