As one who grew up riding horses, rodeo seemed like the next logical progression for Natalie Hoffmann.
Natalie , 17, decided to pursue competitive rodeo her freshman year after watching a few of her local counterparts from Prosser compete in the state finals while she served as a volunteer at the event.
Formerly a 4-H horse show competitor, she found the lure of fast-paced action in the ring too appealing to ignore.
“I guess the bug kind of bit me, and I pursued it,” she said.
This weekend, she’s locking horns with the top high school rodeo competitors in the state at the 2014 State High School Finals Rodeo at the Adams County Fairgrounds. Looking to improve on her showing at last year’s finals, she’ll be mounting different horses in each of her two events: barrel racing and pole bending.
Her new horse, Niles, will accompany her in the ring in barrel racing, while her first horse, Squirt, is carrying her in the pole bending event. Injured during last year’s finals, Squirt has since recovered and is ready to chase higher marks this time around.