High School Finals over; bronc rides gone wrong; ranch rodeo at Newell
The biggest rodeo in the world has wrapped up in Gillette, WY, with the last round of the National High School Finals on July 24. Our Northern Plains kids did really well overall with teams placing well in total points. The boys team from South Dakota was fourth, North Dakota 14th, Wyoming 15th and Nebraska 16th, with the girls team from Montana being 11th and South Dakota 13th. Team-wise, South Dakota placed seventh overall, Wyoming 15th, Montana 17th, North Dakota 18th and NE 21st.
In the Top 10 (average), from the Northern Plains: Shaylee Hance, Circle, MT, tenth in breakaway and ninth in goat tying; steer wrestling had Jace Melvin, Fort Pierre, SD, in third and Taz Olson, Prairie City, SD, seventh; tie-down roping had Trey Young, Dupree, SD, fourth and Cole Fulton, Miller, SD, fifth; Derek Powers and Matt Simpson, Arthur, NE, paced ninth in team roping; barebacks had Casey Breuer, Mandan, ND, second, and JR Vezain, Cowley, WY, sixth. I’m going to go a little further in the saddle broncs because they flat smoked ’em at nationals, with Ian Fugere, Belfield, ND, eighth; Taygen Schuelke, Newell, SD; ninth, Chet Smith, Rapid City, SD, 11th; Ty Hiatt, Wheatland, WY, 12th; and Justin Harrell, Roy, MT, 14th. All-around cowboy found JR Vezain at third; all-around Cowgirl had Shaylee Hance, Circle, MT, at sixth. All-around rookie cowgirl fourth place went to Taylor Engessor, Spearfish, SD (she also placed 11th in goat tying). First Runner-up in the Queen Contest was Hanna Heckman from Montana. She was placed first in personality and Miss Photogenic, second in personal interview, plus the Leadership Award. Second place Miss Congeniality went to Taylor Rieniets, Gillette, WY. So, congrats to all of you, whether I mentioned your name or not, and look for the complete results in next week’s paper.
Good news on the Chet Johnson front. The Gillette, WY, saddle bronc rider is out of the hospital and recuperating (for a long spell) after getting kicked in the head at the Days of ’47 Rodeo in Salt Lake City, UT on July 20. After losing his rein, he went over the dashboard on his bronc and was scrambling away on his hands and knees when he got his head driven into the dirt by a passing hoof. He lay facedown in the dirt for nearly five minutes before he was deemed alive enough to move. He left the arena under his own power, though supported, and was taken to the hospital. He spent two days in the ICU and then in a regular room for two more before being dismissed. It broke three bones in his skull on the right side and the force of the blow bruised his brain on the left side. He also has a broken eardrum and is having some double vision. He has a bad headache and a month or more of recovery, but is quite fortunate to be alive. We always knew cowboys were hard headed. Good thing.
In other rodeo action, saddle bronc Rider Wade Sundell, Boxholm, IA, has moved up to take the lead after winning the 9th Snake River Stampede in Nampa, ID. He scored 86 points on Burch Rodeo’s Vitalix Hippie Chick for a total of 170 points on two head. Speaking of Burch’s, some big money was made at that rodeo by the rough stock hands riding Burch Rodeo saddle broncs, barebacks and bulls. Congrats to all.
I also spotted some serious money won on Korkow Rodeo stock at the big shows. They graze along the river there near Fort Pierre, SD, when they’re not on the road.
The Fiesta Days Rodeo at Spanish Fork, UT, was a Silver Tour Rodeo, held July 21-24, and had a four-way split for first with 87 point rides. Kelly Timberman, Mills, WY, kept up his winning streak for one of those checks. Jesse Kruse, Great Falls, MT, had an 86 point ride on Sankey’s Sideshow in the Saddle Broncs.
At Ogden, UT’s Pioneer Days, Kanin Asay, Powell, WY, had a 90 point ride on Silverado Rodeo’s Silent Assassin. Gee, what a name. Makes me want to just crawl right down into the chute with him….
At the Shelby, MT, Marias River Stampede, Beau Franzen, Sidney, MT, gave a how-to demo by winning the steer wrestling with a 4.8-second run and the tie-down roping with a 9.0-second run, and sewing up the all-around as well. At that same rodeo, Carmel Wright, Roy, MT, won the barrels.
Woodward, OK’s big PRCA show had our much respected South Dakota native, Billy Etbauer, winning the saddle broncs with 84 points on Buetler and Sons Popeye. He’ll always be a SD-hand, no matter how long he lives in Oklahoma. Most of the young saddle bronc riders from this region name Billy as the one they want to be like. He’s a good’un in every way, not just bronc riding.
Some upcoming barrel races need to be mentioned here so that the entries can get in on time. First, The Fizz Bomb Classic, Gillette, WY, Slot Race second payment is due immediately. There’s an $18,000 payout! Plus, the 29th Annual Fizz Bomb Futurity is Sept. 15-19. Information is available at http://www.fizzbombfuturity.com.
The Roper Rally Futurity at Gollihers Indoor Arena will be held Sept. 23-24. Contact ZeAnn at 605-641-2926.
For a change of pace, there’s a Hunter Jumper Show at the Central States Fairgrounds on Aug. 28. Also at the Central States Fairgrounds from Aug. 28-29, there will be a Little Britches Rodeo. I hope they’re not doing that in the same arena. Could be a real horsewreck.
Speaking of horse wrecks, my Newell, SD, neighbor, Doc (Jim) Martin had a doozy a while back. Got bucked off and separated his pelvis, broke a collarbone and bruised up his insides and outsides in general. One hip is giving him fits, but physical therapy is supposed to fix that up for him. He’s still locked up at Rapid City Regional Hospital and could probably use some visits if you’re in the area.
Newell, SD, will be hosting a Ranch Rodeo over Labor Day weekend, on Saturday, Sept. 4. They are limiting it to 12 teams from Butte, Meade and Lawrence Counties (SD) with a $100 entry fee. Each team will have to have someone 14 years of age or younger, one woman, one member 50 years of age or older, and the others can be any age/gender. Events will be sort, pen and doctoring, calf branding, mutton busting, trailer loading, and sheep tee-peeing (yes, that is an event in this country). There will be Top Hand awards in the four divisions and some really great prizes, including spurs, saddle pads, halters, lick barrels and suchlike. Admission will be $5 to get into the grounds which also covers a chuckwagon feed that evening. If you want to enter or need info, call Jack Gully, evenings at 605-456-1330, or at his shop, K-J Leathers, 605-456-1332 weekdays.
I’ve about rode this poor horse plumb into the ground, so had better sign off.
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Outtagrass Cattle Co. cartoon by Jan Swan Wood for the June 19, 2021, edition of Tri-State Livestock News