GETTING THE GOLD: Minot’s Badlands Circuit Finals crowns champs, designates titlists for the NFR Open |

GETTING THE GOLD: Minot’s Badlands Circuit Finals crowns champs, designates titlists for the NFR Open

Clay Ullery and Matt Zancanella are the 2022 Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo year-end team roping champions. The cowboys will represent the Badlands Circuit at the 2023 NFR Open rodeo, held in Colorado Springs in July of 2023.
Badlandsclay ullery and matt zancanella team ropers by alaina stangle

MINOT, N.D. (October 16, 2022) – When Chance Schott walks into the Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo, it’s like his mojo is back.

Bull rider Chance Schott wins the average, the most points accumulated throughout the Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo. Alaina Stangle Photography | Courtesy photos

The McLaughlin, S.D. bull rider finished as the average champion at this year’s circuit finals, the PRCA’s regional championship rodeo for North Dakota and South Dakota.

He rode two of three bulls for 172.5 points on two rides, eight points ahead of the number two man, Jeff Bertus. No bull rider covered all three bulls.

Each of the four years he’s qualified for the circuit finals, he’s won either the year-end title (the most money won throughout the season) or the average title (the most points scored at the finals rodeo.)

“I love coming here for the circuit finals every year,” he said. “I did really great the first time I came here (in 2019), and I feel great whenever I walk into that locker room. I feel like this is my building and it’s where I capitalize.” 

Schott has a particular approach to his bull riding. “I’m keeping a clear mind, sliding and riding,” he said. “Stay calm, cool and collected for each bull, and it worked out, thankfully.”

But Schott has a long ways to go to supplant the number of championships Bertus has earned. Bertus, Avon, S.D., has won nine Badlands titles: four year-end finishes and five average finishes, from 2012 to 2019. At this year’s circuit finals, he was reserve year-end winner. 

Rookie Jestyn Woodward won the year-end title, having won more than $26,000 throughout the season.

When Badlands bareback rider comes up in the dictionary, Ty Breuer’s picture is next to the definition.

The Mandan, N.D. cowboy has won both titles (year-end and average) five out of the last seven years (2016-18, 2021-22). 

At this year’s circuit finals, he won each of the three rounds and the average, adding nearly $10,000 to his pocketbook.

Even though his trophy buckle case is full, winning “never gets old,” he said. “That’s why we do this. A guy works hard to get to all of those circuit rodeos, and it makes it all worth it at the end of the year, to make it (to Minot.)” 

A Nebraska cowboy walked away with three buckles after the weekend in Minot.

Austin Hurlburt, Norfolk, Neb., won the average in the tie-down roping and both all-around buckles (for competing in the tie-down and the steer wrestling.)

This was the first time the 23-year-old cowboy had competed at circuit finals, and after entering the finals in sixth place, clawed his way to third.

It was a good circuit finals for him. He won money in a round of the steer wrestling, and in the tie-down, won first place in the first and second rounds.

“The first night, I shocked myself, I’m not going to lie,” he joked.

A 2022 graduate of the University of Wyoming, he works for local farmers and ranchers around his home when he’s not competing.

A veteran and a Badlands newcomer won the year-end team roping title.

Clay Ullery, Valleyview, Alberta, and Matt Zancanella, Aurora, S.D., teamed up to win over $25,000 each for the season.

Clay Ullery and Matt Zancanella are the 2022 Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo year-end team roping champions. The cowboys will represent the Badlands Circuit at the 2023 NFR Open rodeo, held in Colorado Springs in July of 2023.

The pair won second place in the first round and first place in the second round, but only roped one leg in the third round, adding a five-second penalty to their time and taking them out of the average.

“It was a good finals,” Ullery, the 2021 Canadian Pro Rodeo Association champion team roping header said.

The duo paired up two years ago. “I never worry about his heeling,” Ullery said of Zancanella. “I just do my job and I know we’re going to win, if I do my job.”

Zancanella, who is 46 years old, estimates he’s competed at more than sixteen circuit finals, winning titles multiple times. For Ullery, it’s his first time to the Badlands Circuit.

“It’s been fun, roping with Zanc,” he said. “I like this circuit. The people are great, the rodeos are great. It’s been a really good circuit, and I’m glad we’ve been successful.”

Team roping average winners were Jade Schmidt, Box Elder, S.D. and Jade Nelson, Midland, S.D. (18.5 seconds on three runs.)

Other 2022 Badlands champions include bareback rider Ty Breuer, Mandan, N.D. (year-end and average winner); steer wrestler Cameron Morman, Glen Ullin, N.D. (year-end and average winner); saddle bronc rider Shorty Garrett, Eagle Butte, S.D. (year-end and average winner); tie-down ropers Clint Kindred, Oral, S.D. (year-end) and Austin Hurlburt, Norfolk, Neb. (average); and barrel racers Jessica Routier, Buffalo, S.D. (year-end) and Lisa Lockhart (average).

The Badlands Rookie of the Year award went to Austin Hurlburt, Norfolk, Neb.; he won both the year-end and the average title.

Rodeo Rapid City won the title of Badlands Circuit Rodeo Committee of the Year.

Both year-end and average champions will represent the RAM Badlands Circuit at the NFR Open, formerly known as the National Circuit Finals Rodeo, to be held in Colorado Springs in July of 2023. In the event that the same person has won both titles, the second person in the year-end race qualifies for the NFR Open.

–Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly named Sawyer Gilbert as the breakaway champion. We are sorry for any confusion.

–Badlands Circuit Finals

Year end and average winners for the Badlands Circuit

All-around Champion: Austin Hurlburt, Norfolk, Neb.

All-around champion for the Finals: Austin Hurlburt, Norfolk, Neb.

Bareback riding

Bareback Riding Year End Champion: Ty Breuer, Mandan, N.D.

Bareback Riding Average Champion: Ty Breuer, Mandan, N.D.

Average results:

1. Ty Breuer, Mandan, N.D. 258.5 points on 3 head; 2. Ben Kramer, Max, N.D. 241; 3. Shane O’Connell, Rapid City, S.D. 239.5; 4. Andy Gingerich, Aberdeen, S.D. 236.5.

Steer Wrestling

Steer Wrestling Year End Champion:  Cameron Morman, Glen Ullin, N.D.

Steer Wrestling Average Champion: Cameron Morman, Glen Ullin, N.D.

Average results:

1. Cameron Morman, Glen Ullin, N.D. 12.4 seconds on 3 head; 2. Logan Lemmel, Whitewood, S.D. 13.6; 3. Cyler Dowling, Newell, S.D. 14.2; 4. Reed Kraeger, Waco, Neb. 14.5.

Team Roping

Team Roping Year End Champion Header: Clay Ullery, Valleyview, Alb. 

Heeler: Matt Zancanella, Aurora, S.D.  

Team Roping Average Champion Header: Jade Schmidt, Box Elder, S.D.

Heeler: Jade Nelson, Midland, S.D. 

Average results:

1. Jade Schmidt, Box Elder, S.D./Jade Nelson, Midland, S.D. 18.5 seconds on 3 head; 2. Cameron Irwin, Buffalo, Wyo./Cash Hetzel, Lemmon, S.D. 19.3; 3. Clay Ullery, Valleyview, Alb./Matt Zancanella, Aurora, S.D. 23.5; 4. Cooper White, Hershey, Neb./Tucker White, Hershey, Neb. 26.6.

Saddle Bronc Riding

Saddle Bronc Year End Champion: Shorty Garrett, Eagle Butte, S.D.

Saddle Bronc Average Champion: Shorty Garrett, Eagle Butte, S.D.

Average results:

1. Shorty Garrett, Eagle Butte, S.D. 242 points on 3 head; 2. Lane Schuelke, Newell, S.D. 237; 3. Jade Blackwell, Rapid City, S.D. 235; 4. Taygen Schuelke, Newell, S.D. 229. 

Breakaway Roping

Breakaway Roping

Breakaway Roping Year End Champion: Samantha Fulton, Miller, S.D. 

Breakaway Roping Average Champion: Syerra Christensen, Kennebec, S.D.

Average results:

1. Syerra Christensen, Kennebec, S.D. 7.0 on 3 head; 2. Samantha Fulton, Miller, S.D. 7.9; 3. Sawyer Gilbert, Buffalo, S.D. 8.9; 4. Sloan Anderson, Whitehorse, S.D. 18.0

Tie-down Roping

Tie Down Roping Year End Champion: Clint Kindred, Oral, S.D. 

Tie Down Roping Average Champion: Austin Hurlburt, Neb. 

Average results:

1. Austin Hurlburt, Norfolk, Neb. 26.8 seconds on 3 head; 2. Ty Moser, Volga, S.D. 29.8; 3. Trey Young, Dupree, S.D. 30.2; 4. Clint Kindred, Oral, S.D. 17.3 on 2 head.

Barrel Racing

Barrel Racing Year End Champion: Jessica Routier, Buffalo, S.D.

Barrel Racing Average Champion:  Lisa Lockhart, Oelrichs, S.D. 

3rd round results:

Average results:

1. Lisa Lockhart, Oelrichs, S.D. 41.39 seconds on 3 runs; 2. Nikki Hansen, Dickinson, N.D. 41.64; 3. Cydney Peterson, Minot, N.D. 41.77; 4. Hallie Fulton, Miller, S.D. 46.99. 

Bull Riding

Bull Riding Year End Champion: Jestyn Woodward, Custer, S.D.

Bull Riding Average Champion: Chance Schott, McLaughlin, S.D.

Average results:

1. Chance Schott, McLaughlin, S.D. 172.5 points on 2 head; 2. Jestyn Woodward, Custer, S.D. 166; 3. Jeff Bertus, Avon, S.D. 164.5; 4. Mason Moody, Letcher, S.D. 164.

**** All results are unofficial.  For more information, visit