Erickson retains Ram Montana Circuit Finals title
GREAT FALLS, Mont. – Chase Erickson continues to use the Ram Montana Circuit Finals Rodeo as his personal playground.
For the second year in a row, the bareback rider won the average, posting a 250-point total on three head to claim his most recent title Jan. 12.
“This feels good,” the 30-year-old Erickson said about his average victory at the Pacific Steel and Recycling Four Seasons Arena. “I truly believe the Montana Circuit Finals is the best circuit finals going. The horses were great; this is a good time of year. Everybody is looking to do something and it was great to go up there and have some success.”
In 2012, Erickson captured both the RMCFR average and year-end crown and in 2011 he was the year-end champion.
“Those horses buck, and I like that,” said Erickson when asked about the key to his success at the RMCFR. “They are just solid horses and they bring out the best in me.”
Erickson positioned himself to win the average with outstanding rides in the first two rounds.
The Helena, Mont., cowboy won the first round by scoring 87 points on J Bar J’s Dairy Day. He also was tops in round two with 83 points on Kesler Rodeos’ Western Star. Erickson clinched the average by scoring 80 points on Brookman-Hyland Rodeo’s Smiling Bob in the final round. Jessy Davis, Erickson’s traveling partner, finished second in the average with 247 points and was the year-end champion.
“I didn’t really have any nerves,” Erickson said about his ride in the finals, which helped him pocket $2,484 for taking the average. “I wanted to accomplish more than I got done (Sunday). That horse kind of got away from me at about six seconds, but I was able to do enough to win the average.”
Erickson’s average win qualified him for the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo, which is scheduled April 10-12 at the Lazy E Arena in Guthrie, Okla.
“I just have not drawn very good,” Erickson said about his three previous trips to the RNCFR. “My mindset this year when I go down there is just to give it my best shot. I will give it all I have got and hopefully everything will work out. My goal (in 2014) is to make it to the NFR.”
When Erickson, who works at the Running W Cattle Company in Helena, Mont., arrived in Great Falls for the Jan. 10-12 weekend, he had some extra inspiration. He and wife Michelle had their first child, son Coy, three weeks ago.
“It has been a great experience and great motivator,” said Erickson about becoming a father.
The other champions at the $149,011 rodeo were steer wrestler Ross Mosher (12.3 seconds on three head), team ropers Jade Stoddard and Ike Folsom (15.5 seconds on three head), saddle bronc rider Shane Moran (242 points on three head), tie-down roper Kevin Peterson (36.4 seconds on three head), bull rider Kody DeShon (243 points on three head) and barrel racer Shelly Anzick (38.14 seconds on three runs).
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Cori Schultz remembered hearing the roaring wind around her Lambert farmhouse the evening of June 10. What she didn’t hear was the 92-year-old barn collapsing.