There’s a different kind of New Year’s Eve celebration in Gillette, WY: the New Year’s Eve Buck N Ball rodeo and dance presented by Kissack Water and Oil Service. The Wyoming Center, at CAM-PLEX Event Center, hosted the rough stock rodeo followed by the Buck N Ball dance with music from Chancey Williams and the Younger Brothers Band. The 2012 event was celebrated by hundreds of attendants from South Dakota, North Dakota, Colorado, Wyoming and more. The 60 bareback, saddle bronc, and bull riders took center stage, but their performance was interspersed with costume-clad, rookie rough stock riders and bull fighters.
Bull Poker, the bullfighting event, kicked off the 10th Annual Buck N Ball, followed by the rough stock events. The top bareback rider for the night was Casper College student Zach Phillips, Hobbs, NM, with an 88 point ride. Whitewood, SD, cowboy Troy Crowser claimed the top saddle bronc ride with 88 big points and Cory Maier, Timber Lake, SD, won the top bull ride with a score of 86.5. Rookie bareback and saddle bronc riders rode intermittently during the rodeo and helped celebrate the New Year in style by wearing lady’s wigs and dresses, shooting cap guns, and sporting “Angry Bird” hats and face paint. Saddle bronc rookie, Rusty Wright, Milford, UT, took the highest rookie score with an 80 point ride. The rodeo committee gave the crowd one more reason to whoop and holler as they rang in the new year. The top four saddle bronc riders of the night had the chance to compete for an additional prize. Troy Crowser, Whitewood, SD, Cort Scheer, Elsmere, NE, and Cody Taton, Mud Butte, SD, ended up in the top four rides but Cody Wright, Milford, UT, won, with a score of 88.