A Good Cowboy: Carson Good wins Brian Fulton Memorial Saddle
In 2015, the rodeo world lost one of its greatest steer wrestlers and cowboys when Brian Fulton died of aggressive brain cancer. This year at the South Dakota State High School Rodeo, a saddle was donated to honor Brian’s life and accomplishments. The cowboy or cowgirl with the most points in three events would be the winner. To be eligible, girls needed to place in goat tying, breakaway roping and barrel racing, while boys would need to place in team roping, steer wrestling and calf roping. The first cowboy to receive this honor was Carson Good of Long Valley, SD.
Carson is now a decorated athlete in the state of South Dakota, as he has won the steer wrestling event in the SDHSRA for the past two years. The all around cowboy placed fifth in the team roping this year with partner, Kade Kinsella, and earned points in tie-down roping. His combined efforts were enough to earn the Brian Fulton Memorial Saddle. The award has special meaning to Good, as, “Brian had helped me for many years.” Good’s father and Brian also traveled and rodeoed together in the 80’s and 90’s.
Good’s father, Allen, has been a steer wrestler for nearly thirty years. His greatest accomplishment was winning the Badlands Circuit Finals average in 1999 and qualifying for the Dodge National Circuit Finals. What’s more, Brian Fulton won the year-end the same year, so the duo got to experience the national circuit finals together.
Carson tells a humorous story from when his father and Brian were rodeoing. The duo found themselves in Texas after a big professional rodeo, and decided to stop at some smaller rodeos on the way home. Their biggest mistake was not looking at a map of Texas before entering a number of them. Brian’s dad, Tex, was undoubtedly shaking his head at his son’s extended trip. Good says, “Tex told my grandpa, ‘Do those two dummies know they’re cross-countrying the whole state?’” By the end of the run, they only had one bigger pro rodeo left in Mesquite. As they drove down the interstate, a sign appeared that pointed North to leave Texas. The pair looked at each other, had a moment of indecisiveness, then mutually agreed to exit and go home. To add to the humor, it was the only time either would ever enter Mesquite, and they ended up drawing out.
Nowadays, Allen helps Carson and his younger son, Denton with their rodeo events. He hosts an annual steer wrestling school and is often seen hazing at high school rodeos. Allen and his brother, Darin, were both state champions in the steer wrestling event. Now, Carson has won it twice, and Denton is well on his way to being successful in the arena. The thirteen year old is already hazing for men in the bulldogging, and was Carson’s hazer when he earned his first amateur rodeo paycheck.
Good’s mother, Beth, is an integral part of the rodeo operation, as well. “She’s amazing. She’ll fit in her work schedule for going to our rodeos as much as she can,” he says. Beth participated in all the women’s events in high school, and supports her boys by driving, videotaping and warming up horses. Beth met Allen while she was working for Three Hills Rodeo Company in the eastern United States in the early ‘90’s. The company put on rodeos called “World’s Toughest Rodeos,” which her future husband competed in. The couple dated for four weeks and went to the courthouse to get married. Good said of his mother, “She said she only paid thirty bucks to get married and that was it.”
Good’s experience at the National High School Finals Rodeo last year helps him to be better prepared for the trip this year. “Now I know what to expect,” he says. “Physically and mentally, I feel like I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in.” Good will enter a pro rodeos over the summer, and will attend Chadron State College in the fall to study Rangeland Management. He received a rodeo scholarship and will compete for the Eagles in the coming year.