Local cowboy heads to International Finals

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 3, 2015

(SHAWNEE, Okla.)  Gus Maraman of Andalusia, Ala., is competing in the 23rd annual International Finals Youth Rodeo held July 5-10 at the Heart of Oklahoma Exposition Center, in Shawnee, Okla. Maraman is participating in the world’s richest youth rodeo, hoping to win his share of more than $200,000 in prize money and championship saddles and buckles.

Maraman will join more than 1,000 of the top high school rodeo athletes from across the United States for the 2015 IFYR. Contestants will compete in 10 events running simultaneously in three arenas throughout the week. Events include barrel racing, pole bending, breakaway roping, goat tying, team roping, tie-down roping, steer wrestling, bull riding, saddle bronc riding and bareback riding. The IFYR consists of two long go-rounds and a short go. All contestants compete once in each of the long go-rounds. The top 15 averages in each event will compete Friday night in the championship round short go for fame and prizes. Maraman is vying for prizes in tie-down roping and steer wrestling.

“Our main purpose from the beginning of the International Finals Youth Rodeo has been to provide high school athletes with a professional rodeo,” said Michael Jackson, operations manager of Heart of Oklahoma Exposition Center and International Finals Youth Rodeo. “It’s a great opportunity for these young athletes to get an idea of what to expect if they continue to rodeo in college and beyond.”

The International Finals Youth Rodeo, founded in 1993, is a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization that presents top high school athletes with a professional rodeo. The internationally-recognized IFYR is held annually at the Heart of Oklahoma Exposition Center in Shawnee. In 2014, more than 1,000 contestants and their families traveled from 32 states as well as Brazil, Canada and Australia to participate in the IFYR. For more information visit IFYR.com or call (405) 275-7020.