Champions crowned at 2011 Badlands Circuit Finals | TSLN.com

Champions crowned at 2011 Badlands Circuit Finals

MINOT, ND – A lucky few in Minot, ND last weekend have won themselves a trip to Oklahoma City, OK next year.

The winning cowboys and cowgirls in each of seven events at the Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo, hosted by the Minot Y’s Men’s Rodeo, will go on to represent North and South Dakota next March at the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma City (RNCFR).

For some cowboys, their ticket was punched well before they came to Minot. For others, it came down to the final performance on Sunday, Oct. 9 before they knew if they were headed south. Year-end winners and average winners, those who earned the most points or had the fastest times in Minot, will compete at the RNCFR.

Bareback riding: Bareback rider Joe Gunderson had earned $12,571 during the 2011 rodeo season, and even though he was injured and did not compete, he won the year-end title. The average championship, the most points scored in the bareback riding in Minot, went to Mac Erickson. Erickson, from Sundance, WY, won money in three of four rounds in his first year in the Badlands Circuit. The 26-year-old cowboy’s secret to riding well is “drawing good, and keeping a good attitude,” he said. “Everybody else complains about what they’ve drawn,” but not Erickson. “You just go ride them. Nobody listens when you complain.”

Sunday’s performance was the third time Erickson had drawn the Bareback Horse of the Circuit, -303 Crystalyx of Sutton Rodeo Co., and was complimentary of the horse. “He’s really good, one you like to get on. He does a good job.”

Steer wrestling and All-Around: Seth Murphy repeated from last year as All-Around and steer wrestling champions for the Badlands Circuit, but he wasn’t totally pleased. “I didn’t meet all the goals I set for myself this year,” he said. Being a back-to-back steer wrestling champion “is sort of a success itself,” he admitted. “I’ll try for a three-peat next year.”

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The South Heart, SD cowboy also competes in the tie-down roping but did not qualify for the circuit finals in that event this year.

The fierce competitor will get right back to work. “I came short on quite a few of (my goals). But I just go back to the practice pen this winter and come back stronger next year.”

The average steer wrestling champion was Clay Cowan, Highmore, SD. He had a time of 17.8 seconds on four head. Cowan rode the circuit’s Steer Wrestling Horse of the Year, Cruiser, who belonged to his good friend Levi Wisness. Wisness, a fellow steer wrestler, died of cancer in 2008. “I used to rodeo with Levi,” Cowan said. “It means a lot” to ride Cruiser. Levi’s parents, Milo and Julie, were at the rodeo on Oct. 8, where they presented the annual Levi Wisness award to steer wrestler Kody Woodward.

Team roping: Preston Billadeau, Parshall, ND, and Jared Bilby, Bridgeport, NE, won the year end title in the team roping. They just began roping together this year, after Billadeau’s partner quit. How did a team roper in North Dakota connect with one in Nebraska? “I called a buddy of mine, Jess Tierney,” Billadeau said, “and he told me to give Jared a call. I did, and we’ve been roping ever since. It’s been good.”

Brady Williams, Hammond, MT, and Ryan Zurcher, Torrington, WU, won the average title with a time of 22.14 seconds on four head.

Saddle bronc riding: The average title in the saddle bronc riding came down to the only man to make four qualified rides. Ty Manke, Rapid City, SD, never placed in any of the four rounds of the Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo, but he was the only cowboy to make the eight-second buzzer each time. “There’s a lot of tough bronc riders in this circuit,” he said, “so that’s unusual.” This is his fourth year at the circuit finals, and the 24-year-old cowboy looks forward to competing at Oklahoma City.

The year-end title race was closer in the saddle bronc riding than in any other event. Ryan Elshere, Elm Springs, SD, won $177 more than Clay Schaeffer to win the year-end championship. He’s been to circuit finals numerous times. “We were talking about that the other day,” he said, “and it’s been so many, we can’t remember.” Elshere, 35, isn’t thinking of quitting anytime soon. “I’m still holding together, still in one piece,” he laughed. He has more years in him, he thinks. “A few. We’ll see.”

Barrel racing: Lisa Lockhart got on board Louie and never looked back.

The Oelrichs, SD cowgirl won first place three times and tied for second place once to wrap up the year-end and average titles in the barrel racing at the Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo.

Louie, her eight-year-old gelding, was on his second trip to Minot. He was her backup horse last year, when she wasn’t sure he was seasoned enough or could handle indoor arenas.

But last year, at the National Finals Rodeo (NFR), she had to ride the gelding when her primary horse got hurt. “I was forced to get on Louie in Vegas. It was a blessing in disguise.” Now Louie is her first choice for indoor pens, and he and Lockhart will be in Las Vegas competing at this year’s NFR, her fifth trip to the event.

Tie-down roping: The tie-down roping race was close, but a few bobbles opened the door and allowed Justin Scofield to slide in.

Tyler Fagerhaug and Boe Brown, both threats to Scofield, won money in two rounds, but it wasn’t enough to hold him off.

The St. Lawrence, SD cowboy roped four calves in a time of 38.7 seconds to edge out Brown, whose average on four was only two-tenths of a second slower. “I just drew really good,” Scofield said. “My horse worked good. I just needed to stay in the average, is the way I had it figured.”

Scofield won both the year-end and the average title and will make his third trip to the RNCFR next year. The race was “close against good friends, and it was fun.”

Bull riding: Charles Zoss rode only one of four bulls at this year’s Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo, but his lead coming into the finals was enough to hold off the other eleven bull riders. Zoss of Forestburg, SD, won the year-end title. Having a $2,500 lead over the number two man at circuit finals was not to his advantage, he thought. “I think it makes it tougher. I’d rather have pressure.” This will be Zoss’ first trip to the RNCFR.

No bull rider rode all four bulls, and only three men covered three bulls. Shawn Coleman, Springfield, SD, scored 232 points on three head to win the average title at the rodeo.

Miss Rodeo North Dakota: Prior to the rodeo, the 2012 Miss Rodeo North Dakota was crowned. Sadie Wardner, of Cole Harbor, ND won the title and will serve as lady-in-waiting until Jan. 1, 2012. She was the Miss Rodeo Bison Stampede for the Fargo, ND event.

MINOT, ND – A lucky few in Minot, ND last weekend have won themselves a trip to Oklahoma City, OK next year.

The winning cowboys and cowgirls in each of seven events at the Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo, hosted by the Minot Y’s Men’s Rodeo, will go on to represent North and South Dakota next March at the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma City (RNCFR).

For some cowboys, their ticket was punched well before they came to Minot. For others, it came down to the final performance on Sunday, Oct. 9 before they knew if they were headed south. Year-end winners and average winners, those who earned the most points or had the fastest times in Minot, will compete at the RNCFR.

Bareback riding: Bareback rider Joe Gunderson had earned $12,571 during the 2011 rodeo season, and even though he was injured and did not compete, he won the year-end title. The average championship, the most points scored in the bareback riding in Minot, went to Mac Erickson. Erickson, from Sundance, WY, won money in three of four rounds in his first year in the Badlands Circuit. The 26-year-old cowboy’s secret to riding well is “drawing good, and keeping a good attitude,” he said. “Everybody else complains about what they’ve drawn,” but not Erickson. “You just go ride them. Nobody listens when you complain.”

Sunday’s performance was the third time Erickson had drawn the Bareback Horse of the Circuit, -303 Crystalyx of Sutton Rodeo Co., and was complimentary of the horse. “He’s really good, one you like to get on. He does a good job.”

Steer wrestling and All-Around: Seth Murphy repeated from last year as All-Around and steer wrestling champions for the Badlands Circuit, but he wasn’t totally pleased. “I didn’t meet all the goals I set for myself this year,” he said. Being a back-to-back steer wrestling champion “is sort of a success itself,” he admitted. “I’ll try for a three-peat next year.”

The South Heart, SD cowboy also competes in the tie-down roping but did not qualify for the circuit finals in that event this year.

The fierce competitor will get right back to work. “I came short on quite a few of (my goals). But I just go back to the practice pen this winter and come back stronger next year.”

The average steer wrestling champion was Clay Cowan, Highmore, SD. He had a time of 17.8 seconds on four head. Cowan rode the circuit’s Steer Wrestling Horse of the Year, Cruiser, who belonged to his good friend Levi Wisness. Wisness, a fellow steer wrestler, died of cancer in 2008. “I used to rodeo with Levi,” Cowan said. “It means a lot” to ride Cruiser. Levi’s parents, Milo and Julie, were at the rodeo on Oct. 8, where they presented the annual Levi Wisness award to steer wrestler Kody Woodward.

Team roping: Preston Billadeau, Parshall, ND, and Jared Bilby, Bridgeport, NE, won the year end title in the team roping. They just began roping together this year, after Billadeau’s partner quit. How did a team roper in North Dakota connect with one in Nebraska? “I called a buddy of mine, Jess Tierney,” Billadeau said, “and he told me to give Jared a call. I did, and we’ve been roping ever since. It’s been good.”

Brady Williams, Hammond, MT, and Ryan Zurcher, Torrington, WU, won the average title with a time of 22.14 seconds on four head.

Saddle bronc riding: The average title in the saddle bronc riding came down to the only man to make four qualified rides. Ty Manke, Rapid City, SD, never placed in any of the four rounds of the Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo, but he was the only cowboy to make the eight-second buzzer each time. “There’s a lot of tough bronc riders in this circuit,” he said, “so that’s unusual.” This is his fourth year at the circuit finals, and the 24-year-old cowboy looks forward to competing at Oklahoma City.

The year-end title race was closer in the saddle bronc riding than in any other event. Ryan Elshere, Elm Springs, SD, won $177 more than Clay Schaeffer to win the year-end championship. He’s been to circuit finals numerous times. “We were talking about that the other day,” he said, “and it’s been so many, we can’t remember.” Elshere, 35, isn’t thinking of quitting anytime soon. “I’m still holding together, still in one piece,” he laughed. He has more years in him, he thinks. “A few. We’ll see.”

Barrel racing: Lisa Lockhart got on board Louie and never looked back.

The Oelrichs, SD cowgirl won first place three times and tied for second place once to wrap up the year-end and average titles in the barrel racing at the Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo.

Louie, her eight-year-old gelding, was on his second trip to Minot. He was her backup horse last year, when she wasn’t sure he was seasoned enough or could handle indoor arenas.

But last year, at the National Finals Rodeo (NFR), she had to ride the gelding when her primary horse got hurt. “I was forced to get on Louie in Vegas. It was a blessing in disguise.” Now Louie is her first choice for indoor pens, and he and Lockhart will be in Las Vegas competing at this year’s NFR, her fifth trip to the event.

Tie-down roping: The tie-down roping race was close, but a few bobbles opened the door and allowed Justin Scofield to slide in.

Tyler Fagerhaug and Boe Brown, both threats to Scofield, won money in two rounds, but it wasn’t enough to hold him off.

The St. Lawrence, SD cowboy roped four calves in a time of 38.7 seconds to edge out Brown, whose average on four was only two-tenths of a second slower. “I just drew really good,” Scofield said. “My horse worked good. I just needed to stay in the average, is the way I had it figured.”

Scofield won both the year-end and the average title and will make his third trip to the RNCFR next year. The race was “close against good friends, and it was fun.”

Bull riding: Charles Zoss rode only one of four bulls at this year’s Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo, but his lead coming into the finals was enough to hold off the other eleven bull riders. Zoss of Forestburg, SD, won the year-end title. Having a $2,500 lead over the number two man at circuit finals was not to his advantage, he thought. “I think it makes it tougher. I’d rather have pressure.” This will be Zoss’ first trip to the RNCFR.

No bull rider rode all four bulls, and only three men covered three bulls. Shawn Coleman, Springfield, SD, scored 232 points on three head to win the average title at the rodeo.

Miss Rodeo North Dakota: Prior to the rodeo, the 2012 Miss Rodeo North Dakota was crowned. Sadie Wardner, of Cole Harbor, ND won the title and will serve as lady-in-waiting until Jan. 1, 2012. She was the Miss Rodeo Bison Stampede for the Fargo, ND event.

MINOT, ND – A lucky few in Minot, ND last weekend have won themselves a trip to Oklahoma City, OK next year.

The winning cowboys and cowgirls in each of seven events at the Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo, hosted by the Minot Y’s Men’s Rodeo, will go on to represent North and South Dakota next March at the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma City (RNCFR).

For some cowboys, their ticket was punched well before they came to Minot. For others, it came down to the final performance on Sunday, Oct. 9 before they knew if they were headed south. Year-end winners and average winners, those who earned the most points or had the fastest times in Minot, will compete at the RNCFR.

Bareback riding: Bareback rider Joe Gunderson had earned $12,571 during the 2011 rodeo season, and even though he was injured and did not compete, he won the year-end title. The average championship, the most points scored in the bareback riding in Minot, went to Mac Erickson. Erickson, from Sundance, WY, won money in three of four rounds in his first year in the Badlands Circuit. The 26-year-old cowboy’s secret to riding well is “drawing good, and keeping a good attitude,” he said. “Everybody else complains about what they’ve drawn,” but not Erickson. “You just go ride them. Nobody listens when you complain.”

Sunday’s performance was the third time Erickson had drawn the Bareback Horse of the Circuit, -303 Crystalyx of Sutton Rodeo Co., and was complimentary of the horse. “He’s really good, one you like to get on. He does a good job.”

Steer wrestling and All-Around: Seth Murphy repeated from last year as All-Around and steer wrestling champions for the Badlands Circuit, but he wasn’t totally pleased. “I didn’t meet all the goals I set for myself this year,” he said. Being a back-to-back steer wrestling champion “is sort of a success itself,” he admitted. “I’ll try for a three-peat next year.”

The South Heart, SD cowboy also competes in the tie-down roping but did not qualify for the circuit finals in that event this year.

The fierce competitor will get right back to work. “I came short on quite a few of (my goals). But I just go back to the practice pen this winter and come back stronger next year.”

The average steer wrestling champion was Clay Cowan, Highmore, SD. He had a time of 17.8 seconds on four head. Cowan rode the circuit’s Steer Wrestling Horse of the Year, Cruiser, who belonged to his good friend Levi Wisness. Wisness, a fellow steer wrestler, died of cancer in 2008. “I used to rodeo with Levi,” Cowan said. “It means a lot” to ride Cruiser. Levi’s parents, Milo and Julie, were at the rodeo on Oct. 8, where they presented the annual Levi Wisness award to steer wrestler Kody Woodward.

Team roping: Preston Billadeau, Parshall, ND, and Jared Bilby, Bridgeport, NE, won the year end title in the team roping. They just began roping together this year, after Billadeau’s partner quit. How did a team roper in North Dakota connect with one in Nebraska? “I called a buddy of mine, Jess Tierney,” Billadeau said, “and he told me to give Jared a call. I did, and we’ve been roping ever since. It’s been good.”

Brady Williams, Hammond, MT, and Ryan Zurcher, Torrington, WU, won the average title with a time of 22.14 seconds on four head.

Saddle bronc riding: The average title in the saddle bronc riding came down to the only man to make four qualified rides. Ty Manke, Rapid City, SD, never placed in any of the four rounds of the Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo, but he was the only cowboy to make the eight-second buzzer each time. “There’s a lot of tough bronc riders in this circuit,” he said, “so that’s unusual.” This is his fourth year at the circuit finals, and the 24-year-old cowboy looks forward to competing at Oklahoma City.

The year-end title race was closer in the saddle bronc riding than in any other event. Ryan Elshere, Elm Springs, SD, won $177 more than Clay Schaeffer to win the year-end championship. He’s been to circuit finals numerous times. “We were talking about that the other day,” he said, “and it’s been so many, we can’t remember.” Elshere, 35, isn’t thinking of quitting anytime soon. “I’m still holding together, still in one piece,” he laughed. He has more years in him, he thinks. “A few. We’ll see.”

Barrel racing: Lisa Lockhart got on board Louie and never looked back.

The Oelrichs, SD cowgirl won first place three times and tied for second place once to wrap up the year-end and average titles in the barrel racing at the Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo.

Louie, her eight-year-old gelding, was on his second trip to Minot. He was her backup horse last year, when she wasn’t sure he was seasoned enough or could handle indoor arenas.

But last year, at the National Finals Rodeo (NFR), she had to ride the gelding when her primary horse got hurt. “I was forced to get on Louie in Vegas. It was a blessing in disguise.” Now Louie is her first choice for indoor pens, and he and Lockhart will be in Las Vegas competing at this year’s NFR, her fifth trip to the event.

Tie-down roping: The tie-down roping race was close, but a few bobbles opened the door and allowed Justin Scofield to slide in.

Tyler Fagerhaug and Boe Brown, both threats to Scofield, won money in two rounds, but it wasn’t enough to hold him off.

The St. Lawrence, SD cowboy roped four calves in a time of 38.7 seconds to edge out Brown, whose average on four was only two-tenths of a second slower. “I just drew really good,” Scofield said. “My horse worked good. I just needed to stay in the average, is the way I had it figured.”

Scofield won both the year-end and the average title and will make his third trip to the RNCFR next year. The race was “close against good friends, and it was fun.”

Bull riding: Charles Zoss rode only one of four bulls at this year’s Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo, but his lead coming into the finals was enough to hold off the other eleven bull riders. Zoss of Forestburg, SD, won the year-end title. Having a $2,500 lead over the number two man at circuit finals was not to his advantage, he thought. “I think it makes it tougher. I’d rather have pressure.” This will be Zoss’ first trip to the RNCFR.

No bull rider rode all four bulls, and only three men covered three bulls. Shawn Coleman, Springfield, SD, scored 232 points on three head to win the average title at the rodeo.

Miss Rodeo North Dakota: Prior to the rodeo, the 2012 Miss Rodeo North Dakota was crowned. Sadie Wardner, of Cole Harbor, ND won the title and will serve as lady-in-waiting until Jan. 1, 2012. She was the Miss Rodeo Bison Stampede for the Fargo, ND event.

MINOT, ND – A lucky few in Minot, ND last weekend have won themselves a trip to Oklahoma City, OK next year.

The winning cowboys and cowgirls in each of seven events at the Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo, hosted by the Minot Y’s Men’s Rodeo, will go on to represent North and South Dakota next March at the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma City (RNCFR).

For some cowboys, their ticket was punched well before they came to Minot. For others, it came down to the final performance on Sunday, Oct. 9 before they knew if they were headed south. Year-end winners and average winners, those who earned the most points or had the fastest times in Minot, will compete at the RNCFR.

Bareback riding: Bareback rider Joe Gunderson had earned $12,571 during the 2011 rodeo season, and even though he was injured and did not compete, he won the year-end title. The average championship, the most points scored in the bareback riding in Minot, went to Mac Erickson. Erickson, from Sundance, WY, won money in three of four rounds in his first year in the Badlands Circuit. The 26-year-old cowboy’s secret to riding well is “drawing good, and keeping a good attitude,” he said. “Everybody else complains about what they’ve drawn,” but not Erickson. “You just go ride them. Nobody listens when you complain.”

Sunday’s performance was the third time Erickson had drawn the Bareback Horse of the Circuit, -303 Crystalyx of Sutton Rodeo Co., and was complimentary of the horse. “He’s really good, one you like to get on. He does a good job.”

Steer wrestling and All-Around: Seth Murphy repeated from last year as All-Around and steer wrestling champions for the Badlands Circuit, but he wasn’t totally pleased. “I didn’t meet all the goals I set for myself this year,” he said. Being a back-to-back steer wrestling champion “is sort of a success itself,” he admitted. “I’ll try for a three-peat next year.”

The South Heart, SD cowboy also competes in the tie-down roping but did not qualify for the circuit finals in that event this year.

The fierce competitor will get right back to work. “I came short on quite a few of (my goals). But I just go back to the practice pen this winter and come back stronger next year.”

The average steer wrestling champion was Clay Cowan, Highmore, SD. He had a time of 17.8 seconds on four head. Cowan rode the circuit’s Steer Wrestling Horse of the Year, Cruiser, who belonged to his good friend Levi Wisness. Wisness, a fellow steer wrestler, died of cancer in 2008. “I used to rodeo with Levi,” Cowan said. “It means a lot” to ride Cruiser. Levi’s parents, Milo and Julie, were at the rodeo on Oct. 8, where they presented the annual Levi Wisness award to steer wrestler Kody Woodward.

Team roping: Preston Billadeau, Parshall, ND, and Jared Bilby, Bridgeport, NE, won the year end title in the team roping. They just began roping together this year, after Billadeau’s partner quit. How did a team roper in North Dakota connect with one in Nebraska? “I called a buddy of mine, Jess Tierney,” Billadeau said, “and he told me to give Jared a call. I did, and we’ve been roping ever since. It’s been good.”

Brady Williams, Hammond, MT, and Ryan Zurcher, Torrington, WU, won the average title with a time of 22.14 seconds on four head.

Saddle bronc riding: The average title in the saddle bronc riding came down to the only man to make four qualified rides. Ty Manke, Rapid City, SD, never placed in any of the four rounds of the Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo, but he was the only cowboy to make the eight-second buzzer each time. “There’s a lot of tough bronc riders in this circuit,” he said, “so that’s unusual.” This is his fourth year at the circuit finals, and the 24-year-old cowboy looks forward to competing at Oklahoma City.

The year-end title race was closer in the saddle bronc riding than in any other event. Ryan Elshere, Elm Springs, SD, won $177 more than Clay Schaeffer to win the year-end championship. He’s been to circuit finals numerous times. “We were talking about that the other day,” he said, “and it’s been so many, we can’t remember.” Elshere, 35, isn’t thinking of quitting anytime soon. “I’m still holding together, still in one piece,” he laughed. He has more years in him, he thinks. “A few. We’ll see.”

Barrel racing: Lisa Lockhart got on board Louie and never looked back.

The Oelrichs, SD cowgirl won first place three times and tied for second place once to wrap up the year-end and average titles in the barrel racing at the Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo.

Louie, her eight-year-old gelding, was on his second trip to Minot. He was her backup horse last year, when she wasn’t sure he was seasoned enough or could handle indoor arenas.

But last year, at the National Finals Rodeo (NFR), she had to ride the gelding when her primary horse got hurt. “I was forced to get on Louie in Vegas. It was a blessing in disguise.” Now Louie is her first choice for indoor pens, and he and Lockhart will be in Las Vegas competing at this year’s NFR, her fifth trip to the event.

Tie-down roping: The tie-down roping race was close, but a few bobbles opened the door and allowed Justin Scofield to slide in.

Tyler Fagerhaug and Boe Brown, both threats to Scofield, won money in two rounds, but it wasn’t enough to hold him off.

The St. Lawrence, SD cowboy roped four calves in a time of 38.7 seconds to edge out Brown, whose average on four was only two-tenths of a second slower. “I just drew really good,” Scofield said. “My horse worked good. I just needed to stay in the average, is the way I had it figured.”

Scofield won both the year-end and the average title and will make his third trip to the RNCFR next year. The race was “close against good friends, and it was fun.”

Bull riding: Charles Zoss rode only one of four bulls at this year’s Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo, but his lead coming into the finals was enough to hold off the other eleven bull riders. Zoss of Forestburg, SD, won the year-end title. Having a $2,500 lead over the number two man at circuit finals was not to his advantage, he thought. “I think it makes it tougher. I’d rather have pressure.” This will be Zoss’ first trip to the RNCFR.

No bull rider rode all four bulls, and only three men covered three bulls. Shawn Coleman, Springfield, SD, scored 232 points on three head to win the average title at the rodeo.

Miss Rodeo North Dakota: Prior to the rodeo, the 2012 Miss Rodeo North Dakota was crowned. Sadie Wardner, of Cole Harbor, ND won the title and will serve as lady-in-waiting until Jan. 1, 2012. She was the Miss Rodeo Bison Stampede for the Fargo, ND event.

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