Jackson Roberts, a freshman at Glen Rose High School, will be competing in the team roping event in the Junior World Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas in December.
Roberts, 16, is the second student from Glen Rose to qualify for the world finals. Glen Rose High School’s Stone Wickline, 14, will be in the bull riding competition.
Roberts, the oldest child of Raymond and Jennifer Roberts, first developed a passion for horses at the age of five. His love for horses eventually turned into a love for roping.
“I always watched the NFR (National Finals Rodeo) on TV when I was little because my dad always watched it and I always wanted to be like them,” he said.
He was trained by 11-time NFR cowboy and native Glen Rose resident, Kevin Stewart.
“Kevin Stewart has been influential to him on his roping,” said Roberts’ father, Raymond. “Kevin has worked with him and still works with him to this day. Kevin deserves all the credit he can get.”
Jackson has had many accomplishments in rodeo over the years. He was a two-time TJRA (Texas Junior Rodeo Association) roping champion for 2017 and 2018; he was a CTYRA (Central Texas Youth Rodeo Association) breakaway champion in 2017; he was a TJHRA (Texas Junior High Rodeo Association) region 10 team roping champion in 2019; and he was a NJHRA (National Junior High Rodeo Association) qualifier for team roping in 2019.
There are 10 junior rodeo regions in Texas and the top 10 from every region are selected to advance to state. From the state, the top four are selected to compete in the national finals. Team Texas won the national finals by several thousand points and Jackson was a member of that team.
The finals will consist of 30 teams and Jackson will be teamed up with Garrett Hershberger from Arizona.
Jackson loves having the opportunity to make friends with the same interests and being able to travel.
“I’m most proud of his hard work and dedication at this, because our family is not a family of team ropers; he is the first of the family,” Raymond said. “I’m the proudest that he’s worked really hard and he still works really hard at trying to get better at his craft.”
A back number ceremony will take place on Dec. 9. Each team will rope two steers from Dec. 10-11 and they will rope their fifth steer on Dec. 12.
“It’s an accomplishment,” Raymond said. “They only take 30 headers and 30 healers from all the way across the United States to the Junior World Finals Rodeo. It’s pretty remarkable to me that two boys from Glen Rose made it to this.”
Jackson’s dream is to one day qualify for the PRCA’s National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.
For anyone his age who wants to give roping a shot, Jackson encourages them to try it out and to not let anyone stop them from pursuing their passion.
“Do not let anyone tell you that you cannot do this; just pick up a rope and start roping anything that you can possibly rope — that’s basically what I started doing and then my dad started getting me the tools I needed to do this,” he said.