UBHA futurity bronc match to be this spring in S.D. | TSLN.com

UBHA futurity bronc match to be this spring in S.D.

Waln Rodeo Company sold this granddaughter of the popular Lunatic Fringe bronc in Oklahoma earlier this year. She is shown bucking with the easy release "dummy." Photo courtesy Joe Waln

The United Bucking Horse Association and Waln Ranch and Rodeo Company will host the organization's third ever futurity bronc match in Martin, S.D., this spring.

According to Joe Waln, a Martin, S.D. rancher and rodeo contractor, the group started putting on futurity bronc rides in an effort to showcase young, green two- and three-year-old potential roughstock horses.

Waln said the organization is different than some of the other bucking horse futurity groups because they are focused strictly on showcasing the horses. Rather than riders risking hurting themselves or the younger, smaller and inexperienced horses, the contractors use a lightweight "box dummy" that they can control with a remote, then release it, along with the flank strap after the six-second ride, to keep the entire event as safe for the horses as possible.

While some of these horses, especially the three-year-olds, may have bucked a few times already, they are all inexperienced and for some it is their first time out of the chutes, Waln said.

Four judges will evaluate each horse. The high and low scores are thrown out and, just as in saddle bronc or bareback riding, the horse is judged on "overall bucking style, the amount of kick, the air the horse gathers, the intensity that he shows," Waln explained.

Two UBHA sanctioned classes are offered; a 2-year-old and a 3-year-old class. The UBHA will add $1,500 to each class in addition to $175 from each $230 entry fee per horse. Each class will pay one place for every 5 entries up to 25 head (or 5 places). Total entries are not limited. Number of entries from any owner is not limited. UBHA membership is required for entries to earn points. Owners may purchase a one-time use permit in lieu of membership to enter for winnings only (no points accrued.)

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Each entry will be age-verified by dental inspection prior to competing and must have current, negative Coggins and veterinary health certificate upon entering the grounds.

The UBHA Mission is to:

• Promote individual ownership of bucking horses

• Offer ownership opportunities in bucking horses, similar to horse racing

• Increase the value of bucking horses by creating lucrative, competitive opportunities

• Carefully structure competitions to preserve the bucking horse's career longevity

Guthrie, Okla., and Dublin, Texas, hosted the first two matches and the final in the series of seven will be in Killdeer, N.D., over Labor Day weekend.

But Martin, S.D., is in the spotlight on May 16 at 4:30 p.m., at the Bennett County Fairgrounds where the group is hoping 30-50 young horses will have the chance to bust out of the chutes.

Waln said he will enter two horses in the match and that Lesmeister Rodeo Company of Isabel, S.D., will also participate in the match, along with contractors from across the nation, from as far away as Utah.

Waln himself took horses to the Oklahoma match. "I sold a granddaughter of the famed Lunatic Fringe at the Joe Simons bucking horse sale down there. She bucked really well." He said offspring of Custer and War Paint are also showing promise, along with many other young horses.

–Staff Report