Ramona riders earn top scores

Ramona’s Paige Connelly won Reserve All-Around champion in California High School Rodeo Association’s District 8 competition on Sunday, with San Pasqual’s Macy Devenport winning CHSRA District 8’s Girls All-Around Championship.

Although the CHSRA District 8 season ended with the May 2-3 rodeo at the Lakeside Rodeo Grounds, six Ramona competitors finished the season among the top five in the season standings for at least one event and earned the right to compete at the CHSRA state finals June 15-21 at Bishop.  Devenport and Connelly were joined by Destri Devenport, Cameron Elston, Mason Malone and Alyssa Elston. Aleigha Elston earned alternate status as the sixth-place Breakaway Roping finisher.

Macy Devenport, a freshman at Julian Charter School, also earned the Girls Rookie Cowgirl title.  Last year Destri Devenport won the Girls All-Around championship while Connelly was the reserve champion.

Macy Devenport will compete in five events at the state finals.

She finished second in the District 8 Pole Bending standings, third in Breakaway Roping, and fourth in Barrel Racing, Team Roping (among heelers), and Cutting. She also finished the season ninth in Goat Tying.

“I was hoping I would but didn’t expect it,” she said of winning the All-Around championship as a freshman.

Devenport rode Jesse for Pole Bending, Scotty for Barrel Racing, Cruise for Breakaway Roping, Tinker Bell for Goat Tying, Tune Tune for Cutting, and Nikki and Archie for Team Roping.

Devenport, who turned 16 May 6, was 5 years old when she began her rodeo career with the California Junior Rodeo Association.

The Devenport family, who moved from Temecula to San Pasqual in 2005, has competed in high school rodeo since 2000 when Mindy Devenport was a freshman. Macy Devenport believes that watching her two older sisters compete prepared her for high school rodeo.

“It helped me see how high school rodeo works,” she said.

Macy Devenport was also elected as the student District 8 secretary for the 2009-10 season. Her father, Lynn, was selected to be the 2009-10 adult vice-president for the district.

Devenport and Connelly each won Pole Bending go-rounds at the May 2-3 rodeo.  Devenport’s 20.39-second run won the first performance while Connelly’s time of 20.17 seconds closed out the district season with a win in that event. Devenport had a seventh-place Sunday go-round and took third in the average while Connelly was fourth in the average.

Connelly, a junior at Ramona High School, finished second in Barrel Racing and Cutting and fourth in Pole Bending to earn a trip to the state finals in those three events.  She was also seventh in Goat Tying and eleventh in Breakaway Roping while participating as both a header and heeler in Team Roping.

Connelly’s focus during the 2008-09 season wasn’t on the All-Around championship but on individual events.  

“I worked to make state,” she said.

Destri Devenport is a senior at Julian Charter School. She entered the final rodeo second in the Breakaway Roping standings and trailed Jessica Halvorson by 1-1/2 points after finishing seventh in the first go-round at Lakeside. A time of 3.22 seconds in the second go-round gave Devenport first for the performance and second in the average, giving her the season championship over Halvorson by 2-1/2 points.

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