Cowboy Christmas, High School Nationals, bronc futurity and tragedy
It was a wild and woolly weekend with the Cowboy Christmas run of PRCA rodeos, and our northern plains cowboys and cowgirls did us proud!
We’ll start off with St. Paul, Oregon where Todd Suhn, Hermosa, SD, won the average in the Steer Wrestling with an 8.4 on two head; Jesse Bail, Camp Crook, SD won the Saddle Broncs with 85 points on Growney’s West Point Girl; Ardie Maier, Timber Lake, SD, had a smoking hot 90-point ride on Flying Diamond’s Nobody’s Business in the Bulls; and the Team Roping was won by Huntley, MT’s Brady Tryan and Jake Long (Alva, OK).
Kelly Timberman, Mills, WY had a great run with a split for first in the Barebacks at Prescott where he scored 86 points on Vold’s Matt Dillon. He also won the Williams Lake, BC Stampede with 83 points on Duffy’s Blue Jeans.
Jeff Willert, Belvidere, SD won the Saddle Bronc average at the Greeley (CO) Stampede with 167 points on two head. Mandan, ND was a good place for Ivan Teigan, Camp Crook, SD, who won the Steer Wrestling with a 3.3 while Jake Rinehart, Highmore, SD and Devon Porter split second with a 3.6 (those big guys are quick!); Piedmont, SD’s lovely Jana Griemsman won the barrels; Team Roping was won by Turtle Powell (TX) and Casper, Wyoming’s Jhett Johnson. The All-Around at Mandan was won by Preston Billadeau, Parshall, ND, with money won in Team Roping and Tie Down Roping.
Mobridge and Ft. Pierre, SD and Killdeer, ND were positively dominated by the Northern plains hands to the extent of being too much to report here in this column!
In the pro barrels, two of our South Dakota faves each gathered up a nice wad of money over the weekend. Lisa Lockhart, Oelrichs, SD, competed on two horses and flew between to accumulate $17,957, moving her into fourth in the standings. Letcher, SD’s Jill Moody hauled carefully and competed on one horse to win $15,071 and is in sixth place. There is a lot more to this than just getting to the rodeos, and these good hands know how to get their horse there with everything they need to run well and win. Hats off to you, ladies.
The Black Hills Roundup at Belle Fourche was a great show and the rough stock was tough all the way through. The bulls, however, were way beyond tough. Out of over 60 entries, there was only one qualified ride! That was on the 4th by Neil Holmes, TX, with an 85 point ride on D & H’s Kool and Sexy. I didn’t get to see it, but hear it was spectacular. The bulls are getting so tough, perhaps the PRCA is going to have to make it a timed/scored event instead of just a scored one!
Livingston, MT’s big rodeo saw Newell, SD’s Jake Costello win the Saddle Broncs with an 85 on Kessler’s Bookmark. Trell Etbauer, who is actually from Oklahoma, but is the son of SD’s Robert Etbauer, won the Steer Wrestling and placed third in the Saddle Broncs (versatile fellow).
Molalla, OR was where Jesse Bail, Camp Crook, SD, won the All-Around, while Chad Ferley, Belvidere, SD won the Saddle Broncs with an incredible 90-point ride on Flying Five’s Spring Planting. JJ Elshere, Quinn, SD, placed second.
Shawn Stroh, Dickinson, ND, won the Saddle Broncs at Red Lodge, MT with a 91-point ride on Brookman’s No. D24.
At Steamboat Springs, CO, Trevor Thiel, formerly of Belle Fourche, SD, but now of Greeley, CO (we still claim him), won the Tie-Down Roping with a 9.4 run, showing that these northern guys can rope too!
Don’t forget that the National High School Rodeo Finals will be in Gillette, WY, July 18-24. I understand there are plenty of rooms available for it, so go and spend a few days and see the young and talented contestants compete. Not too many years ago, all those people we talk about in the Pro rodeos were probably at the Nationals in High School, so you could someday say that you saw them “back when!” You’ll never see more try and effort put into rodeo than at a High School rodeo, and they are great watching.
The Quarter Horse racing world lost one of the all time greats this week. Blane Schvaneveldt, 76, died at Los Alamitos Race Track in California of a heart arrhythmia. He was a 12-time Champion Race Trainer and had trained some of the all-time greatest runners, including First Down Dash, Town Policy, Miss Thermolark, Refrigerator, Cash Rate, etc. He was an incredible man and trainer, and a fine horseman.
For something totally different, I know where I’m going to be on July 16-17, and that is Seven Down Arena, Spearfish, SD, for the Black Hills Bucking Horse Extravaganza. It’s a Bronc Futurity, with evening performances at 7 p.m. There will be Saddle Broncs, Barebacks and Ranch Broncs in Futurity, Derby, Classic and Ranch Divisions. The two-year-olds are bucked for six seconds with a remote dummy (I think I’ve worked with that guy…), while the three-year-olds buck for eight seconds. The Classic Division is for four- and five-year-old horses with a rider for eight seconds, with PRCA rules. The horse is judged for the full eight seconds even if the rider is thrown. The Ranch Division is for horses of all the age brackets, but is based on a wilder bucking style. I’m thinking the action will be excellent and there is enough money up for the breeders/contractors to bring the cream of the crop. There’s $25,000 added with a total payout of $130,000, so this isn’t any little backyard event. For more info on the format and event, go to http://www.americanbuckinghorseregistry.com or call 254-968-8850. That’s the same number you call if you are a cowboy or contractor wanting a piece of the action.
Before I end my circle for this week, I am deeply sorrowed to share the news of the death of a great, young cowboy from our region. Connor Sell, Martin, SD, was tragically killed in a baler accident on the ranch near Interior, SD on June 28. He is the son of Dave and Mary Kay Sell, and brother of Sue Sell. Connor was 20 years old. I extend my deepest sympathy to his family and friends. Services were held July 2. Connor was a talented Bull Rider and was a standout High School Rodeo competitor as well.
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Outtagrass Cattle Co. cartoon by Jan Swan Wood for the June 19, 2021, edition of Tri-State Livestock News