| TSLN.com

Something in the water: Western South Dakota jr. high students qualify for nationals

Three junior high rodeo students from the nether regions of far western South Dakota clinched their tickets to National Junior High Rodeo Association Finals hosted in their home state next week.

Grey Gilbert, a freshman in the fall at Harding County High School in Buffalo, took home the boy’s all-around title from South Dakota Junior High Rodeo Association Finals last month for his efforts in his specialty: timed events. Mataya Ward, an soon-to-be eighth-grader at Belle Fourche Middle School rode her family’s formerly-retired horse to a state win in pole bending. Chloe Crago, a future freshman at Belle Fourche High School, has qualified for nationals all three years.


Gilbert wrapped up state finals with a trailer full of prizes, winning chute dogging and ribbon roping with partner Landry Haugen of Sturgis, capturing the boys’ all-around title and qualifying for nationals in all four of his events, including team roping and calf roping.

“It was a pretty big honor to win all-around cowboy. There were a lot of good kids that did multiple events,” he said. “I had to work pretty hard.”

Gilbert has won chute dogging at state all three years of middle school, won the team roping as a sixth grader, and also earned rookie of the year then. He has been in the top four in team roping and calf roping multiple times.

His big dun calf horse, as he describes him, won horse of the year this year at state finals. Gotter Dun, who boasts papers filled with Doc Bar, Frenchmans Guy, and Colonel Freckles, is Gilbert’s ribbon roping and calf roping mount, though he can also team rope off of him.

At the high school level, he plans to team rope, calf rope, and steer wrestle. He isn’t concerned about transitioning to high school steer wrestling.

“The way I’ve been taught to chute dog will transfer over to horses,” he said. “I will have to learn how to get off, but everything will be the same once I get on the ground.”

Competing at the state- and national-levels has taught Gilbert to handle pressure; which is helped by his distinct strategy before competing.

“Usually I’m in a perf with two or three friends of mine, and we sit behind the roping chutes and tell jokes and make fun of one another,” he said. “It takes the pressure off and keeps me sharp.”

Throughout the summer, Gilbert practices an average of four to five hours per day, when the schedule allows, summing up to an average of 200 head of bull-dogging steers per week.


Barge On John, or as the family calls him, Jet, was called upon this year for Mataya Ward to compete in pole bending, and the 24-year-old gelding didn’t disappoint. Just as he did with her big sister in high school, Jet helped Ward earn the pole bending state finals title. The pair also earned top point-getter in the state in poles this season.

The Wards had plans to retire Jet this year, but when Mataya needed a horse, Jet was ready.

“This spring, I didn’t have a horse to run, and he was feeling really good, so we decided we would let him run some more,” she said.

Her father lucked upon Jet when he was shoeing horses for a college rodeo student, and she asked if he needed a pole and barrel horse. Her sister had needed one to compete on at the high school level at the time.

Mataya and Jet have won multiple all-around titles and saddles, including the Little Levi Rodeo, Sturgis Series, and other 4-H rodeos.

Mataya qualified for national finals in all four of her events: goat tying, ribbon roping, pole bending, and breakaway roping.

Outside of her favorite hobby, riding her horses, she sings and plays guitar, and she is active in sports, including volleyball, basketball, track, and softball.


“There’s a time to have fun and a time to be focused,” said Crago, who has qualified for nationals each year of junior high. She competes in barrel racing, pole bending, breakaway roping, team roping, and ribbon roping, and has qualified for nationals this year in breakaway and pole bending.

In high school, she will add reined cow horse and cutting to her repertoire

Crago clinched the 2017 South Dakota Junior High Rodeo Association title and state 4-H title in breakaway roping.

“My favorite horse, Tuff, is a breakaway horse and the best horse I have ever owned,” she said. “He’s a fun little chestnut gelding. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get rid of him.”

Breakaway roping clinician Carol Hollers helped Crago find this horse when her last was getting a little too slow for her competition level.

“No one else wanted to look at him, and we went down and tried him out in Gillette,” she said. “The first time I tried him, he was perfect.”

She purchased him from Crystal Heshey two years ago and has been upping her game ever since.

“It’s been different each year,” Crago said. “The first year, I was nervous the whole time, but when I got in the box, I zoned in and did what I do. The second year, I knew what I was doing.”

Crago has been rodeoing since she was three years old, and loves to compete in all sports, but especially basketball and volleyball. She hopes to finish well at National Junior High Rodeo Association finals but also wishes the same for others.

“Good luck,” she said, “to everyone at national rodeo finals this year.”

The National Junior High Finals Rodeo will be at the state fair grounds in Huron, South Dakota June 23 – 29, 2019. F

SDHSR results: Ft. Pierre

1st Go

Barrel Racing: 1. Josi Stevens, St. Lawrence 16.965; 2. Sydney Theobald, Ft. Pierre 17.009; 3. Joey Carley, Philip 17.325; 4. Baylie Hoffine, Colome 17.330; 5. Kodi Retzer, Longlake 17.406; 6. Rayna Grimes, Kyle 17.454; 7. Lorenda Long, Timber Lake 17.482; 8. Savannah Loesch, Pierre 17.489; 9. Kazney Knippling, Chamberlain 17.555; 10. Tessa Menzel, Quinn 17.698

Breakaway Roping: 1. Joey Carley, Philip 2.890; 2. Layni Stevens, St. Lawrence 3.650; 3. Katy Jade O’daniel, Kadoka 4.970; 4. Haley Husted, Harrold 5.050; 5. Gracie Sandquist, Trail City 5.080; 6. Jenna Fulton, St. Lawrence 6.580; 7. Tawny Gropper, Long Valley 7.770; 8. Tessa Menzel, Quinn 10.400; 9. Josi Stevens, St. Lawrence 12.650; 10. Sage Gabriel, Quinn 14.200

Boy’s Cutting: 1. Brandon Volmer, Winner 73.0; 2. Blasius Steffen, Gregory 72.0; 3. Jackson Grimes, Kadoka 71.0; 4. Dawson Phillips, Winner 70.0; 5. Trayer Schmidt, White River 70.0; 6. Kaden Pazour, Ft Pierrre 69.0; 7. Cedar Gabriel, Quinn 66.0

Goat Tying: 1. Layni Stevens, St. Lawrence 7.490; 2. Tessa Menzel, Quinn 7.660; 3. Sage Gabriel, Quinn 7.830; 4. Sierra Stuwe, Hoven 8.420; 5. Josi Stevens, St. Lawrence 8.550; 6. Sydney Theobald, Ft. Pierre 8.750; 7. Baylie Hoffine, Colome 9.450; 8. Megan Vanliere, Pierre 9.580; 9. Bobbi Kammerer, Philip 10.290; 10. Savannah Loesch, Pierre 10.450

Girl’s Cutting: 1. Jenna Fulton, St. Lawrence 73.0; 2. Sage Gabriel, Quinn 72.0; 3. Saige Schuyler, Hamill 71.0; 4. Josi Stevens, St. Lawrence 70.0; 5. Saydee Heath, Colome 70.0; 6. Savannah Loesch, Pierre 65.0

Pole Bending: 1. Layni Stevens, St. Lawrence 22.093; 2. Saige Schuyler, Hamill 22.260; 3. Lainee Schonebaum, Burke 22.386; 4. Savannah Loesch, Pierre 22.425; 5. Kodi Retzer, Longlake 22.461; 6. Megan Vanliere, Pierre 22.540; 7. Prairie Retzer, Long Lake 22.735; 8. Jenna Fulton, St. Lawrence 22.843; 9. Sierra Stuwe, Hoven 22.916; 10. Kazney Knippling, Chamberlain 22.993

Reined Cow Horse: 1. Jackson Grimes, Kadoka 142.5; 2. Blasius Steffen, Gregory 142.0; 3. Sage Gabriel, Quinn 138.5; 4. Trayer Schmidt, White River 137.5; 5. Josi Stevens, St. Lawrence 134.0; 6. Dawson Phillips, Winner 134.0; 7. Saydee Heath, Colome 132.0

Steer Wrestling: 1. Finn Hanson, Burke 5.420; 2. Wyatt Tibbitts, Hot Springs 5.550; 3. Kaden Pazour, Ft Pierrre 5.890; 4. Wyatt Cahoy, Colome 5.900; 5. Beau Dean, Platte 5.950; 6. Dawson Phillips, Winner 8.480; 7. Denton Good, Long Valley 8.500; 8. Linkyn Petersek, Colome 9.660; 9. Riley Hannum, Ft Pierre 9.920; 10. Slater Tople, Ft Pierre 15.670

Team Roping: 1. Beau Dean/Blasius Steffen, Platte 8.440 2. Gracie Sandquist/Meza Ham, Trail City 9.660 3. Josi Stevens/Jayda Tibbs, St. Lawrence 15.080 4. Austin Olson/Wyatt Olson, White River 15.630 5. Denton Good/Riley Hannum, Long Valley 21.280 6. Jackson Grimes/Kaden Pazour, Kadoka 23.780 7. Wyatt Cahoy/Linkyn Petersek, Colome 26.

Tiedown: 1. Rafe Wientjes, Onida 12.250; 2. Denton Good, Long Valley 12.950; 3. Linkyn Petersek, Colome 13.260; 4. Jesse Hostutler, Midland 13.540; 5. Dawson Phillips, Winner 13.630; 6. Myles Clements, Philip 14.510; 7. Blasius Steffen, Gregory 14.860; 8. Riley Hannum, Ft Pierre 16.690; 9. Wyatt Tibbitts, Hot Springs 17.230; 10. Buster Reis, Reliance 18.570

******************** Rodeo Standings *********************

2nd go

Bareback Riding: 1. Willard Henry, St.francis 63.0

Barrel Racing: 1. Megan Vanliere, Pierre 16.859; 2. Tessa Menzel, Quinn 16.897; 3. Layni Stevens, St. Lawrence 17.000; 4. Bobbi Kammerer, Philip 17.140; 5. Kazney Knippling, Chamberlain 17.253; 6. Jenna Fulton, St. Lawrence 17.340; 7. Kodi Retzer, Longlake 17.357; 8. Rayna Grimes, Kyle 17.378; 9. Sydney Theobald, Ft. Pierre 17.414; 10. Gracie Sandquist, Trail City 17.449

Breakaway Roping: 1. Josi Stevens, St. Lawrence 2.960; 2. Sydney Theobald, Ft. Pierre 3.070; 3. Jenna Fulton, St. Lawrence 3.300; 4. Meza Ham, Shadehill 3.610; 5. Lainee Schonebaum, Burke 3.690; 6. Layna Tibbs, Ft Pierre 4.410; 7. Katy Jade O’daniel, Kadoka 5.370; 8. Layni Stevens, St. Lawrence 9.580; 9. Channing Wientjes, Mound City 14.010

Bull Riding: 1. Riggin Shippy, Colome 78.0; 2. Chazz Gabe, Timber Lake 74.0

Boy’s Cutting: 1. Blasius Steffen, Gregory 72.5; 2. Trayer Schmidt, White River 72.0; 3. Jackson Grimes, Kadoka 71.0; 4. Dawson Phillips, Winner 71.0; 5. Kaden Pazour, Ft Pierrre 70.0; 6. Cedar Gabriel, Quinn 69.0; 7. Brandon Volmer, Winner 67.0

Goat Tying: 1. Layni Stevens, St. Lawrence 7.840; 2. Sage Gabriel, Quinn 8.360; 3. Saige Schuyler, Hamill 8.720; 4. Josi Stevens, St. Lawrence 8.760; 5. Taylee Stroup, Fort Pierre 8.900; 6. Joey Carley, Philip 9.270; 7. Tessa Menzel, Quinn 9.370; 8. Katy Jade, O’daniel Kadoka 9.630; 9. Haley Husted, Harrold 10.360; 10. Ramee Jo Hanson, Burke 10.550

Girl’s Cutting: 1. Josi Stevens, St. Lawrence 72.0; 2. Sage Gabriel, Quinn 71.5; 3. Saydee Heath, Colome 71.0; 4. Saige Schuyler, Hamill 70.0; 5. Jenna Fulton, St. Lawrence 69.0

Pole Bending: 1. Saige Schuyler, Hamill 21.404; 2. Haley Husted, Harrold 22.014; 3. Kodi Retzer, Longlake 22.267; 4. Layni Stevens, St. Lawrence 22.368; 5. Jenna Fulton, St. Lawrence 22.490; 6. Taylee Stroup, Fort Pierre 22.573; 7. Sage Gabriel, Quinn 22.916; 8. Savannah Loesch, Pierre 23.144; 9. Prairie Retzer, Long Lake 23.155; 10. Lorenda Long, Timber Lake 23.245

Reined Cow Horse: 1. Dawson Phillips, Winner 141.0; 2. Jackson Grimes Kadoka 138.5; 3. Sage Gabriel, Quinn 137.0; 4. Josi Stevens, St. Lawrence 136.0; 5. Saydee Heath, Colome 134.5; 6. Trayer Schmidt, White River 134.5; 7. Blasius Steffen, Gregory 121.0

Steer Wrestling: 1. Beau Dean, Platte 5.320; 2. Finn Hanson, Burke 6.450; 3. Hudson Johnson, Kadoka 6.480; 4. Wyatt Tibbitts, Hot Springs 6.760; 5. Wyatt Cahoy, Colome 8.480; 6. Trayer Schmidt, White River 9.980; 7. Slater Tople, Ft. Pierre 10.990; 8. Denton Good, Long Valley 18.520; 9. Riley Hannum, Ft Pierre 20.150

Team Roping: 1. Wyatt Tibbitts/Tracer Olson, Hot Springs 8.510 2. Beau Dean/Blasius Steffen, Platte 11.880 3. Buster Reis/Trayer Schmidt, Reliance 12.150 4. Jackson Grimes/Kaden Pazour, Kadoka 14.410 5. Rafe Wientjes/Kaelan Block, Onida 16.580 6. Cheyenne Carroll/Chase Varilek Harrold 17.040 7. Denton Good/Riley Hannum Long Valley 23.650 8. Cedar Gabriel/Brandon Volmer, Quinn 27.000 9. Layna Tibbs/Layni Stevens, Ft Pierre 43.

Tiedown: 1. Blasius Steffen, Gregory 9.230; 2. Dawson Phillips, Winner 11.470; 3. Denton Good, Long Valley 11.850; 4. Kaden Pazour, Ft Pierrre 13.470; 5. Linkyn Petersek, Colome 14.330; 6. Sully Paxton, Onida 14.340; 7. Jd Enright, Timber Lake 16.420; 8. Weston Vanderpol, Geddes 17.280; 9. Jackson Grimes, Kadoka 17.780; 10. Tevin Cowan, Harrold 18.810

“Jake and Clay” headline BFI entries, Jr. BFI to send 10 teams to Las Vegas

PHOENIX, Arizona, June 4, 2019 – ProRodeo Hall-of-Fame team ropers Jake Barnes and Clay O’Brien Cooper will reteam for the 42nd edition of the Bob Feist Invitational (BFI) on June 24 in Reno, Nevada. The pair of roping legends won seven world titles together and won the BFI in 1988.

The BFI is the richest Open roping in the world, and will feature 108 of the world’s best professional teams competing over six rounds for more than $600,000 in cash and prizes. The event anchors Wrangler BFI Week presented by Yeti, June 22-29, and boasts several other superstar teams in addition to Barnes and Cooper.

For instance, 1981 BFI champs David Motes and Dennis Watkins (with 41 NFR qualifications between them) will also reteam in Reno. The field includes defending BFI champs Chris Francis and Cade Passig, as well as Clay Tryan with Travis Graves – who have four BFI championships between them. A handful of world champs are roping together, too. Gold-buckle partners this year include Aaron Tsinigine with Patrick Smith, and Clay Smith with Jade Corkill. Smith’s two younger brothers are also entered together. Both Britt Smith and Carson Johnson – last year’s Hooey BFI Jr. champions – are entered in the actual BFI this year with their brothers.

A first-timer this year at the BFI is Wyatt Imus, 21, who will rope with fellow Texan Reno Gonzales. Imus is the son of radio personality and TV host Don Imus, 79, longtime host of Imus in the Morning on Fox Business Network. The latter was raised on an Arizona ranch and now owns a ranch in Brenham, Texas.

The 2019 Hooey BFI Jr. Championships will launch Wrangler BFI Week on Saturday, June 22, during which the top five teams earn qualifications directly to December’s Jr. World Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. The annual BFI welcome reception at the Silver Legacy Resort Casino is scheduled for Sunday evening, followed by Monday’s BFI. The Wrangler National Patriot #11.5 follows on Tuesday, boasting a six-figure first-place payout per man, and Wednesday watch for the brand-new Cactus #9.5 Over 40 and the #12 High Desert Showdown. Wrapping up the week is the Charlie 1 Horse All-Girl Challenge on Thursday – again expected to be the highest-paying women’s roping in America.

This year’s local BFI Week activities coincide with the storied Reno Rodeo’s 100th anniversary celebration. Together the two events, plus World Series competitions off-site boasting the largest payoffs in their history, will bring the collective athlete purse in Reno that week to roughly $3.75 million.

Visit www.BFIWeek.com for more information. Reservations with special roper rates starting at $54 are available at the Silver Legacy Resort, Eldorado Resort, and Circus Circus Reno by using rate code BFI19.


Landry Haugen captures second Junior High all-around despite broken foot

Landry Haugen captured her second consecutive South Dakota Junior High Association Girls All-Around title in her final year in junior high The 14-year-old views the achievement as a symbol of her hard work and support from her family.

Landry broke the sesamoid bone in her foot while playing basketball this winter, which can take up to a year to heal as it fills back in with fibrous tissue. Upon first injuring her foot, she was on crutches for six weeks, then a floating boot for another six weeks, and finally she now inserts a special plate in her shoe and tapes her foot all times. She ices it nightly and practices goat tying a fraction of the amount she would have without the fracture.

“Even simple things like going to catch horses, we’ve had to, in [Landry’s dad] Tyler’s words, adapt, improvise, and overcome. She could get on and ride, but she would get really sore,” Landry’s mom Dee said. “She couldn’t practice, we wouldn’t let her. She only tied goats once or twice a week, when usually it was every night.”

Her injury didn’t hold her back from claiming her second all-around saddle, though her multitude of events also doesn’t hinder her chances any. Landry qualified for the South Dakota Junior High Rodeo Association and made the short go while there in all of her events, barrel racing, pole bending, goat tying, breakaway roping, team roping, and ribbon roping. She qualified for National Junior High Rodeo Association Finals June 23 to 29 in Huron, South Dakota, by placing in the top four in four events. She wound up first in barrels, first in ribbon roping with partner Grey Gilbert, second in breakaway roping and third in pole bending. “I know that everything I do is 50 percent mental and 50 percent physical, so all I did was visualize every single run I made in every scenario,” Landry said of her successes. “I haven’t been able to practice goat tying often, and ride and rope as much as I did last year, but the break was an obstacle to overcome; it wasn’t a road block.”

Landry’s name appears in many events on the NJHRA National Team roster for accumulating points overall in her rodeos throughout her eighth grade year. She is first in barrel racing on South Dakota’s National Team, second in goat tying, second in pole bending, and second in ribbon roping with Gilbert.

“The great thing about rodeo is that you don’t get a participation ribbon; you get what you put in,” Dee said. “Landry had some fails; she went into state winning goat tying, had some heck, had some goats get up, and didn’t qualify for nationals. When they win, we all accomplish it together.”

In addition to hauling Landry to each of her rodeos, Dee, mom of three to Landry, Arina, 10, and Blaisely, 4, is an integral part of her kids’ successes in her key role of barrel- and pole-horse trainer. Each of Landry’s barrel horses, S’mores and Promiscuous, were either started or trained by her mom. S’mores, a 15-year-old AQHA gelding, was originally intended to be a hazing horse, but his fear of steers and dummies put a quick halt to that. He has excelled as Landry’s main barrel horse after a bit of professionally competing with Dee at rodeos in places like Salinas, California, and Cheyenne, Wyoming. S’mores did redeem himself by hazing with Tyler at those same rodeos as well.

“His experience is a really awesome attribute to have, I know he’s going to take care of me,” Landry said. “Good horses are hard to come by, and I have two of them.”

Style, Landy’s little sister Arina’s horse that was also trained by Dee, has been Landry’s go-to pole-bending horse this year. The fourth member in Landry’s A-Team is Kitten, a home-raised, home-trained mare who has stepped up as Landry’s heel horse. She took a while, she said, to season, but “since she’s been seasoned, she’s an awesome little mare to have.”

Her last horse to help earn the all-around is Pepper, her breakaway-roping and goat-tying horse, with which she won SDJHRA Horse of the Year.

At the top of her game leaving middle school, when Landry starts rodeoing for Sturgis High School in the fall, she isn’t letting a freshman status keep her from being competitive.

“I’m not going into rodeo saying, ‘You’re a freshman’ and using that as an excuse. That isn’t the right mentality,” she said. “I’m going to go into it thinking I can compete and win.”

Part of her mentality, according to Dee, comes from her experience gained from rodeoing in junior high and even Little Britches before and during that (Landry also qualified for the goat-tying, barrel racing, and breakaway roping short-rounds at National Little Britches Finals last year.)

“What junior high rodeo has done is progressed our kids a lot,” Dee said. “When I think back to being in high school, being in national high school finals, in the short go, and having the nerves and adrenaline, this allows these kids to have that earlier. They learn to handle themselves and handle pressure, then when they’re in high school and college, it’s not such a scary deal.”

If you ask Landry or Dee what is the most important aspect of rodeo, they’ll be quick to answer that it isn’t the wins, titles, buckles, or saddles.

“My husband and I both rodeoed, my parents rodeoed; we love the sport of rodeo, but we love the connections we make through it,” Dee said. “We talk about it with the kids, and rodeo is a team. Landry used her middle sister’s horse in pole bending and that helped her win the all-around title. It’s very fulfilling in that essence.”

NHBRMC supports pathway forward for horse and burro management

WASHINGTON (April 23, 2019) – The National Horse and Burro Rangeland Management Coalition (NHBRMC) remains steadfast in its assertion that full use of all management tools included in the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act would most effectively return populations to Appropriate Management Levels (AML). However, a proposal put forth today by members of the Coalition, humane advocates, livestock producers, local governments, and rangeland management professionals brings all perspectives into consideration to break the cycle of failed management currently in place and ensure a pathway forward. “This unprecedented proposal represents compromise language that contains some statements and assertions that are not fully embraced by the Coalition or its individual members,” said Ethan Lane, Coalition Chair. “However, the Coalition supports the underlying premise of the proposal that represents the best chance for population reductions and rangeland health restoration in the current political environment.”

Lia Biondo, Coalition Vice Chair, said, “Achieving AML and a restoration of rangeland health remains the primary objective of this Coalition, and we believe that this compromise has the potential to make progress toward that goal.”

Contact below media representatives for additional information regarding the proposal.


Stetson Lawrence earns important round win

BILLINGS, Mont. – North Dakota cowboy Stetson Lawrence has ridden the last three bulls he’s gotten on, and on Saturday night during Round 2 of the PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Unleash The Beast Billings Invitational presented by Cooper Tires, Lawrence picked up his first round win of the 2019 season.

Lawrence has started the weekend in Billings off right by going 2-for-2. He covered Shere Khan (X6 Ranch Bucking Cattle) on Friday night for 83.5 points before going the distance aboard Audacious (D&H Cattle Co./444 Bucking Bulls) on Saturday in Round 2 for 88.25 points.

The 30-year old from Williston earned 100 points and jumped from 25th in the PBR world standings to 19th, his highest ranking this year.

Second place in Round 2 went to Chase Outlaw (Hamburg, Arkansas) who made the whistle aboard Why Hell Ya (Wallgren & Hale Bull Co./Randy Wood/Barnes Rodeo) for 88 points. It’s the first ride for Outlaw in Billings so far.

Outlaw inched closer to world No. 1 Jose Vitor Leme (Ribas do Rio Pardo, Brazil) by earning 60 world points and sits just 219 points back at No. 2. Leme has been unable to score a qualified ride so far on the weekend.

Montana bull rider Matt Triplett (Columbia Falls) picked up his first ride of the three-day event with an 87.5-point out aboard Budakon (Hale/Braun/Grimes/Wallgren/Flying Diamond Rodeo) to finish in third place.

He picked up an important 50 points towards the world standings.

Derek Kolbaba (Walla Walla, Washington) started Saturday night off the right way with the first ride in Round 2. Kolbaba covered Billy Hill (Corey & Lange Pro Rodeo/Flying Diamond Rodeo) for 86.25 points.

It’s the first ride of the event for Kolbaba as he earned 40 world points and finished in fourth place in the round.

Rounding out the Top 5 was Cooper Davis (Buna, Texas) and Alisson De Souza (Taubate, Brazil) who tied for fifth place with matching 85.25-point scores.

Davis, the 2016 PBR World Champion covered Double Down (Corey & Lange Pro Rodeo/Flying Diamond Rodeo) and is currently the leader in the overall event.

De Souza rode Short Bus (Corey & Lange Pro Rodeo/Flying Diamond Rodeo) for his first ride of the weekend.

Each rider earned 22.5 points towards the world standings.

Championship Sunday from “Big Sky Country” aired on CBS Sports Network.


Rodeo All-Star Crowns Eight New Champions

Denver, Colo. – The elite in pro rodeo rolled into Denver over the weekend to compete for the title of Rodeo All-Star champion. Eight contestants walked away winners, and seven of them automatically became qualifiers for The Days of 47 pro rodeo in Utah this July. Over 11,000 fans enjoyed the two-day event.

These are the 2019 Rodeo All-Star champions: Will Lowe, of Canyon, TX, won his third title as Rodeo All-Star Saddle Bronc champion with a 90-point ride on a horse named High Rolling Sidney. Steer Wrestler, Mason Carter, Checotah, OK, won with a time of 6.66 seconds. Team Ropers, Justin Thigpen, Waycross, GA, and Kyle Crick, Lipan, TX, won with the time of 6.83 seconds. Saddle Bronc rider Travis Gardner, Mt Vernon, AR, took the title with a score of 87 points, and Tie-Down Roper, John Douch, Huntsville, TX, won with the time of 9.84 seconds. Hometown Barrel Racer, Shali Lord, Lamar, CO, won with the fast time of 15.37 seconds, and Bull Rider, Preston Louis, from Browning, MT, took home money with an 87-point winning ride on a bull called Talkin’ Terror.

The Rodeo All-Star Concert, presented by Mountain Dew, featured country music’s rising superstar, Chase Bryant, whose high-energy music turned the dirt arena into a dance floor with his top country hits and edgy guitar riffs.

Each Rodeo All-Star event was featured on the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) digital streaming service, RidePass. RidePass provided live-event coverage of Denver’s April rodeo, not only for fans streaming the event but provided incisive reporting, immediate highlights and contestant interviews for every fan in the arena. For more information visit ridepass.com.

Visit rodeoallstar.com for complete rodeo results and event highlights.

–Rodeo All Star

ND high school rodeo athletes selected for Inaugural Priefert Junior Elite Team

Preserving the future of rodeo, helping young athletes become efficient leaders, and giving back to the rodeo community are the main goals for the inaugural 2019 Priefert Junior Elite Team.

North Dakota girls Cashae McGee of Bowman and Austyn Schafer of Wilton have managed to balance school, rodeo, extra-curricular activities, and now, a position on the team. They attended the first-ever Jr. Elite Roundup in Mt. Pleasant, Texas, April 4-6, which included seminars, clinics, a tour of the Priefert manufacturing facility, a professional photo shoot and video interview, and discussions with professional rodeo competitors.

Of the 250 that applied, 87 students from ages 6 to 17 were selected to take part in the team. In addition to the Roundup, they participate in monthly conference calls and represent Priefert throughout their time as a team member.

Cashae McGee is a senior in high school, and competes in barrel racing, goat tying, and breakaway. She lives south of Rhame on her family’s ranch where they raise Red Angus cattle. She has a string of achievements, both in and out of the arena, under her belt. In her North Dakota Junior High Rodeo Division career she earned the 2014 All-Around Cowgirl Champion title and 2015 NDJHRD State Champion Barrel Racing and Goat Tying titles. She also qualified to compete at the National Junior High Finals for Team North Dakota. She qualified for the North Dakota state high school finals from 2016 – 2018 in all three of her events, earning State Champion Goat Tier in 2017 and Reserve State Champion Barrel Racer in 2018. Those wins earned her two more trips to the National High School Rodeo Finals. One extra special achievement she’s had is overcoming a torn ACL her junior year, only a few months before the beginning of the spring rodeo season. She was able to commit herself to physical therapy and mental progress, and still managed to be ready for the first spring rodeo in Fargo.

These are just a few of the reasons that McGee was selected as a team member on the Priefert team. She explained that she learned different ways to improve her mental and physical game by attending the Roundup.

“They taught us about social media and how we should be presenting ourselves, and how we shouldn’t comment any negative things. Some of the life lessons we heard from the competitors was really good to take in because we learned different ways to approach different experiences, and different ways to practice,” she said. “It’ll definitely help me out because being in contact with different people, and learning how to speak to people is really great for leadership roles.”

Austyn Schafer is a high school freshman, and has only been competing in rodeo since her 6th grade year. Even in that short time, she’s found an abundance of success since then, including an all-around pole bending champion title at the National Little Britches Rodeo in 2018. She competes as a barrel racer, pole bender, and goat tier, and has recently started roping. She said her experience at the Roundup was educational and helpful.

“I was so happy to be around such great people, and I really enjoyed meeting all the team members and learning about what to do and not to do on social media, and as an endorsee. They talked about building your own personal brand, and being on this team will help me build mine. It’s great exposure and it will help me open up to everybody.” In addition to what she learned, Schafer was given an award for her friendly, helpful, and outgoing nature, based on nominations from her peers.

Although she still has the majority of her high school career ahead of her, this athlete already has plans to continue rodeo in college while studying to be an equine veterinarian. She knows her experiences now are helping her reach her goals in the future.

The team members were able to listen to guest speakers like Speed Williams, Alissa Kelly, and Bobby Mote, and attend clinics specialized to their events. They were able to speak with some of Priefert’s professional rodeo endorsees and ask them questions on a panel. They went through leadership skills and character building training.

Courtney Dyer is a program director for the Jr. Elite Team, and the Director of Marketing for Priefert. She explained more about why the team was created and why McGee and Schafer were chosen.

“Our company president, Eddie Priefert, has four boys that are involved in junior rodeo. That’s a passion for him, and last year in a meeting he said we needed to do something to give back to the junior rodeo students. They’re the ones that are going to be our customers, employees, and they’re definitely going to be working with us on endorsements and sponsorships. Our goal with the program is to help develop future leaders for the world of rodeo. Applications went out in December and were due back in January. We had a five-person committee review the applications, and both Austyn and Cashae were standouts.”

Dyer said the North Dakota athletes had outstanding essays as part of their application, as well as great well-rounded resumes and extracurricular activities. McGee is the North Dakota High School Rodeo Secretary, Bowman Rodeo Club President, and is involved in the National Honor Society, FFA, choir, and basketball. Schafer is on her school’s student council, basketball program, FFA, and the youth group at her church.

“Time management was probably a skill they already had. If we were going to add additional responsibilities for the team, we wanted to make sure the applicants we selected were able to do that. Both of them talked about what they hoped to get out of the program, and what they were looking for very much aligned with our goals of leadership training and character building,” Dyer said.

The alignment is clear when McGee talks about giving back to the rodeo community in her own way. She’ll be continuing her rodeo career at Black Hills State University in the fall, where she’ll compete in barrel racing, goat tying, and breakaway for the rodeo team. She’s planning on majoring in communications with a minor in marketing, and then going into sports psychology.

“Since tearing my ACL, I learned that your mental game is so important. I talked to a sports psychologist when it happened, and now I just want a way to give back to the rodeo world and other kids that are struggling.”

Both young ladies have worked hard in school and rodeo, and have exhibited well-rounded experiences in their journey to being on the Priefert team, and Priefert is giving back to students by helping them “understand that it’s not just about what the clock says in the arena.” Dyer mentioned that Priefert wants to promote building confidence and their skills to be successful adults both in and out of the arena. “I’m very passionate, and our company is passionate about this industry, so we want to make sure we preserve and protect it for the future generations and I feel like students that are in this program now are going to be the ones at the forefront of that in the future,” Dyer said.

Both young ladies have worked hard to be where they are today, and continue to fulfill their goals. Participating on the team will give them leadership and team building skills, and a foot in the door for future opportunities.

McGee stated that she enjoys working with Priefert because they’re working just as hard as the student athletes are. “It’s pretty awesome to be a part of the team because they’ve put so much work into it. It just makes me happy that they’re supporting us, and the least we can do is support them, too. Just being a part of Priefert is a great experience.”

Days of ’47 to feature Breakaway this year

AUSTIN, TEXAS- World Champions Rodeo Alliance (WCRA) and the Days of ’47 Rodeo (DO47) are pleased to announce that for the first time in history the discipline of women’s breakaway roping will be featured at the Komatsu Equipment Days of ‘47 Cowboy Games & Rodeo presented by Zions Bank. The five-day event will be held July 19-24 in Salt Lake City.

“Our mission is to advance the sport of rodeo with our alliance partners like the DO47 who support our decision to provide female rodeo athletes more opportunities,” said WCRA President, Bobby Mote. “This historical addition of breakaway roping at the DO47 will give female ropers more opportunities, including the ability to compete for equal and big-money payouts.”

In early January, breakaway roper Jackie Crawford made history when she won the WCRA Windy City Roundup earning more than $52,000, setting the record for the largest payout ever for a single event in the sport at the time. With the win, Crawford automatically qualified into Days of ‘47 that will feature 32 ropers. Other avenues for qualification into Days of ’47 will include: Utah Timed Event Classic-Heber City (May 3-4) WCRA Title Town Stampede-Green Bay, WI (June 1), College National Finals Rodeo-Casper, WY (June 9-15), and the WCRA Virtual Rodeo Qualifier Standings (28 athletes as of July 8).

Following the Titletown Stampede, the WCRA will have awarded more than $350,000 to breakaway ropers. Since launching in May of 2018, the WCRA and its partners have awarded more than $3 million in new money to rodeo athletes.

“Thank you so much to The Days of ’47 Cowboy Games and Rodeo for giving breakaway ropers the opportunity we’ve been working for our whole lives,” said World Champion Breakaway Roper, Lari Dee Guy. “ Getting onto the WCRA Leaderboard is an accomplishment in itself, and now to have a chance at a gold medal in Salt Lake is unbelievable.”

The Days of ’47 Cowboy Games & Rodeo features an Olympic style format offering Gold, Silver and Bronze medals to its winners. Contestants in bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc riding, tie- down roping, barrel racing, bull riding and now breakaway roping will earn the right to compete at the Days of ‘47 Cowboy Games & Rodeo by winning one of the national Trial Events or through the WCRA’s VRQ standings. The Gold Medal Round will pay $50,000 and a Gold Medal to each winner.

“As we continue to look for more additions to the Cowboy Games and for our overall fan experience, we felt that women’s breakaway roping was a perfect fit,” said Tommy Joe Lucia, General Manager of the Days of ’47 Cowboy Games & Rodeo. “With this addition our payout will be over $1 million, making Salt Lake City a must stop on the rodeo circuit in July.”

Qualifying for WCRA events will be based purely on performance and on series points, rather than dollars won, through a new world-ranking points system. For athletes interested in learning more about the WCRA, visit app.wcrarodeo.com.


Practice Good Biosecurity to Guard Your Equine from EHM

Practice Good Biosecurity to Guard Your Equine from EHM

Please be aware Equine Herpes Myeloencephalopathy (EHM), the neurologic disease linked to Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1), was confirmed in a Glasscock County Quarter Horse on April 16, 2019. This is the second case of EHM in Texas this year.

The positive horse attended a seven-day event at the Brazos County Expo center in Bryan, Texas starting on April 1. Following the event, the horse attended a three-day barrel racing event at the Taylor County Expo Center in Abilene, Texas starting on April 12. At that time, the expo center was also hosting a Region II high school rodeo event. The premises where the EHM positive horse originates is under quarantine and the horse is under the care of a Brazos County veterinary hospital. To learn more visit http://www.equinediseasecc.org/alerts/outbreaks.

Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) would like to encourage owners of horses potentially exposed to take precautions. Exposed horses should be isolated and have their temperatures monitored twice daily for at least 14 days after last known exposure. If an exposed horse develops a fever or other signs consistent with EHM, diagnostic tests may be performed. Owners should work with their veterinary practitioners to establish appropriate monitoring and diagnostic plans for any potentially exposed horse(s).

What is EHM?

Equine Herpes Myeloencephalopathy (EHM) is a neurologic disease of horses linked to the Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1). EHV-1 in horses can cause respiratory disease, abortion, and neonatal death. Neurological signs appear as a result of damage to blood vessels in the brain and spinal cord.

EHV-1 is easily spread and usually has an incubation period between 2-10 days. Respiratory shedding of the virus generally occurs for 7-10 days, but may continue longer in infected horses. For this reason, a 21-day isolation period of confirmed positive EHM cases is suggested.

How EHM is Spread

Horse-to-horse contact, short distance aerosol transmission and contaminated hands, equipment, tack and feed all have a role in disease transmission. Direct and indirect contacts are most important for transmission since the size of the virus limits capacity for airborne transmission to distances of less than 30 feet.


Practice and enforcement of biosecurity measures on equine premises can help prevent the spread of EHV-1. Consistent biosecurity practices must be taken to reduce the risk of disease spread. For more information on biosecurity measures you can take to keep your horses healthy, visit https://www.tahc.texas.gov/news/brochures/TAHCBrochure_BiosecurityEquine.pdf.

Key to disease control is the immediate separation and isolation of identified suspect cases. Ideally, a person caring for a sick horse should not also work with healthy horses. If this is impractical, always handle healthy horses first and sick horses last.

People can easily transmit this virus on their hands and clothing. Individuals should wash their hands thoroughly with soap and hot water between contacts with horses to reduce risks of disease spread. Wearing disposable gloves and changing them between horses or use of hand sanitizers between horse contacts are other alternatives. When handling any sick horses suspected to have EHV-1 infection, it is imperative that halters, bridles, and other tack not be shared with stablemates. Feed and water buckets should also be dedicated to sick horses and not shared within a stable.


Herpes viruses can be treated by many disinfectants. A 1:10 dilution of bleach in water is effective against EHV-1. All areas must be thoroughly cleaned of dirt, plants, and animal waste before the use of these products. Use soaps or detergents to clean the area before applying a disinfectant.

In barn environments, where organic material (dirt, plants, animal waste, etc.) cannot be completely removed, it is suggested to use a disinfectant that retains activity in the presence of organic matter. Phenolics, such as 1 Stroke Environ® or SynPhenol-3®, and accelerated hydrogen peroxide products, such as Accel®, have this property. Be sure to follow manufacturers’ recommendations and label instructions for all disinfectants.

*TAHC does not endorse any of the listed disinfectant products.

Additional Resources:



–Texas Animal Health Commission