Contestants vie for championship buckles at Badlands Circuit Finals |

Contestants vie for championship buckles at Badlands Circuit Finals

Saddle bronc rider Cole Elshere will compete at the Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo in Minot Oct. 10-13. The Faith, S.D. cowboy enters the Finals in fifth place. The Badlands Circuit Finals hosts the best cowboys in North Dakota and South Dakota and crowns the region’s pro rodeo champion. Photo by Peggy Gander

Ninety-four cowboys and cowgirls from across North Dakota and South Dakota are dreaming of gold buckles.

Pro rodeo’s regional championship takes place next weekend in Minot, and those cowboys and cowgirls have punched their tickets to the Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo October 9-12. Winners will be crowned in each of seven events, with the champions winning gold buckles and the chance to go on to the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo in Kissimmee, Florida, March 25-28, 2015.

Headlining this year’s list are two South Dakota contestants who will compete on the national stage for a pro rodeo world title. Lisa Lockhart, Oelrichs, S.D., is headed to her eighth National Finals Rodeo (NFR) this December, as is Cole Elshere, saddle bronc rider from Faith, who will compete at his third NFR.

Competitors from the Camp Crook/Buffalo area include steer wrestler Forest Sainsbury and barrel racer Jessica Routier.

Badlands Circuit champs returning to defend their titles include seven of the nine champions. Bareback rider Mac Erickson, Sundance, Wyo., steer wrestler J.B. Lord, Sturgis, S.D., team roping header Jeff Johnston, Thedford, Neb., saddle bronc rider Ty Thompson, Wanblee, S.D., barrel racer Lisa Lockhart, Oelrichs, S.D., and tie-down roper Justin Scofield, Volga, S.D. all return to try for another championship buckle. Lord won the steer wrestling last year, but returns this year to Minot in the team roping.

The Badlands Circuit is made up of the 24 pro rodeos across North and South Dakota. Qualifiers to the Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo must compete at a minimum of ten rodeos for Dakota residents and fifteen for non-residents.

A complete list of contestants follows.

Tickets are available for the Ram Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo, hosted by the Minot Y’s Men’s Rodeo. The rodeo, held October 9-12 at the State Fair Center in Minot, determines the year end champion for all pro rodeos in North and South Dakota. The rodeo will pay out over $130,000 and will determine the year end and average winner in each event, who will represent the circuit at the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo next spring. For more information on the rodeo, visit or call 701-852-5577.

Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo

Minot, N.D. October 9-12, 2014


Bareback riding

1. Joe Gunderson, Agar, S.D.

2. Casey Breuer, Mandan, N.D.

3. Mac Erickson, Sundance, Wyo.

4. Ty Breuer, Mandan, N.D.

5. Blake Smith, Zap, N.D.

6. Weston Garrett, Belle Fourche, S.D.

7. Cheyenne Seymour, Mud Butte, S.D.

8. John Addison, Midland, S.D.

9. Dustin Luper, Provo, S.D.

10. Jake Smith, Whitewood, S.D.

11. Thomas Kronberg, Forbes, N.D.

12. Joe Wilson, Longvalley, S.D.

Steer wrestling

1. Forest Sainsbury, Belle Fourche, S.D.

2. Sheldon Portwine, Dickinson, N.D.

3. Tee Burress, Piedmont, S.D.

4. Tom Hansen, Killdeer, N.D.

5. Eli Lord, Sturgis, S.D.

6. Reed Petersek, Colome, S.D.

7. Cole Fulton, Miller, S.D.

8. Beau Franzen, Sidney, Mont.

9. Cameron Morman, Glen Ullin, N.D.

10. Jim Hansen, Watford City, N.D.

11. Del Kraupie, Bridgeport, Neb.

12. Brett Gumb, Burwell, Neb.

Team roping – headers

1. J.B. Lord, Sturgis, S.D.

2. Tyrell Moody, Letcher, S.D.

3. Preston Billadeau, Parshall, N.D.

4. Tucker Dale, Timber Lake, S.D.

5. Turner Harris, Killdeer, N.D.

6. Jeff Johnston, Thedford, Neb.

7. Jake Nelson, Creighton, S.D.

8. Clint Gorrell, Beach, N.D.

9. Tucker McDaniel, Midland, S.D.

10. Paul David Tierney, Oral, S.D.

11. Brady Wakefield, O’Neill, Neb.

12. Wyatt Bice, Killdeer, N.D.

Team roping heelers

1. Levi Lord, Sturgis, S.D.

2. Rory Brown, Edgemont, S.D.

3. Sloan Hendley, Abilene, Texas

4. Jesse Fredrickson, Upham, N.D.

5. Ross Carson, Killdeer, N.D.

6. Jade Nelson, Midland, S.D.

7. Tommy Crane, Whitewood, S.D.

8. Todd Hollenbeck, Long Pine, Neb.

9. Levi O’Keeffe, Mohall, N.D.

10. Justin Scofield, Volga, S.D.

11. Elliott Gourneau, Kennebec, S.D.

12. Paul Griemsman, Piedmont, S.D.

Saddle bronc riding

1. Jeff Willert, Belvidere, S.D.

2. Ty Thompson, Wanblee, S.D.

3. Jade Blackwell, Rapid City, S.D.

4. Troy Crowser, Whitewood, S.D.

5. Cole Elshere, Faith, S.D.

6. Ty Manke, Hermosa, S.D.

7. Travis Nelson, Philip, S.D.

8. Sam Leftwich, McLaughlin, S.D.

9. Dalton Rixen, Richardton, N.D.

10. Louie Brunson, Interior, S.D.

11. Jeremy Meeks, Belle Fourche, S.D.

12. Shorty Garrett, Dupree, S.D.

Tie-down roping

1. Jon Peek, Williston, N.D.

2. Justin Scofield, Volga, S.D.

3. Clint Kindred, Oral, S.D.

4. Cole Hatzenbuehler, Solen, N.D.

5. Cole Robinson, Moorcroft, Wyo.

6. Dane Kissack, Spearfish, S.D.

7. Riley Pruitt, Gering, Neb.

8. Joe Schmidt, Belfield, N.D.

9. Boe Brown, Valentine, Neb.

10. Paul David Tierney, Oral, S.D.

11. Jess Woodward, Dupree, S.D.

12. Trey Young, Dupree, S.D.

Barrel racing

1. Lisa Lockhart, Oelrichs, S.D.

2. Jessica Leach, Rockville, Neb.

3. Jessica Routier, Buffalo, S.D.

4. Bobbi Grann, Sheyenne, N.D.

5. Britany Diaz, Solen, N.D.

6. Desirae Earl, Bismarck, N.D.

7. Kassidy Lantis, Spearfish, S.D.

8. Wanda Brown, Edgemont, S.D.

9. Amy Brunson, New Underwood, S.D.

10. Kaylee Gallino, Wasta, S.D.

11. Alisha Madison, Oelrichs, S.D.

12. Teresa Wolff, Circle, Mont.

Bull riding

1. Stetson Lawrence, Williston, N.D.

2. Jeff Bertus, Avon, S.D.

3. Joe Bertus, Avon, S.D.

4. Garrett Vig, Newell, S.D.

5. Jess Davison, Miles City, Mont.

6. Coleman Entze, Golden Valley, N.D.

7. Riley Blankenship, Killdeer, S.D.

8. Jobie Dryden, Oelrichs, S.D.

9. Allen Auer, Whitewood, S.D.

10. Travis Pollard, Gann Valley, S.D.

11. Taryl Smith, Litchville, N.D.

12. Taylor Miller, Faith, S.D.

About the PRCA’s circuit system:

In 1975, the PRCA recognized the need for an award system for cowboys who chose to compete closer to home because of family and professional commitments.

The Association created the PRCA’s circuit system, consisting of 12 geographic regions that include as few as one state or as many as 13. Each PRCA cowboy in the United States chooses a home circuit at the beginning of the year or is assigned to one that corresponds with his home address. Cowboys compete for points throughout the year and points earned within his circuit are applied toward the standings of his respective circuit.

Each circuit’s top cowboys in each event qualify for that circuit’s “Finals” at the end of the season. After all 12 circuit finals are completed, the top regular-season cowboys in each event and the winners of the circuit finals qualify for the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo (RNCFR), held in Kissimmee, Florida, March 25-28, 2015.

North and South Dakota’s 24 pro rodeos make up the Badlands Circuit. Badlands Circuit contestants must compete at the Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo to qualify for the RNCFR.

About the Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo in Minot, N.D.:

The Minot Y’s Men’s Rodeo will host its seventh annual Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo October 9-12, 2014 at the State Fair Center in Minot. There, Badlands Circuit cowboys and cowgirls will compete to earn a berth at the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo. Two competitors from each event: the year end champion and the average champion, will go on to represent the Badlands Circuit at the RNCFR.


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