BY Janet Schrader, Democrat Reporter

Local Suwannee River Riding Club King Wyatt Sasser has made it to the big time--rodeo wise. Sasser has qualified to participate in this year's National High School Rodeo in the bareback and saddle bronc riding events.

Currently Sasser is rated number four in the state of Florida in saddle bronc riding and number-three in bareback bronc riding. This rating is determined by the number of points Sasser has collected throughout the year in these events.

Sasser's dad, Ken Sasser, was also big in rodeo. Ken was a bullrider and rode saddle and bareback broncs. Wyatt would love to ride the bulls, but mom Sunny says absolutely not.

"I rode one once," Wyatt said. "Dad would let me, but Mama won't."

Wyatt has been competing in the Florida High School Rodeos since the ninth grade. He's also competed in the Gatordog Rodeos with Bill Andrews, rides speed events in the SRRC and trains horses. His favorite events are the bronc riding events.

"I think they are the most exciting because they have more action," Wyatt said.

As king of the SRRC, Wyatt represents the club in parades and at club events like the jackpot barrel races the SRRC puts on every month.

Wyatt is home-schooled since the 10th grade. His mother, Sunny, schools Wyatt and also trains horses.

Wyatt will be heading to the Florida State High School finals on the Brighton Indian Reservation June 10-13. After that it will be off to the Nationals in Gillette, Wyo., on July 19-25.

Attending the National High School Rodeo is quite expensive. Every year each member must sell $150 worth of ads to the state finals rodeo program and pay $160 before being allowed to join. It's going to cost the Sassers at least $3,000 to send Wyatt to Wyoming for this year's nationals. With equipment costs added in, the Sassers need to find some sponsors for Wyatt.

If you'd like to help, call Sunny at 386-658-1227.

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