When the saddle bronc event rolled around at the Ute Mountain Rodeo on Thursday, local fans will more than likely recognize the familiar face of Tanner Lockhart amongst the crowd.
A Dolores High School graduate, Lockhart enjoyed four years of success as a member of the Ute Mountain High School Rodeo Team, which culminated with a Colorado High School Rodeo Association state championship in 2012. As a result of his high school success, Lockhart accepted a scholarship to Western Texas College in Snyder, Texas, where he competed for three years as a member of the school’s rodeo team.
While competing at Western Texas College, Lockhart qualified for the College National Finals twice before graduating with a degree in petroleum engineering earlier this year. Although the unpredictable nature of the saddle bronc event makes predicting results at this year’s Ute Mountain Rodeo difficult, Lockhart will enter this weekend’s event on somewhat of a hot streak, having finished first at the Elizabeth Stampede on June 4.
“It’s pretty neat to see Tanner and other local kids come back and compete in their hometown rodeo,” said Tanner’s mother, Destri Lockhart. “I was the sponsor of the high school rodeo team for years and to watch kids grow up and improve is always special.”