Super Horse Challenge
The idea of a competition to determine the best all-around athlete under a varied set of circumstances is not a new concept. But many of the cowboys and cowgirls in Harding County had not seen this idea applied to horses.
Until this summer, that is. Jessica Routier, who grew up on a farm outside of a small Wisconsin town, riding and training horses with her mom, competed in such events as a youngster and last week, introduced her Western South Dakota friends and neighbors to the fun and excitement of a Super Horse Challenge.
The Routier Ranch hosted the challenge which required each contestant and their horse to compete in barrel racing, breakaway roping, heading, heeling and goat tying. Individual event winners were named but the big winner – the Super Horse – is the title that each of the 29 competitors sought.
Bowman, N.D., rancher Chad Miller and his partner MPS Frenchmans Jeans took home top honors and a trophy saddle as well as third place in breakaway roping and fourth place in heading.
Each entrant and his or her horse competed in every event, then times were added up from the two rounds, held Aug. 29-30. Sixty seconds were added for a no-time in any event. The lowest score came out on top.
Routier, who now ranches with her husband Riley, southwest of Buffalo, S.D., trains barrel horses and hits the pro rodeo circuit regularly, recalls watching her mom compete in similar events back home. She said her mom brough home the reserve champion title at least once and she was recognized too. “I do think I remember winning an award here and there for being the youngest competitor,” she said.
Routier said the wheels started to turn in her mind when reminiscing about those competitions. “I got to thinking last year that I had never heard of anything like that ever being done in this area, and what better place to do it then a place where there are so many people who raise and or train great horses.” Routier points out that the Routier’s First Annual “Super Horse Challenge” was run similar to the ones she remembers from childhood but there is one notable difference. “In Wisconsin you don’t have the big cattle ranches you will find in South Dakota, so the horses competing in Wisconsin were primarily arena horses whose main job was competing. Whereas here, most of these horses, in addition to their jobs in the arena, have full time ranch jobs.”
The response from contestants and spectators was encouraging, and the caliber of horses was impressive Routier said. “It was awesome to see 29 ‘super horses’ that all had a chance to win. There wasn’t one entered that shouldn’t have been.”
A number of contestants are neighbors and friends of the Routier family. And several of the competition horses were family too. Routier explained that the horse ridden by her husband and another horse in the contest were both sired by the horse ridden by Joe Painter in the challenge. “We ride and compete on several of ‘Sunder’s’ offspring, and have sold several that others compete on, and it was fun to see them together in a competition like this one,” she said.
Routier said that contestants were allowed to enter more than one horse, and some did. The organizers are tentatively planning a second annual event for Sept. 19-20, 2015.
Stock for this year’s event was provided by Routiers, Painters, Holmes’ and Shane Peabody.
The Routiers appreciated event sponsors including Westergren Quarter Horses, Meyer Family Chiropractic, Dakota Western Bank, Frisky Dingo (Jared and Pamela Lei), Gold Buckle Trailers, RL Performance Horses, Farm Bureau Insurance (Phil Kissack), Rahn Performance Equine, Blake’s Trailers, Jaeger Horseshoeing, Crago Performance Horses, Cow Chip Creations, DeTye Vet Supply, Ace in the Hole Construction, 73 Tack, Cowgirl Swank, Top Performance Equine, Zoetis and Lynn Weishaar Auctioneering.
1. Bailee Murnion and PG Son of a Gun 35.488
2. Ashley Schaper and Mia Twist Blizz 35.491
3. Logan Schaper and Mia Sandy 35.977
4. Joey Williams and PR Dox Sunder 36.106
5. Kevin Jaeger and Juliohs Last Runner 36.344
1. Ryan Routier and Pablos Superior 6.24
2. Ashley Schaper and Mia Twist Blizz 6.75
3. Chad Miller and MPS Frenchmans Jeans 6.88
4. Riley Routier and Sunders Frosty Doll 7.1
5. Will Meyer and Mia Gem Too 8.98
1. Glen Lammers and Frenchmans Leo 15.65
2. Kwirt Johnson and Friday’s Hard Cash 17.54
3. Shane Peabody and Choice in an Instant 20.99
4. Chad Miller and MPS Frenchmans Jeans 21.12
5. Seth Weishaar and A Fistful of Doc 21.29
1. Kevin Rahn and Hunka Hoss 27.16
2. Seth Seishaar and Shining Gibson 27.63
3. Seth Weishaar and A Fistful of Doc 28.92
4. Riley Routier and Sunders Frosty Doll 31.65
5. Joe Painter and PC Sunder Frost 31.96
1. Patty Jo Burress and Chief 16.04
2. Logan Schaper and JQH Royal King Leo 18.05
3. Patty Jo Burress and Sputniks Roan KC 18.31
4. Jamie Britton and Hackamore Henry 18.56
5. Kayla Nelson and SR Pepsi 18.81
1. Chad Miller and MPS Frenchmans Jeans 127.937
2. Seth Weishaar and A Fistful of Doc 131.288
3. Riley Routier and Sunders Frosty Doll 155.492
4. Glen Lammers and Frenchmans Leo 166.899
5. Joe Painter and PC Sunder Frost 183.32
6. Taz Olson and Cragos Miss Micki 189.227
7. Seth Weishaar and Shining Gibson 193.027
8. Ryan Routier and Pablos Superior 199.171
9. Tyrel Thybo and CSC Chocolate Tivio 213.64
10. Kevin Rahn and Hunka Hoss 214.356
High point youth contestant