Badlands Circuit athletes fare well at RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo
Rodeo competitors swarmed from all over the United States to show up April 10 under the bright lights of the Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee, Florida, for the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo. Several Badlands Circuit competitors found success in The Sunshine State
Tie-down roper Clint Kindred, of Oral, South Dakota, represented the Badlands circuit, spanning North and South Dakota, winning first in both the final and second rounds, as well as first in total money with $18,733 to add to the heap of prizes including a Cactus Saddlery saddle, Montana Silversmiths buckle, Polaris Ranger, a pair of Justin Boots, and a $20,000 voucher toward a RAM pickup.
“It’s by far the most money I’ve ever won at a rodeo without question,” Kindred said. “It was pretty neat when it all happened; I was kind of in shock to be honest.”
His 11-second performance in the first round was barely noteworthy, though once in the second round Kindred was on fire.
“The first round wasn’t a very good run at all. I had a lot of bobbles,” Kindred said, “After that first run I thought I might be out of it.”
His 8.2 second calf-roping run landed him first and started his event earnings with $6,182. He didn’t stop there. In the semifinals, Kindred landed third in the pack of eight, with an 8.4 second go, garnering him another $3,747.
“I drew a really good calf, probably the best calf in the second round, and I really didn’t have a choice after the first run, I had to go for first. I had to go at him. I didn’t safety up any,” he said. “In the semifinals, I was sitting third with three guys left to go that basically all made the [National Finals Rodeo] if I remember right, but the last two guys missed so I got pretty excited.”
Kindred finished out his performances standing first in the finals with his best run of the day at 7.9 seconds. He added $7,493 to his bank.
“I got a calf that when we tied him before the rodeo I really liked and wanted him. He was one of the best in my opinion; the first guy that went out on him was 8.3, and he was settled in when I drew him so it all worked out,” Kindred said.
Kindred won the average at the Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo in Minot, North Dakota, but otherwise has had a lackluster year prior to the RAM National Circuit Finals, he said.
“This year’s been not very good. I’ve won a little bit here and there, but nothing great,” Kindred said. “I couldn’t get a break at the right time. I guess I’ve been saving them up for [RNCFR]. I had a lot of things go right for me there.”
A horse named Paco is receiving a lot of credit from Kindred regarding his success over the weekend.
“I bought him from a good friend of many years, Justin Scofield, about a year ago,” he said. “I was kind of afoot and he sold him as a favor. I owe him a lot. Paco’s not perfect, but he fits me really well.”
JJ Elshere, of Hereford, South Dakota, qualified in saddle bronc riding. He pocketed $12,083 total after solid rides in the first two rounds.
“My first bronc was Paint Chip from Korkow [Rodeos]; I’ve been on her a couple times before. She’s a nice one a guy wants to draw,” Elshere said. “My second was Birthday Suit. I didn’t really know that horse, but it was a nice little horse, darn sure a good pick in that pen.”
Elshere’s 81-point ride on Paint Chip placed him third and earned him $3,372. His second-round ride on Birthday Suit, a Silver Creek Rodeo Bronc, tied for 82 points with Curtis Garton, of Lake Charles, Louisiana. They each walked away from that round with $4,028.
“I made it back to the eight-man round [semifinals]. I had a Brookman [Rodeo] horse that just wasn’t quite enough horse that day to make it back to four-man [finals] round,” Elshere said. “Truth be told, I didn’t ride him that well. We scored a 73, and I think it took 79 or 80 points to get another one in that round.”
Averaging second with 163 points on two broncs garnered Elshere another $6,182.
Elshere said he is lying low until summer rolls around to hit circuit rodeos.
“I don’t go very hard anymore; I stay at local, circuit rodeos. I went to Rapid City, South Dakota, to the Stock Show Rodeo and got a check, and Valley City, North Dakota, and got a check there. I’ve only been to three rodeos this year and made money at all of them. I guess maybe I should be going harder,” he said.
Mandan, North Dakota, cowboy Ty Breuer traveled south with his brother Casey Breuer to ride bareback broncs at the RNCFR, though Ty was more successful than his sibling.
Ty found himself in fifth in the first round for an 80.5-point ride on a Brookman Rodeo bronc after a reride option on the first bronc and a 79-point performance in the second round, not placing him in that round.
“My first horse was supposed to be really good, but I got a reride on that one. I got 80 on that reride; that’s when I won a little bit,” Ty said. “My second horse was one of Steve Smith’s. He was a nice horse.”
Ty’s accumulated 159.5 points from the first two rounds qualified him for the semifinals, but he was unable to place there even though he made the buzzer.
“I made the eight-man [semifinals], but I drew a horse I’d been on a couple times, called Mike Gothier, a Steve Smith Bronc,” Ty said. “He’s always a little tricky booger, but at least got him rode. I’ve drawn him before and haven’t ridden him, but was able to. I’ve seen that horse a lot; he’s kind of littler and a lot of people have heck with him and I did too.”
Ty placed fifth in the average, garnering another $1,311 to finish out the weekend with a total of $2,623 in his pocket.
“I feel like I rode good except the last [semifinals] horse. He made me look kind of dumb. Hopefully next time I get on him, I can get back at him. He’s made me look dumb a couple times now,” he said. “I like the money RNCFR has added, that’s for sure. It’s a lot of money added for a finals rodeo. It’s the first time I’ve been able to go on to National Circuit Finals; any other time I’ve qualified I’ve been hurt.”
Ty has shown up at 10 rodeos so far this year, earning a little over $11,000 prior to this weekend.
“It’s been a pretty good winter. My plan was that before I came home to calving to win about $10,000, and I’ve won a little over $11,000 in PRCA world standings,” he said. “I’ll start riding really hard around the middle of April/beginning of May. I’ll try to get back to NFR and hopefully stay healthy.”
Cally Thomas, of Harrold, South Dakota, landed fifth in the first-round of barrel racing aboard her horse PR Illuminator Cash, or as she fondly calls him, Stud Muffin. Her 15.94 second barrel run was enough to earn her $1,311 for the weekend, placing her ninth in total winnings of the barrel racers.
“I was really proud of Stud Muffin; he stepped up and did really good. I made it to Circuit Finals and won on his full brother that’s older in Fort Worth, but he was injured,” Thomas said.
She qualified for the RNCFR after a hiatus from rodeoing.
“It was a long drive, but they were really welcoming and treated us very well,” she said. “It was fun to go to Florida; we don’t really go that direction often.”
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