SHAWNEE — Jessie Ishmael of Miami is competing in the 25th annual International Finals Youth Rodeo held Sunday, July 9 through Friday, July 14 at the Heart of Oklahoma Exposition Center, in Shawnee.

She is vying for prizes in goat tying.

Ishmael is participating in the world’s richest youth rodeo, hoping to win her share of more than $250,000 in prize money and championship saddles and buckles.

Ishmael will join more than 800 of the top high school rodeo athletes from around the world for the 2017 IFYR.

Contestants will compete in 10 events running simultaneously in three arenas throughout the week. Events include barrel racing, pole bending, breakaway roping, goat tying, team roping, tie-down roping, steer wrestling, bull riding, saddle bronc riding and bareback riding.

The IFYR consists of two long go-rounds and a short go. All contestants compete once in each of the long go-rounds.

The top 15 averages in each event will compete Friday night, July 14, in the championship round short go for fame and prizes.

“The International Finals Youth Rodeo was developed to provide high school athletes with a professional level rodeo,” said Chris Dunlap, assistant director of the Heart of Oklahoma Exposition Center and International Finals Youth Rodeo. “Twenty-five years later, the IFYR is where any hopeful rodeo champion wants to be and be seen.”

The IFYR is not only home to the top high school athletes in the nation, but it is also an opportunity that allows for contestants and their families to travel, rodeo along the way and meet peers from across the country.

The International Finals Youth Rodeo, held annually since 1993, is a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization that presents top high school athletes with a professional rodeo.

The internationally recognized IFYR is held annually at the Heart of Oklahoma Exposition Center in Shawnee.

The event includes hundreds of contestants vying to win more than $250,000 in prize money. In 2016, more than 920 contestants and their families traveled from 34 states and Australia to participate in the IFYR.

For more information, visit or call 405-275-7020.