MCMINNVILLE, OR (KPTV) – A Yamhill-Carlton High School student is about to host his third youth rodeo for kids in the west that strive to be rodeo cowboys.

If Cooper Cano had his way, rodeo would play a much larger deal in Oregon - a goal he’s working to achieve.

“I went to the St. Paul Rodeo for the first time when I was two and I really wanted to ride buckin’ horses and bulls,” Cano said. “I wanted to be a buckin’ bull rider.”

Fifteen years later, Cano is realizing his dream, rocking and rolling his way to the big time.

“My buddies were doing it so I tried that and the first time I ever did that, it felt like a rockin’ horse,” Cano said. “A lot of kids that rodeo, a lot of my friends go to rodeo, so it's kind of a farming, agriculture school.”

Cano won the most recent Junior Roughstock Association World Finals Tour to earn the first spot in bronc-riding at the National Finals Rodeo for the Junior Worlds in Las Vegas.

“Everyone says, ‘why do you guys like the rodeo so much?’” Cano said. “All of us roughies say adrenaline. There’s nothing better than that.”

Cano’s December ticket to the NFR will be his fifth trip to the strip for a cowboy Christmas.

“They are definitely trying to get us built up to be the next generation of the Pro Rodeo Association, so I enjoy going there,” Cano said. “I think I get more nerves at these little rodeos than I do at that one. It’s indoors and I don’t really get psyched out when they are indoors because it is warm and the temperature is nice, it feels nice. You get out here and it’s either a breeze, or you’re burning hot or super cold.”

Cano will compete in his third annual Buckin’ to Vegas Youth Invitational Rodeo at the fairgrounds in McMinnville to help fund his not-so-cheap thrills.

“It’s the one time of year that we can get people to come and watch me because I am always out of state rodeoing, so all of my people that want to support me, they all want to watch me do my thing,” Cano said. “A bunch of the community comes together.”

Cano lives with severe dyslexia and pushes through his schoolwork at Yamhill-Carlton High School when he’s not riding.

“It’s the place I succeed and I can do well, and it’s where people accept me for what I do,” Cano said.

If you know of any high school student athletes who deserve some FOX 12 sports recognition, reach out to Nick Krupke at

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