Awarded for excellence
Minot, N.D. (October 20, 2016) – They are the silent dance partners in rodeo, and they’ve won themselves some accolades.
Four bucking horses and two bucking bulls have been awarded Animal of the Year and Animal of the Finals in the RAM Badlands Circuit.
Bareback Horse of the Year was given to Sutton Rodeo’s American Graffiti. Bareback Horse of the Badlands Circuit Finals was awarded to Korkow’s En Vogue.
Saddle Bronc of the Year was won by Sutton Rodeo’s South Point, and Saddle Bronc of the Finals went to Korkow’s Duck Butter.
Bull of the Year was given to Sutton’s Tea Time, and Bull of the Finals went to Bailey Rodeo’s High Maintenance.
American Graffiti, the Bareback Horse of the Year, is a nine year old paint mare the Suttons of Onida, S.D., purchased from Steve Waagen of Bottineau, N.D. The mare “isn’t an eliminator,” Steve Sutton said, “but she’ll test you. You have to have your A game going and she’ll give you hers, and you’ll usually go to the pay window.”
The Suttons won Saddle Bronc of the Year with their ranch-raised nine-year-old bay gelding named South Point. South Point started his rodeo career as a saddle bronc horse, was switched to the bareback riding, and is now back to the saddle bronc. Cole Elshere, Faith, S.D. and Chuck Schmidt, Keldron, S.D., both had first place finishes on the gelding during the second and fourth rounds of the Badlands Circuit Finals October 6-9.
Korkow Rodeo’s five year old mare En Vogue won Bareback Horse of the Finals. The striped-face chestnut didn’t make the trip to the Northwest rodeos with TJ Korkow but stayed closer to home with TJ’s dad Jim Korkow, at rodeos in Aberdeen and Sioux Falls, S.D., Hastings, Neb., and others. The mare bucked off two riders at the Badlands Circuit Finals, TJ said. “She circles right in front of the chutes to the left, getting in the air, kicking, bobbing her head, and curling her feet. She’s an ideal bareback horse. She looks cool when she bucks. When she bucked off Andy (Hall) the other night (at the Circuit Finals), she stood in one spot, jumped in the air, and kicked and curled her feet, doing it time and time again. She’s pretty cool.”
Korkow Rodeo’s Duck Butter won Saddle Bronc of the Finals. The seven year old gelding is a small horse, TJ said, about 950 lbs., but “he bucks big. He leaps in the air and he takes a pile of rein. He bucks with his head down, but he’s leaping in the air at the same time, and he kicks. It’s a pretty cool style, and he’s pretty flashy.” Shorty Garrett won first place on Duck Butter during the fourth performance of the Circuit Finals.
For High Maintenance, the Bull of the Finals, it was his second year of rodeo competition. The four year old red and white bull was purchased by Bailey Pro Rodeo as a calf from Nebraska. He was unridden in 2016, including two rides on him at the Badlands Circuit Finals, said Kelly Klein part owner of Bailey Pro Rodeo, and only two bull riders made qualified rides on him in 2015 (Brett Stall and Zac Peterson, both at PBR events.) “He kicks straight up and down, out of the chute, then turns back about two jumps, and goes to spinning,” Klein said.
Sutton’s bull Tea Time, who won Bull of the Year, also won the same award last year. Bull riders that make the eight second buzzer on him are usually a lot of points, Sutton said.
Animals were voted on by the contestants in their respective events.
The RAM Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo was held October 6-9 in Minot, N.D., and was hosted by the Minot Y’s Men’s Rodeo. Year-end and average champions were determined in each event, and qualify to compete at the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo in Kissimmee, Fla., in April 2017. For more information on pro rodeo, visit the website at ProRodeo.com. For more information on the Badlands Circuit, visit MinotYsMensRodeo.com.
–Minot Ys Men’s Rodeo