Pierz senior wins state bareback riding championship; qualifies for national bull riding competition

Dakota Morris, a senior at Pierz Healy High School, was named state bareback riding champion and is a national qualifier in bull riding and will compete in Gillette, Wyo., July 17-2

Dakota Morris of Pierz has earned a position on the Minnesota state/provincial National High School rodeo team. As such, he will travel with fellow teammates to Gillette, Wyo., July 16-22, to compete at the 69th annual National High School Finals Rodeo (NHSFR) in

the bareback and bull riding competitions.

Morris, a senior at Pierz Healy High School, has been riding bulls since he was in the sixth grade and this isn’t his first championship. In 2014, Morris was a Minnesota High School Rodeo Association bull rider champion.

Despite a broken growth plate and nose, Morris decided to give bareback riding a try and gained the championship. Bareback riding isn’t his favorite sport, bull riding is his passion he said.

Morris competes in bareback, bull riding and trap shooting. His sister, Shelby, a freshman in Pierz, also competes in barrels, pole bending and goat tying.

Morris is the son of Jamie and Laura Morris, and said he appreciates what they do to make sure he gets to each rodeo.

“They give up all their free time,” he said. “If we are not at a rodeo, we are at a practice or getting time in an arena or a clinic to help us improve.”

“In the summer we don’t see much family. We travel to all the Minnesota High School Rodeo Association (MNHSRA) rodeos and some bull and barrel events,” said Morris. “Friday afternoons we head out. We enjoy the company when friends and family come to watch and cheer.”

He also appreciates his Uncle Pudgy for his support and being at many of the rodeos to help cheer. Kyle Pitzen Brink provided bareback riding equipment and extra coaching.

The NHSFR features more than 1,750 contestants from 43 states, five Canadian provinces and Australia. It is the world’s largest rodeo. In addition to competition for more than $200,000 in prizes, NHSFR contestants will also compete for more than $350,000 in college scholarships and the chance to be named an NHSFR world champion.

The Saturday championship performance will be televised nationally as a part of the Cindy High School Rodeo Tour telecast series on RFD-TV. Performance times are 7 p.m. July 16, and 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. each day thereafter.

To follow local favorites at the NHSFR, folks can visit NHSRA.com  for complete results.

Morris was personally sponsored by Brandl Motors. The Pierz Fire Department is a sponsor of the Region 3 High School Rodeo.