Several Montana contestants to compete | TSLN.com

Several Montana contestants to compete

Helena, Mont. (July 25, 2016) –Guy Nordahl grew up around the Last Chance Stampede and Fair.

He went to Capital High School, just across the street from the fairgrounds, and even rode sheep and steers at the rodeo as a youngster.

Now he's in the pro rodeo ranks, and he'll compete at the Last Chance Stampede this weekend.

Guy, a bull rider who grew up in Helena, remembers his younger days at the Stampede. "I remember riding steers there," he said. "I was eight years old, and won the steer riding, and the place was packed, and everybody went crazy. It was awesome. It's definitely one of my favorite rodeos."

“It’s way more fun to be in the arena. When I go to a rodeo, and I’m not riding in it, it’s hard for me to sit there because I feel like I have to be getting a horse ready or helping somebody out. Sometimes the best part of the rodeo happens out behind the trailers, and you don’t see that sitting in the stands.” Sierra Collins, barrel racer

Recommended Stories For You

Guy rode bulls and saddle broncs in the Montana High School Rodeo Association, before graduating in 2011 and getting his PRCA card the same year. Now he focuses solely on bull riding.

He rides bulls for a living, hitting PBR events as well as PRCA rodeos, and has qualified for the Montana Circuit Finals Rodeo, the PRCA's regional designation, the last five years.

He's competed at the Last Chance Stampede four of the last five years, sitting out in 2014 due to a broken collarbone. He loves coming to the Stampede, in part because it's a hometown rodeo for him, and in part because of the stock contractor, Kesler Rodeos. "They've had a huge impact on my rodeo career," he said. "They were my neighbors, growing up, and I got to know them well. They have great stock."

Another Helena native will compete at this weekend's Last Chance Stampede.

Sierra Collins graduated from Helena High School in 2012, after having competed in high school rodeo.

She competes collegiately at Montana State University-Northern in Havre, and has barrel raced for the past eight years.

Most of her barrel racing is in regional associations, including the National Rodeo Association, the National Barrel Horse Association, and the UBRC (a barrel racing association), but she became a Women's Pro Rodeo Association member two years ago, making it possible for her to enter the Last Chance Stampede.

Sierra is riding a ten year old bay roan who "is kind of a big deal," she laughed. The horse, out of the stud Jake of Fling, has flung her career ahead. They are ranked second in the UBRC and she's looking to do well in Helena. Sierra has come to the rodeo many times as a fan, but this is the third time she'll be at the fairgrounds as a competitor. She'd rather be a competitor than a fan at a rodeo any day. "It's way more fun to be in the arena," she said. "When I go to a rodeo, and I'm not riding in it, it's hard for me to sit there because I feel like I have to be getting a horse ready or helping somebody out. Sometimes the best part of the rodeo happens out behind the trailers, and you don't see that sitting in the stands."

Sierra, who is 21, is studying diesel technology in Havre, and loves it. Being a woman in a man's world doesn't bother her. "I definitely catch a lot of flack for it," she said. "There's always some boy in the class who wants to be a jerk. You let him do his thing till he wants to grow up a little bit. For the most part, it's all pretty good." She will be a senior this fall.

Eleven of last year's fifteen Last Chance Stampede champions return to defend their titles. Bareback rider Chase Erickson, a Helena resident, won last year's rodeo with Ty Taypotat. Chase, who moved to Helena ten years ago, is married to Michelle, a Helena Middle School teacher. Steer wrestler Ty Erickson, currently ranked second in the nation, returns, along with his co-champion Kane Cartwright, from East Helena. Team ropers Dustin Bird, Cut Bank, and Chase Tryan, Helena, along with Shawn Bessette, Great Falls, and Sid Sporer, Cody, Wyo., tied for last year's title. All four return. The 2015 saddle bronc riding champions, Samuel Kelts, Millarville, Alb., and Tyrell Smith, Great Falls, are back, as is Kevin Peterson, Kilgore, Neb., the tie-down roping co-champion. All-around hand Russell Cardoza, Terrebonne, Ore., also returns.

The Fair kicks off with a concert by country music superstar Gary Allan on July 27. Three nights of rodeo follow, at 7:30 pm on July 28-30. Rodeo tickets for Thursday, July 28 are general admission and are $15 for adults and $5 for children. Rodeo tickets for July 29 and 30 are reserved seating are $18 when purchased in advance. The days of the rodeo they are $18 for July 28 and $21 for July 29-30.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the fairground's website at LastChanceStampede.com or call 406.457.8516. F

–Last Chance Stampede & Fair