Successful season captures state title for Rehoboth bull rider

CHURCH ROCK, N.M.

Vinell Mariano was perhaps the best individual talent this year among bull riders in the New Mexico High School Rodeo Association.

Navajo Times | Donovan Quintero
Bull rider Vinell Mariano tries to make the eight-second buzzer Sunday at Red Rock Park. By winning the average race at six rodeos during the regular season, the Rehoboth graduate won the year-end standings for the New Mexico High School Rodeo Association.

By virtue of winning the average the Rehoboth graduate had a sizable lead heading into last weekend’s state finals.

Mariano amassed 106 points with second-place Joseph Chavez trailing by 31 points. So regardless of what happened at the state finals, Mariano was destined to win his first state crown.

“I wanted to reach my goal, which was to win the year-end championship,” Mariano said of his exploits during the regular season. “I just worked hard and I put my mind to it. Sometimes it didn’t work out the way I wanted but I still tried and I let everything go through God.”

During the three-day rodeo, Mariano came close to covering two of his bulls. His first ride was not something to ride home about but in his final two draws he came up a few seconds shy of making the eight seconds.

“In my first ride I took too long in the chutes and I just didn’t feel right,” Mariano said. “I actually didn’t put too much effort than I usually do.”

But for his next two rides he put in the effort as he rode his second bull for nearly six seconds and on his final attempt he was razor-thin of covering his draw.

As New Mexico’s top bull rider, Mariano said he’s looking forward to heading back to nationals, which is scheduled for July 15 to 21 at the Sweetwater Events Complex in Rock Springs, Wyoming.

“I am excited to be going back,” he said of his second qualification. “The bulls are a lot tougher up there. You have to be ready to get after them. You can’t be laid back. You go out there and want to try.”


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Categories: Rodeo

About 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 qjodie@navajotimes.com