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Midway Youth Rodeo kicks up the competition

Sunday, February 22, 2009 | 9:41 p.m. CST; updated 9:47 p.m. CST, Sunday, February 22, 2009
Samson Eby, 4, uses his dad Joe Eby for roping practice during the Goat Roping competition at the Midway Youth Rodeo on Sunday. Joe was not the only parent being used as a roping target.

COLUMBIA — The Midway Youth Rodeo brought competitors and families from across the state and some from out-of-state to the Midway Expo Center on Sunday. The event was made up of three age-groups: senior, junior and pee wee.

Events were mainly for individual riders such as barrel racing and goat tying, but there was also team roping. The team roping competition had brothers Cooper Phillips, 8, and Garrett, 10, from Leavenworth, Kan., working together to rope their steer.

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The Phillips brothers have been roping together for years, but it was not until this past summer that their skills started getting consistent enough to start competing. Their father, Bennie Phillips, team ropes and their mother, Angela Phillips, said "It's just so exciting" that the boys took up an interest in the skill.

The Phillips brothers ended up winning third place in the team roping division, which, according to Angela, was "really, really fun for them."

Matthew Jordan-Garr, 13, partnered with Caleb Roden, 14, for team roping. They started team roping a few years ago when Roden was visiting his mom in Kansas. Roden now lives in Topeka, Kan., allowing him to team with Jordan-Garr, who lives in Camden Point, more often.

The pair won second place when Jordan-Garr was header and Roden was heeler and fourth place when the positions were switched in team roping.

Like the Phillips brothers, their parents also were involved with the rodeo. Jordan-Garr's mother, Tiffany Garr, used to rodeo full-time and his stepfather, Jarritt Garr, used to ride bareback horses. Roden's mother, Kari Harris, has been involved in the rodeo since she was little. Roden and Jordan-Garr have both been roping individually for six years in the skill.


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