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December 3, 2010
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2010 NRCA Championship Finals Rodeo awards and re-cap

It may have been cold and blustery in Gillette, WY, but things were definitely hot in the CamPlex as the top 12 cowboys and cowgirls in 11 events went head-to-head in a Sudden Death format to determine the Year-End titles and Saddle winners for the Northwest Ranch Cowboys Association.

Twelve of the best stock contractors from the Midwest assembled in Gillette with their rankest to match up with the 12 best cowboys from South and North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming and Nebraska for a classic man vs. beast contest; fans in attendance were not disappointed. One fan was overheard saying, "They were jumpin' for the sky and kickin' holes in the moon."

Timed-event cowboys and cowgirls definitely kept the crowds on the edge of their seats at the opposite end of the arena with continuous sizzling hot times in the roping, dogging and barrel race events.

Barrel race: Two experienced and seasoned contenders used consistency all year long to earn their way to the Finals and it was an epic battle. Vale, SD cowgirl Nikki Steffes came into the Finals with an $1,115 lead over Carole Hollers from Piedmont, SD. Steffes put together runs of 14.590, 15.030 and 14.957 to win the average, the Year-End buckle and the Saddle.

Bareback riding: A mere $1,085 separated Travis Bechen of Rapid City, Jet Price, Buffalo, SD and Dustin Luper of Hermosa, SD. Mandan, ND cowboy Casey Breuer, sitting in the No.-4 hole, came to Gillette intent on putting some pressure on these three guys and he certainly did, placing in two go rounds. Bechen, always one to "go for the gold," opted for a reride Saturday, bucked off and put himself out of the average. Jet Price was on his game, drawing rank horses and, riding like a champion, averaged 81 points for the three rounds, locking up the average, Year-End buckle and the Saddle.

Steer wrestling: All year long, the Legend, J.B. Lord, battled back and forth for the lead with newcomer Forrest Sainsbury. Just $138 separated the Legend and the Linebacker at the start of the Finals. Both cowboys put together two smoking runs and each had one less than stellar run. But in the end, the Linebacker from BHSU wrestled the Year-End buckle and Saddle from the Legend and took them home to Camp Crook, SD.

Goat tying: Current NIRA Goat Tying Champion Jordan Thurston came to the Finals $1,013 in front of former NIRA Champion Nikki Steffes. Thurston, who grew up in Lusk, WY and now calls Gillette home, had more to worry about than Steffes. These Ty Tuff cowgirls were all here for a reason and every one came to win. Michelle Alley of Whitewood, SD entered as the No.-8 cowgirl, put together three runs in 21.4 seconds to win the average. Isabel, SD cowgirl Marcie Locken was a mere 0.2 seconds behind Alley with a 21.6 total time. Year-End buckle Champion was Jordan Thurston. Marcie Locken took the Saddle home to Isabel. Chelsey Kelly, Dupree, SD took home third in the average.

Calf roping: Trey Young, Dupree, SD, ended the regular season No. 4 and $4,000 back from leader Justin Scofield of St. Lawrence, SD. Young used consistency, roping his second calf in 9.5 seconds to win the round; and roped his third in 8.5 seconds for second behind Tyler Thiel. Thiel, of Belle Fourche, SD, won the round with a 7.9 run. Gillette College rodeo coach Will LaDuke battled back and forth with Young, placed in all three rounds and won the average, roping three head in a total time of 30.8 seconds. Scofield's $3,000 lead was enough to earn the Year-End Champion buckle, with Trey Young taking the Saddle home to Dupree.

Saddle bronc: The classic event of rodeo saw just a shade over $1,000 separating Cole Hindman, Billy Martin, Cole Elshere, Matt Costello and Andy Clarys heading into the weekend. The broncs were rank and the cowboy talent deep, as only Hindman, the season leader, managed to place in the top four in the average. The No.-11 and -12 cowboys Jay Longbrake of Dupree, SD and Wacey Snook of Hulett, WY went first and second with 224 and 220 points, respectively, on three head. Philip, SD bronc rider Tyrel Kennedy rounded out the top four with 210 on three. Hindman held onto his season winning the Year-End Champion buckle and placed third in the average with 212. Jay Longbrake took the Championship Saddle to the ranch at Dupree.

Senior men's breakaway: Don't tell these boys their getting old folks; they can still rope with the best of them. Gary Zilverberg came to Gillette from Holabird, SD, with every intention of keeping his lead on J.B. Lord and company and he did just that. Zilverberg roped smoothly all weekend and won both the Year-End Champions Buckle and the Saddle with an aggregate time of 7.7 on three. 2008 champion Bob Burke rode into town from Sundance, WY, intent on upsetting the apple cart and he almost pulled it off. Burke finished second in the average with 8.1 on three. A pair of Piedmont, SD hands, J.B. Lord and Marty Burress, finished third and fourth, respectively, with times of 9.5 and 18.2.

Team roping: The Team Roping Gods were not smiling on the cowboys this weekend as only two teams managed to get times on three head. Clay and Cole Johnson went 18.5 on three steers and kept the average money and the Championship Saddles in Gillette. Brett Price, Faith, SD and Paul Griemsman, Piedmont, SD, were the only other team to rope three and placed second in the average with 24.7. J.B. Lord, Piedmont, SD, and Ryan Zurcher, Torrington, WY, were 12.2 on 2 and Chris Cover and Monte Jamison of Ashby, NE, were 21.2 on 2 to round out the top four in the average. The team of Tim and Jade Nelson wore the Year-End Champion Header and Heeler buckles home to Midland, SD.

Mixed team roping: A new event this year at the Finals saw Sunnie Reeves, Owanka, SD, team up with Ryan Zurcher, Torrington, WY to win the Year-End Champion Buckle and the Saddle.

Ladies breakaway roping: These Ladies are cowboys and they swing a mean loop folks. Laura Hunt, Ridgeview, SD, came into the Finals with a commanding $3,000 lead and the Year-End Buckle virtually locked up. Now all she had to do was stay consistent, win the Finals and take home the saddle. And she did just that with an average run of 2.56 seconds. But hold on, Sawyer, ND cowgirl Brandi Guttormson showed them that ND cowgirls can rope also, averaging 2.33 to win the average. Ladies breakaway roping director Jessica Holmes, Rapid City, SD, finished third and Sunnie Reeves, Owanka, SD rounded out the top four in the average.

Bull riding: Taygen Schuelke, Newell, SD, and Travis Schroth, Buffalo Gap, SD, sitting one and two with only $537.12 difference between them came to the CamPlex to determine the Year-End Champion and possibly the Championship Saddle at stake. Not only did they have to factor in the bad buckers of Burch, Wilson and CN Stars rodeo companies, but they had to keep looking over their shoulders for Jason Hunsaker, Casey Cash and last year's champ Ty Moncur. Hunsaker, of Hermosa, SD, gave them a run for their money, tying with Schroth for first in the average with 152 on 2 head. The Saddle was determined on the highest marked ride and Travis took the Sudden Death Championship saddle home to Buffalo Gap. Schuelke claimed third in the average with 150 on 2 and took the Year-End Championship buckle home to Newell. Casey Cash was fourth in the average with 82 on one head.

It may have been cold and blustery in Gillette, WY, but things were definitely hot in the CamPlex as the top 12 cowboys and cowgirls in 11 events went head-to-head in a Sudden Death format to determine the Year-End titles and Saddle winners for the Northwest Ranch Cowboys Association.

Twelve of the best stock contractors from the Midwest assembled in Gillette with their rankest to match up with the 12 best cowboys from South and North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming and Nebraska for a classic man vs. beast contest; fans in attendance were not disappointed. One fan was overheard saying, "They were jumpin' for the sky and kickin' holes in the moon."

Timed-event cowboys and cowgirls definitely kept the crowds on the edge of their seats at the opposite end of the arena with continuous sizzling hot times in the roping, dogging and barrel race events.

Barrel race: Two experienced and seasoned contenders used consistency all year long to earn their way to the Finals and it was an epic battle. Vale, SD cowgirl Nikki Steffes came into the Finals with an $1,115 lead over Carole Hollers from Piedmont, SD. Steffes put together runs of 14.590, 15.030 and 14.957 to win the average, the Year-End buckle and the Saddle.

Bareback riding: A mere $1,085 separated Travis Bechen of Rapid City, Jet Price, Buffalo, SD and Dustin Luper of Hermosa, SD. Mandan, ND cowboy Casey Breuer, sitting in the No.-4 hole, came to Gillette intent on putting some pressure on these three guys and he certainly did, placing in two go rounds. Bechen, always one to "go for the gold," opted for a reride Saturday, bucked off and put himself out of the average. Jet Price was on his game, drawing rank horses and, riding like a champion, averaged 81 points for the three rounds, locking up the average, Year-End buckle and the Saddle.

Steer wrestling: All year long, the Legend, J.B. Lord, battled back and forth for the lead with newcomer Forrest Sainsbury. Just $138 separated the Legend and the Linebacker at the start of the Finals. Both cowboys put together two smoking runs and each had one less than stellar run. But in the end, the Linebacker from BHSU wrestled the Year-End buckle and Saddle from the Legend and took them home to Camp Crook, SD.

Goat tying: Current NIRA Goat Tying Champion Jordan Thurston came to the Finals $1,013 in front of former NIRA Champion Nikki Steffes. Thurston, who grew up in Lusk, WY and now calls Gillette home, had more to worry about than Steffes. These Ty Tuff cowgirls were all here for a reason and every one came to win. Michelle Alley of Whitewood, SD entered as the No.-8 cowgirl, put together three runs in 21.4 seconds to win the average. Isabel, SD cowgirl Marcie Locken was a mere 0.2 seconds behind Alley with a 21.6 total time. Year-End buckle Champion was Jordan Thurston. Marcie Locken took the Saddle home to Isabel. Chelsey Kelly, Dupree, SD took home third in the average.

Calf roping: Trey Young, Dupree, SD, ended the regular season No. 4 and $4,000 back from leader Justin Scofield of St. Lawrence, SD. Young used consistency, roping his second calf in 9.5 seconds to win the round; and roped his third in 8.5 seconds for second behind Tyler Thiel. Thiel, of Belle Fourche, SD, won the round with a 7.9 run. Gillette College rodeo coach Will LaDuke battled back and forth with Young, placed in all three rounds and won the average, roping three head in a total time of 30.8 seconds. Scofield's $3,000 lead was enough to earn the Year-End Champion buckle, with Trey Young taking the Saddle home to Dupree.

Saddle bronc: The classic event of rodeo saw just a shade over $1,000 separating Cole Hindman, Billy Martin, Cole Elshere, Matt Costello and Andy Clarys heading into the weekend. The broncs were rank and the cowboy talent deep, as only Hindman, the season leader, managed to place in the top four in the average. The No.-11 and -12 cowboys Jay Longbrake of Dupree, SD and Wacey Snook of Hulett, WY went first and second with 224 and 220 points, respectively, on three head. Philip, SD bronc rider Tyrel Kennedy rounded out the top four with 210 on three. Hindman held onto his season winning the Year-End Champion buckle and placed third in the average with 212. Jay Longbrake took the Championship Saddle to the ranch at Dupree.

Senior men's breakaway: Don't tell these boys their getting old folks; they can still rope with the best of them. Gary Zilverberg came to Gillette from Holabird, SD, with every intention of keeping his lead on J.B. Lord and company and he did just that. Zilverberg roped smoothly all weekend and won both the Year-End Champions Buckle and the Saddle with an aggregate time of 7.7 on three. 2008 champion Bob Burke rode into town from Sundance, WY, intent on upsetting the apple cart and he almost pulled it off. Burke finished second in the average with 8.1 on three. A pair of Piedmont, SD hands, J.B. Lord and Marty Burress, finished third and fourth, respectively, with times of 9.5 and 18.2.

Team roping: The Team Roping Gods were not smiling on the cowboys this weekend as only two teams managed to get times on three head. Clay and Cole Johnson went 18.5 on three steers and kept the average money and the Championship Saddles in Gillette. Brett Price, Faith, SD and Paul Griemsman, Piedmont, SD, were the only other team to rope three and placed second in the average with 24.7. J.B. Lord, Piedmont, SD, and Ryan Zurcher, Torrington, WY, were 12.2 on 2 and Chris Cover and Monte Jamison of Ashby, NE, were 21.2 on 2 to round out the top four in the average. The team of Tim and Jade Nelson wore the Year-End Champion Header and Heeler buckles home to Midland, SD.

Mixed team roping: A new event this year at the Finals saw Sunnie Reeves, Owanka, SD, team up with Ryan Zurcher, Torrington, WY to win the Year-End Champion Buckle and the Saddle.

Ladies breakaway roping: These Ladies are cowboys and they swing a mean loop folks. Laura Hunt, Ridgeview, SD, came into the Finals with a commanding $3,000 lead and the Year-End Buckle virtually locked up. Now all she had to do was stay consistent, win the Finals and take home the saddle. And she did just that with an average run of 2.56 seconds. But hold on, Sawyer, ND cowgirl Brandi Guttormson showed them that ND cowgirls can rope also, averaging 2.33 to win the average. Ladies breakaway roping director Jessica Holmes, Rapid City, SD, finished third and Sunnie Reeves, Owanka, SD rounded out the top four in the average.

Bull riding: Taygen Schuelke, Newell, SD, and Travis Schroth, Buffalo Gap, SD, sitting one and two with only $537.12 difference between them came to the CamPlex to determine the Year-End Champion and possibly the Championship Saddle at stake. Not only did they have to factor in the bad buckers of Burch, Wilson and CN Stars rodeo companies, but they had to keep looking over their shoulders for Jason Hunsaker, Casey Cash and last year's champ Ty Moncur. Hunsaker, of Hermosa, SD, gave them a run for their money, tying with Schroth for first in the average with 152 on 2 head. The Saddle was determined on the highest marked ride and Travis took the Sudden Death Championship saddle home to Buffalo Gap. Schuelke claimed third in the average with 150 on 2 and took the Year-End Championship buckle home to Newell. Casey Cash was fourth in the average with 82 on one head.


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Tri-State Livestock News Updated Aug 14, 2012 03:55PM Published Dec 3, 2010 12:08PM Copyright 2010 Tri-State Livestock News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.