Giddy up


Horses have always been a part of Joshua Rorig and Colton Whittymore’s lives.

So it only seemed natural the two would participate in the Jackson County Rodeo at some point in their lives.

[sc:text-divider text-divider-title=”Story continues below gallery” ]

Click here to purchase photos from this gallery

It’s a lot about carrying on a tradition for Rorig.

“Well, my brother started out with rodeo, and my parents, they’ve always had horses and they did trail riding, so whenever my brother did it, I did it,” Rorig said. “It all started at the junior rodeo association out of Salem. He did it, so I just did it, as well.”

For Whittymore, it was something else to try his hand at after playing baseball and football for many years.

“Well, I never really was good at baseball — I mean, I was decent — or football,” he said. “I’ve had horses my whole life, and so my dad said, ‘Well, why don’t you try rodeo?’ My dad met Darin Rorig and they got to talking, and he brought me over here, and I learned how to rodeo.”

Yet, the two have competed in far more competitions than what’s available locally. Both have qualified for national competitions and fared well in them.

A few years ago, Rorig made the National Junior High Finals in Lebanon, Tennessee, and finished within the top 15 in the nation.

“This was in June of 2017, and there were three countries there at this time,” he said. “I was 17th heading into the short round, and I roped all three of my calves and ended up 14th in the world.”

When Whittymore went to compete on the national stage, he was more taken aback by all of the different people from across the globe that came to compete.

“Actually going there and meeting people and learning about different people, different countries and different cultures, it was a really nice experience, and it helps you realize that anyone can do this,” he said. “It was just amazing.”

This isn’t a seasonal sport for the boys, either.

Much like how many youth sports that have transitioned to a year-round affair, rodeo is no different. Depending on which association one competes in, rodeo can be a nonstop adventure.

Though they both enjoy other sports, neither could imagine a life without rodeo.

“I’ve always liked basketball, but I’ve preferred rodeo over any sport,” Rorig said.

It’s the second year the rodeo has returned to the Jackson County Fairgrounds. Last year was the first after a four-year hiatus, and both Rorig and Whittymore competed last year.

The event begins Saturday and concludes Sunday. Gates open up at 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday with action starting at  7 p.m. both days. General admission tickets are $5 and children 10 and younger are free.

Both encourage people in the county to come out to the rodeo and give the sport a chance. Rorig said some of his friends came out last year and had their positions changed on the sport.

“My friends, when I was little, made fun of me,” Rorig said. “When this rodeo came up last year, they finally realized it’s something different.”

Whittymore hopes anyone that takes a shine to the rodeo will ask about ways to get involved.

“I would recommend asking anyone at the rodeo where they learned because a lot of them come here and learn,” Whittymore concluded.

No posts to display