Black Hills Baddies: BHSU women’s team wins region |

Black Hills Baddies: BHSU women’s team wins region

By Kaycee Monnens for Tri-State Livestock News

The Black Hills Stock Show Women’s College Rodeo Team is sending four athletes to the College National Finals Rodeo on June 10-18, 2022. The BHSU ladies’ team was named regional champions.

In order to qualify for the CNFR, student athletes must place top three in the region, win an all-around or reserve all-around title, or qualify on a champion or reserve champion team. Emilee Pauley of Wall, South Dakota, a Business Administration graduate, is making her third trip to Casper, Wyoming for the Finals (but fourth qualification; no CNFR in 2020). She spent her whole college rodeo career at BHSU, and has plenty of experience in competition, operating her own barrel horse training business. Pauley will compete in barrel racing and goat tying at the CNFR, due to her winning the All-Around title in the Great Plains Region. “She’s just a tough all around competitor,” says her coach, Glen Lammers.

BHSU veteran, Emilee Pauley, won the Women’s All Around and will be competing in barrel racing and goat tying at the CNFR. Jaicee Vae Photography

Lammers has been at the head of BHSU Rodeo since 2008, and a good number of those years he sent a women’s team to the CNFR. “We’ve been pretty blessed to have some really good student athletes. The women’s team has definitely been strong for a lot of years. That comes from when you have good depth. You wonder, when some graduate, how that’s going to affect next year’s competition, but it gives some of those a chance to step up and luckily, they do. Having that competition within, year to year, by the time you’re a senior, it allows you to step up,” he says.

Next week, Cashae McGee of Rhame, North Dakota, will make her first appearance at Casper. The college junior also qualified in 2020, but was not able to compete. To prepare, she is working on her mental game and is setting up practice runs just like the Ford Wyoming Center, known for being a shorter-than-average run. She likes rodeoing for Black Hills State because the campus is small, the professors know her personally, and they are very understanding of rodeo.

Cashae McGee is passionate about goat tying, and will make her first appearance at the CNFR next week. The Rhame, North Dakota cowgirl helped her team to win the region. Jaicee Vae Photography

Lammers says, “I think we’re pretty diversified with the team that we’re taking.” The BHSU Women’s Rodeo Team will have three of the four women’s events covered: barrel racing, goat tying, and breakaway roping. Women also compete in team roping, but none qualified from the team this year.

Brooklyn Hanson from Faith, South Dakota, was third in the breakaway roping. Her goal of staying consistent all year led to her qualification, and to prepare for the finals, Hanson is just trying to focus on the basics. Perhaps roping in the branding pen will help her at the CNFR, too, because she has been doing lots of it. BHSU treats rodeo like any other sport, she says, which makes it easier for the student athletes to get down the road while pursuing their degree. Hanson appreciates all of her family, friends, and coaches who have helped her get to this point.

Brooklyn Hanson of Faith, South Dakota shows that consistency pays off throughout the 10-rodeo regular season. Jaicee Vae Photography

Sydney Maher of Timber Lake, South Dakota, finished fourth in the region in the barrel racing, but was picked up on the team as the next highest point-earning woman who did not qualify on her own. Regional champion and reserve champion teams place the top four women or top six men onto their qualifying teams, based upon their number of events in college rodeo. The Human Services graduate rides “Pure Vanilla”, a palomino mare out of her grandfather, Alan Woodbury’s legendary program.

Backed by great bloodlines, Sydney Maher rides “Pure Vanilla”, a mare she has been seasoning for several years. The pair will get their chance to run at the Wyoming Jaicee Vae Photography

Depth of the women’s team in Spearfish means that practices are intense and the drive to win is contagious. “A lot of the girls on the BH [Rodeo] Team are the top of the region. It’s just as tough to be on the [points] team as it is to get in the top three in the region. I think that really keeps everybody pushing forward,” says Pauley. McGee says, “We have a competitive team and are pushing each other to do better everyday.” Their women’s team slipped in the standings midseason, but fought back to win it altogether by their final rodeo in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Being a college rodeo athlete is a balancing act, according to Lammers. “Most of the student athletes come with a work ethic. It’s been built into them at an early age. You have to take care of horses, make it to practice, some of the student athletes have part time jobs, as well. The time management is crucial. Being responsible is one of the key components. There’s a lot of life lessons that you learn through the process that will make you a good rodeo competitor, but a positive influence on society, as well,” he says.

BHSU Rodeo Team Qualifiers:


Women’s Team Qualifiers

Brooklyn Hanson; Faith, South Dakota – Breakaway Roping

Sydney Maher; Timber Lake, South Dakota – Barrel Racing

Cashae McGee; Rhame, North Dakota – Goat Tying

Emilee Pauley; Wall, South Dakota – Goat Tying and Barrel Racing

Men’s Team Qualifiers

Clayton Backhaus; Bismarck, North Dakota – Team Roping

Riley Hannum; Fort Pierre, South Dakota – Team Roping

Austin Madison; Whiting, Iowa – Steer Wrestling

Riley Staton; Hickson, North Dakota – Team Roping




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