Y’s Men’s Rodeo receives Innovative Rodeo Award in Las Vegas

Minot, N.D. (December 10, 2019) – The Minot (N.D.) Y’s Men’s Rodeo has won a prestigious award.

For their work with the Women’s Pro Rodeo Association (WPRA), the rodeo committee has won the Innovative Rodeo of the Year award.

The award was given to committee representatives during the WPRA luncheon, held in Las Vegas on December 5.

The award is given to rodeo committees who are “all in, who do something different,” said Heidi Uecker-Schmidt, vice-president of the WPRA. This year, the Minot rodeo added WPRA breakaway roping to their event. The rodeo hosts the Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo, and of the twelve circuit finals rodeos in the nation, was the only finals to have breakaway roping in conjunction with their rodeo.

“Minot put their necks on the line for the breakaway,” Uecker-Schmidt said, of the rodeo being the first to host breakaway in conjunction with their event.

The rodeo committee has also gone above and beyond to make arena conditions as good as possible for the barrel racers, Uecker-Schmidt said. The ground is important for the safety of the horse and the rider, and the committee works to ensure their safety. They bring the rodeo dirt into the arena several days before the event, allowing the barrel racers to make practice runs to see if the dirt is too loose, too dry, or hard pan, all conditions that might cause horses to slip or fall.

“They’ve been nothing but great to deal with,” said Uecker-Schmidt, who is a former WPRA Badlands Circuit director. “They figure out how to make the ground right. Because of it, the cowgirls are able to compete at the highest level, when they don’t have to worry about the wellbeing of their horse or themselves.”

This is the second year for the Innovative Rodeo award to be given; it was given to the Salt Lake City Days of ’47 Rodeo in 2017.

The 66th annual Minot Y’s Men’s Rodeo will be held October 9-11, 2020. For more information, visit

–Minot Y’s Men’s Rodeo