Youth wins big at the White Mountain Apache Tribal Fair & Rodeo

September 7, 2018


Submitted by Gina Enos


District 3 Community member Jocelyn Co’Nei’Sen’Ney was one of a handful of local cowboys and cowgirls that competed at the 93rd Annual White Mountain Apache Tribe’s rodeo over Labor Day weekend, Aug. 31- Sept. 3, in Whiteriver, Ariz. 


Co’Nei’Sen’Ney, 13, is a well-known contestant at the WMAT rodeo having participated every year since 2014 and has won the all-around cowgirl saddle each of those years in various age categories of the junior rodeo. This is where she won her first saddle.


This year she partnered with world champion team roping header, Aaron Tsingine, and placed third in the 10-13 years-old team roping event. She also decided to challenge herself and participate in the all-women’s rodeo and the all-Indian rodeo. The all-arounds are calculated on total money won.


She competed in steer daubing, calf dressing, barrel run, team roping and breakaway roping. She placed fifth in steer daubing but did not win any money, which is needed to add to all-around totals. In breakaway roping, she placed third out of 20 contestants, winning $200. She partnered with Tara Season in team roping and in the beginning, didn’t appear to be contenders when the announcer was predicting winners; however, they came out of the box and Seasons caught and Co’Nei’Sen’Ney double hocked for a 9.84 second time. Their time was the fastest time of the rodeo. The first-place win netted them $525 each. In the end, Co’Nei’Sen’Ney won the all-around title by $10 which included the prize money, a horse trailer, saddle and buckles for the all-around title and team roping win.


In the all-Indian rodeo, she roped in the breakaway and returned in the top 10 but missed on her next outing.


Overall, it was a great showing for Gila River rodeo contestants. Jalen Joaquin won the all-Indian rodeo saddle bronc buckle and has qualified for the Indian National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, Nev. In October. Oriana Apkaw, from District 4, placed second in the all-women’s rodeo with a score of 69 points. Apkaw has been competing in rodeo for many years, having won first place buckles in 2014, 2015 and 2017.


Co’Nei’Sen’Ney attends San Tan Jr. High School and is straight-A student. She will be competing in the Sudden Death for jr. barrels and jr. breakway with the Southwest Rodeo Association on Sept. 16 in Taylor, Ariz., a strong showing could land her back in the Indian National Finals Rodeo.