Selah 15-Year-Old Cutting His Way to Nationals - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Selah 15-Year-Old Cutting His Way to Nationals

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SELAH, Wash. -- Let KNDO lay down some rodeo lingo for you.  Cutting is showing off a horse's ability of holding a cow away from the herd.  One local teen, 15-year-old Tony Martinez, has a knack for cutting.  He'll be participating up at a national competition in Gilette, Wyoming from July 18th-28th.

Last December, Martinez, a freshman at Selah High School, went over to Hart Ranch to begin fulfilling a life-long dream of competing in rodeo.  Six months later, he's well on his way.

"We've had the good fortune to have the Harts and their boys help us," said Martinez's mother, Robin.

When asked how she's had such great success with the kids on her ranch, Sue Hart replied, "My boys really push hard to work these kids.  I want it.  I teach them winning ways.  And I think they just pick up on some winning tips."

Martinez has his own reasons for pushing himself.  Part of what motivates him is sibling rivalry.  His older sister made it to Nationals just a few years back, although she did not place.  But his greatest inspiration to succeed is his grandmother, Joan, who passed away two months ago.   "It was really a tough loss," said Martinez. "She did horse stuff her whole life and she was  supportive." 

With his grandmother watching from above, Martinez will take to the rodeo in Wyoming against a field of 100 high schoolers ranging from 9th to 12th grade.  The freshman at Selah High School will be one of the youngest competing.