Fifteen-year-old Julian Mautz of Hilo placed fourth in the world in boy’s cutting Saturday at the National High School Rodeo Finals in Rock Springs, Wyo. This is the first time a student from Hawaii has placed at this level.
Although the competition is a national contest, it also includes young horsemen and horsewomen from Australia and Canada. Therefore, the top five winners are considered world leaders in their events. The annual tri-country rodeo is the largest in the world, with more than 1,500 competitors.
Mautz is going into his junior year at the indigital program of the Hawaii Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was born and raised in Hilo, the son of Pier Sircello and Bill Mautz.
He began riding horses at age 9 with Pudding Lassiter at Pu‘umoi Ranch in Papaikou, and at 12 started training with Lani Nakachi in Honokaa and Wes Hammond in Mountain View. He and his mother drive up to Waimea three to four times per week to practice at Brian Anderson’s arena in Waimea and ride in competitions and rodeos on Hawaii Island.
Mautz belongs to the Hawaii Island Cutting Association, the Hawaii Quarter Horse Association, the Hawaii High School Rodeo Association, the American Cowboy Team Roping Association and the U.S. Team Roping Championships organization. This was his first national-level competition.
“There have been so many people that have helped or mentored Julian in the past seven years in the horse community, and he is grateful to all of them, plus the outpouring of support that he has received since placing fourth,” Sircello said. “He also received much support and aloha from people in Wyoming, including his two trainers and herd help there, John Hofeldt and Kenny Ingalls.”