A local child will get to race among the stars in Las Vegas this December.

Cassidy Evans of Yuma will be one of 160 contestants competing at the KK Run for Vegas/Junior World Finals Barrel Race and Pole Bending, set for December 10-14 in Las Vegas. The event will be held in conjunction with the National Finals Rodeo, the sport’s grand finale. (Yuma’s Tate Kirchenschlager has qualified for the NFR. Look for more on him in next week’s Pioneer.)

“This is the culmination of a lot of hard work by these kids, and they have all earned the right to compete in Las Vegas,” said Kelly Kaminski, the event’s organizer and a two-time world champion barrel racer in the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association. “Each of these kids will be competing for over $150,000 in cash and prizes.”

Each competitor will run twice, and the top 20 contestants with the fastest two-run cumulative times will advance to the championship round.

“These are all kids 17 and under, and they come from all across the country and Canada,” Kaminski said. She is a five-time NFR qualifier who also was a two-time reserve world champion. “This is a great opportunity for these kids.”

The KK Run for Vegas/Junior World Finals is one of the most prestigious youth Western events in the country, and only the top qualifiers have earned the right to compete.

“This is a very exciting time for every child, every family that will be part of it,” Kaminski said. “As a former teacher, I’ve always wanted to be involved with kids, and this is a great way to tie rodeo and kids together in a championship format.”

Cassidy is part of a larger rodeo family, including brothers Coy and Cash. They are the children of Chris and Megan Evans. Cassidy finished second in the All Around Rookie Cowgirls with 640 points, and 10th in the All Around Cowgirl, at the National Junior High Finals Rodeo in Huron, South Dakota, last summer.