Landen smiles for the camera before entering the ring in nationals competition.

Landen Cartinhour, a sixth grade student at Anderson County Middle School, has earned a position on the Kentucky Junior High rodeo team.

He is competing in the 17th annual National Junior High Finals Rodeo, hosted in Perry, Georgia at the Georgia National Fairgrounds.

Cartinhour is competing in five events that include team roping, ribbon roping, breakaway roping, goat tying, and chute dogging.

To qualify for an event at nationals, a contestant must finish in the top four at the state level.

Featuring roughly 1,200 contestants from 43 U.S. States, five Canadian provinces, Australia, Mexico, and New Zealand, the NJHFR is the world’s largest junior high rodeo.

In addition to competing for more than $80,000 in prizes, contestants also compete for more than $200,000 in college scholarships.

To earn the title of National Junior Finals Rodeo World Champion, contestants must finish in the top 20 based on the combined times/scores of the first two rounds to be eligible for Saturday night’s final round.

Champions will then be selected based on their three go-round combined times/scores.

“We are extremely proud of Landen,” said David Cartinhour, Landen’s father. “He started doing this four years ago.”

Saturday’s championship performance will be televised nationally as a part of the Cinch High School Rodeo Tour telecast series on RFD-TV.

Live broadcasts will also air on Performance time is slated for 7 p.m.

Along with great competition and the chance to meet new friends from around the world, NJHFR contestants have the opportunity to enjoy shooting sports, volleyball, contestant dances, family-oriented activities, church services sponsored by Golden Spur Ministries, and shopping, as well as visiting area attractions.