Badlands Circuit finals champions named
Year end and average winners for the Badlands Circuit
All-around Champion: J.B. Lord, Sturgis, S.D.
All-around champion for the Finals: Rex Treeby, Hecla, S.D.
Bareback Riding Year End Champion – Casey Breuer, Mandan, N.D.
Bareback Riding Average Champion – Casey Breuer, Mandan, N.D.
Steer Wrestling Year End Champion: Cameron Morman, Glen Ullin, N.D.
Steer Wrestling Average Champion: Colt Floyd, Buffalo, S.D.
Team Roping Year End Champion Header: J.B. Lord, Sturgis, S.D.
Heeler: Levi Lord, Sturgis, S.D.
Team Roping Average Champion Header: Logan Olson, Flandreau, S.D.
Heeler: Jordan Olson, Surprise, Ariz.
Saddle Bronc Riding
Saddle Bronc Year End Champion: J.J. Elshere, Faith, S.D.
Saddle Bronc Average Champion: Jesse Bail, Camp Crook, S.D.
Barrel Racing Year End Champion: Calyssa Thomas, Harrold, S.D.
Barrel Racing Average Champion: Calyssa Thomas, Harrold, S.D.
Tie Down Roping Year End Champion: Boe Brown, Valentine, Neb.
Tie Down Roping Average Champion: Clint Kindred, Oral, S.D.
Bull Riding Year End Champion: Wyatt Gregg, Belle Fourche, S.D.
Bull Riding Average Champion: Wyatt Gregg, Belle Fourche, S.D.
A lucky few in Minot, North Dakota, last weekend have won themselves a trip to Kissimmee, Florida, next year.
The winning cowboys and cowgirls in each of seven events at the Ram Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo, hosted by the Minot Y’s Men’s Rodeo, will go on to represent North Dakota and South Dakota next spring at the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo (RNCFR) in Kissimmee, April 7-10, 2016.
For a few cowboys, their ticket was punched well before they came to Minot. For others, it came down to the final performance, Sunday, Oct. 11. Year-end winners who won the most money throughout the season, and average winners, those who earned the most points or had the fastest times throughout the four performances in Minot, will compete at the RNCFR.
The battle in the bareback riding was between the Breuer brothers for the entire rodeo, and at the end, it was the younger one, Casey, who was crowned the champion. Ty, age 25, and Casey, age 23, flip-flopped back and forth, with Ty winning first place in three rounds and Casey winning second place twice and first place once. In the end, Casey scored 321 points on four head, just five points ahead of his brother, to win the average and a total check for $22,010.
Casey also won the year-end title. The brothers are from Mandan, N.D.
Cameron Morman came into the Badlands Circuit Finals in first place, and held on to his lead to win the year-end title.
The Glen Ullin, North Dakota, cowboy was humble about his winnings, though. “I don’t know if I deserve it,” he said. “I broke a barrier in the fourth round, but I guess I’m as glad as I can be.”
It was his second year to qualify for the Circuit Finals, and he approached it like he would a regular season rodeo. “You have to look at it as it’s just another rodeo. Otherwise you get too hard on yourself and it’ll kill you. That’s what makes guys quit going” (in rodeo).
He broke the barrier in the first round as well, which added a ten second penalty to his time. “It wasn’t really jitters, just wanting to win a little too bad. I think (the broken barrier) slapped me back into shape and made me realize it’s a four head average, not just one rodeo.” Morman is the 2015 National Inter-Collegiate Rodeo Association Steer Wrestling Champion. He is a student at Dickinson (N.D.) State University.
Colt Floyd, of Buffalo, South Dakota, won the average with a time of 18.7 seconds on four head, and Morman was complimentary of Floyd’s runs. “Colt did an amazing job. He made good runs every single night.”
This was Floyd’s second trip to the Circuit Finals, and the first year he’s rodeod more than usual. A construction company and three young sons, ages eleven, six and two, “keep me busy,” he said.
A father/son team topped the list in the team roping again.
J.B. Lord, and his younger son Levi didn’t have the Finals they would have liked, but they hung on to their leads to win the year-end title. “We had a really good year,” Levi, age nineteen, said. “We caught a lot of steers and didn’t win a lot of big checks, but we stayed consistent all year and tried to make the same run over and over.”
Their Finals performance wasn’t what they wanted; the team never won a check till the fourth round on Sunday. “We had a little bad luck to start with,” J.B. said. J.B. lost hold of his rope in the first round, and in the third round, the steer set up, not allowing the cowboys to rope him. “But we were still confident in each other, and it worked out really good today.”
The lack of winning the first three nights didn’t set them into a panic. “You just stay with what brought you here,” J.B. said, “and it’ll win in the end. If you have a style of consistency, and know your game plan and stick to it, it makes up for a lot of pressure.”
The pair handled the pressure and were the fastest time in the fourth round to win it in 4.9 seconds. “We capitalized when we needed to and made a good run in the fourth round again,” Levi said. Levi and J.B. won the fourth round of last year’s Circuit Finals as well.
J.B. lives in Sturgis; Levi and his elder brother, Eli, are students at Eastern New Mexico State in Portales, where they are on the college rodeo team. Levi was the Badlands Circuit Rookie of the Year; J.B. was the Year-End All-Around champion.
Brothers Logan Olson and Jordan Olson won the average title with a total of 30.1 seconds on four head. “We had a really good Finals until today,” Jordan said, referring to their five second penalty for only roping one heel in the fourth round. “We roped good, and won the first round, (5.8 seconds) made a good aggressive run in the second round, won second place in the third round (5.5) , and I knew we had a little bit of a lead (in the average race) today. Obviously, the goal is to win the Circuit Finals or the Circuit, and when J.B. and Levi made their good run, we knew we probably weren’t going to be able to catch them. So the deal was to win the average.”
This was Jordan’s first trip to the Badlands Circuit Finals; he has qualified for the Turquoise Circuit Finals several times. It will also be Jordan’s first time to qualify for the Ram National Circuit Finals; Logan has competed there three times. The brothers, who are from Flandreau, South Dakota, spend their winters in Texas and Arizona.
Saddle bronc riding
A cowboy from the Elshere family of South Dakota has returned to the winner’s circle at the Badlands Circuit Finals.
J.J. Elshere, Hereford, S.D., won the year-end title for the circuit, after two years of having no Elsheres win titles. J.J., his brother Ryan and their cousin Cole have been among the winners for the last half-dozen years.
J.J. never let go of his lead at the top, coming into the Finals after having won much of his money at Fourth of July rodeos in Killdeer and Mandan, N.D. and Belle Fourche, S.D.
He’s one of the veterans among the saddle bronc riders, at age 35, but it doesn’t bother him. “I still like getting on bucking horses, I guess,” he said.
He is starting the next generation of Elsheres, with his five sons, ages thirteen, ten, six, five and three. “They’re ready to roll,” he said, as they will begin 4-H rodeo, and for the oldest, junior high competition this fall.
Cole Elshere also competed at this year’s Finals and finished third in the average.
The average winner in the saddle bronc riding was Jesse Bail, Camp Crook South Dakota. Bail was 304 points on four head.
Calyssa Thomas quietly slipped up the charts at the Circuit Finals, winning checks in each round and finishing the season as both the year-end and average winner.
It was the first time to the Badlands Circuit Finals for the Harrold, South Dakota. cowgirl, who didn’t decide to rodeo hard till July. “I didn’t rodeo at all last year,” she said. “I just started out this year and didn’t have much of a plan. About July, I decided I should try to make Circuit Finals.”
She was the first to compete in the fourth round, and had a time of 13.84 seconds to win it. “It was pretty nerve-wracking today,” she said. “I was first out and there were a lot of girls who were tough in the average and the year end, so I figured I had to go for it because I didn’t know what they were going to do. It was a good thing I did, because they were a lot of tough horses here.”
The 24 year old, a graduate of Kansas State University, rode a nine year old horse named D.J. who was raised and trained by her family. D.J.’s full sister has been to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo with fellow South Dakota barrel racer Jill Moody.
Boe Brown, Valentine, Neb., won the year-end title in the tie-down roping. He finished just $40 ahead of Dupree, South Dakota’s Trey Young for the championship.
The average went to Clint Kindred, Oral, South Dakota, who had a time of 36.5 seconds on four head.
Wyatt Gregg, Belle Fourche, South Dakota, won both the year-end and the average title for the 2015 season. He was one of only four cowboys to ride two bulls; no man rode more than that. Gregg was first place in both the first and second rounds with scores of 84 and 80, respectively.
The 2016 Miss Rodeo North Dakota was crowned prior to the final go-round. Megan Haag, the 21 year old daughter of Keith and Kathy Haag, won the title. She is from Linton, North Dakota, and was a former Miss Rodeo Prairie Rose queen.
The stock awards for the Badlands Circuit were also announced. Sutton Rodeo Co. swept the year-end awards, with their bareback horse Crystalyx, their saddle bronc horse South Point, and bull Tea Time winning honors. For the Finals, the winning bareback horse went to Flashcard Champ of Korkow Rodeo, the saddle bronc was Spider, of Bailey Rodeo, and the bull was Justified, also owned by Bailey Rodeo.
The Minot Y’s Men’s Rodeo is a not-for-profit venture by the YMCA Men of Minot, North Dakota. Proceeds from each year’s rodeo benefit the Triangle Y Camp at Lake Sakakawea, near Garrison, North Dakota. Next year’s Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo will be Oct. 6-9, 2016. Visit Minot, Hess, 4- Bears Casino & Lodge are proud sponsors of the Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo. National sponsors include Wrangler, Justin Boots, Only Vegas, Experience Kissimmee, Ram, and Montana Silversmiths.
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