RAPID STRIDES: Local athletes take home titles from Rodeo Rapid City
Rodeo Rapid City has been good to Shorty Garrett.
The South Dakota saddle bronc rider won the rodeo for the fourth time this year.
The Eagle Butte man rode Sutton Rodeo’s South Point for 89.5 points and pocketed $4,625 for the win.
It was also the second matchup between him and the horse, and this year’s ride “felt better than the 90.5 ride,” he made in 2020 to win the rodeo. “It was my second time to match up with that horse in Rapid City, and I hope it’s not the last,” he said.
Garrett, who is 30 years old, also won Rodeo Rapid City last year, tying for the win with Riggin Smith. He won it in 2020, aboard South Point, and in 2017, aboard the Sutton horse Prom Night.
“That rodeo has been good to me,” he said. “It’s one of the bigger ones a guy gets to go to and ride in front of his family and friends. I feel like Rapid City is as close to hometown as it can be, other than Belle Fourche (the Black Hills Roundup.)”
After he gets things done on the ranch with his cattle, he and wife Alex will head south for the winter rodeos. “I’m trying to get things squared away so my grandpa Johnny doesn’t have much to look after when I’m gone,” he said. He will start calving in mid-April, when the winter rodeo season has ended.
Garrett competed at the 2020 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo and is the 2022 Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo year-end and average champions.
For steer wrestler Billy Boldon, Rodeo Rapid City is a good rodeo to hit.
The Oglala, S.D. man won the steer wrestling with a time of 4.1 seconds.
He was aboard a borrowed horse, Rio, owned by Cameron Morman. The buckskin gelding has won the Badlands Circuit Steer Wrestling Horse of the Year multiple times. Previously owned by Jake Rinehart, Boldon rode him when Rinehart owned him. “He’s an outstanding horse,” Boldon said. “He always works good.”
Sterling Lee hazed for him, riding the 2021 Badlands Circuit Haze horse of the Year, Tess.
Boldon has competed at the Badlands Circuit Finals four times in the steer wrestling, and prior to that, several times in the tie-down roping.
He ranches with his parents, Wayde and Sam Boldon.
Another repeat winner took home the honors from Rodeo Rapid City.
Bobbi Grann Olson has won the barrel racing at the winter show three of the last six years, on three different horses.
This year, she was aboard DMO Fantastic Fiesta, “Hemi,” an eight-year-old gray gelding born and raised on the ranch owned by her in-laws, Dan and Marda Olson, Flandreau, S.D.
“They’ve raised countless great horses,” she said. “I started riding him four years ago and trained him on the barrels. It’s been a process, because I’ve had two kids since then. It hasn’t been hurried, that’s for sure.”
Hemi is “very laid back, very easy,” Olson said, “and I don’t think he’s in his prime yet. He’s just getting to the point where he’s finished. I’ll rodeo with him this summer. I’m excited to see what he can do.”
Last year, riding Hemi, she would have placed third but tipped a barrel.
She and husband spend their winters in Stephenville, Texas and their summers between Flandreau and her hometown of Sheyenne, North Dakota.
It’s not an easy trip to make, the 1,000-mile trip from Stephenville, Texas, to Rapid City, with a 20-month old and a three-month old in the truck, and sometimes the weather doesn’t cooperate.
“When we left Texas this week it was an ice storm there,” she said. “We barely made it up there. The whole run was just thrilling and I’m not going to say I expected it, but it worked out and my horse worked really good.”
Olson also won Rodeo Rapid City in 2021 and 2018; she did not compete two years due to being pregnant and being unable to get to Rapid City because of weather conditions.
She is a seven-time Badlands Circuit barrel racing qualifier and won the average in 2014.
In the bull riding, Chance Schott took home two Rodeo Rapid City titles.
The McLaughlin, S.D. cowboy won both Rodeo Rapid City and the Rodeo Rapid City Xtreme Bulls, winning the rodeo with an 87.5 point ride on Sutton Rodeo’s One Chance, and the Xtreme event with an 86.5 point ride on New Frontier’s No. F24.
The last two years, he’s finished in the top thirty in the PRCA world standings. Both years, he cracked the top fifteen, but injuries kept him out. “Every year, I get going good, then something happens.” Last year, he had surgery on his free hand, and in 2021, fractured his scapula. “Little bumps and bruises along the way take me out for a good chunk of the good money-earning time of the year,” he said.
Like any other bull rider, the 24-year-old wants to make the Wrangler National Finals. But he’s not looking too far ahead. “My goal this year is to remain healthy, take (the bulls) jump for jump, and keep my hand closed,” he said. “I’m looking at the next bull I have to compete on. I’ll take it bull for bull, pick up little checks every weekend, and let the cards lay where they fall. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”
Other winners at the $166,886 rodeo include bareback rider Tanner Aus, Granite Falls, Minn. (88 points); team ropers J.C. Yeahquo and L.J. Yeahquo, Mandaree, ND. (4.6 seconds); tie-down ropers Britt Bedke, Oakley, Idaho and Roy Lee, Marshall, Mo. (7.7 seconds each); and all-around Jase Staudt, Saguache, Colo. (tie-down and team roping.)