South Dakota hosts premier PRCA rodeo events in Rapid City

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Farm Forum

World champions, Badland Circuit champions, college champions and high school champions all are coming to compete in South Dakota’s biggest nine day rodeo event in Rapid City, Jan. 30 – Feb. 7 in the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center’s Barnett Arena.

The 38th annual event will showcase some of the nation’s strongest competitors as they compete for world standings and over $330,000 in cash and prizes. The schedule includes PRCA elite events; (2) PRCA Xtreme Bull Tours, (5) PRCA Rodeos, (2) Professional Roughstock Series, Sutton Ranch Rodeo, S.D. High School 20X Extreme Showcase, PRCA Timed Event Slack, KBHB Bucking Horse Sale and the PRCA Wrangler’s Champion Challenge, one of ten exclusive rodeos in a team series featuring the top competitors in the world that will be televised on CBS Sports Network.

Since 1978, the Black Hills Stock Show Rodeo has been renowned as one of the country’s leading platforms for men and women to test their skill, training, and dedication. The Black Hills Stock Show Rodeo, nominated 16 times for the “PRCA” Large Indoor Rodeo of the Year”, has won this prestige’s award twice. It also won the Badland’s Circuit “2013 Rodeo of the Year.” This is a reflection of the top quality competitors and rodeo personnel that work this event. PRCA’s 2014 Announcer of the Year, Wayne Brooks and Justin McKee, “Voice of the PBR,” will be calling the rodeo action. They will be joined by WNFR barrel men, Keith Isley, the most awarded Barrelman in PRCA history and Justin Rumford, the 2014 Clown of the Year.

Every day in the Barnett Arena, there will be world champion competitors, starting Friday with Xtreme Bulls and Saturday’s PRCA Rodeo and Xtreme Bulls. Sunday will see the future stars in the 20X High School Showcase followed by PRCA Barrel Racing slack. Monday & Tuesday has PRCA Timed Event Slack during the day and at night features the Professional Rough Stock Series 2014 World Finals. The event will feature the twelve of the top athletes in the world in the three most exciting and dangerous disciplines of rodeo, Bareback, Saddle Bronc, and Bull Riding. This Series is televised on RFD TV.

Wednesday night is a “Mini-NFR” with PRCA’s eleven team, Wrangler Champion Challenge event. The top seven competitors in each event from the 2014 world standings were drafted to participate in the $80,000 event. Four of the remaining teams are two from the leaders in the 2015 world standings and two from the 2015 Wrangler Million Dollar Tour standings. All 88 team members will be signing autographs in the Barnett Arena following the event.

Thursday kicks off the remaining four PRCA Rodeo performances, along with the KBHB Bucking Horse Sale Friday, Feb. 6. Top bucking stock will compete with new and upcoming riders for top dollar sales. There is something for everyone with the free to the public Touchtone Energy Safety Seminars, a college fair for rodeo students and Rodney Yost Horsemanship Clinics, one of the state’s top horse trainers.

You’ll also want to watch the four-legged competitors at this year’s event. Sutton Rodeo was awarded all three categories of Badlands Circuit Livestock of the Year; Bareback, Crystalyx, Saddle Bronc, Chuckulator (2012 Saddle Bronc Horse of the Year and the NFR, Bareback and Saddle Bronc of the Badland Circuit Finals in 2011, the first horse to win both awards in the same year) and Bull of the Year, Johnny Ringo. 2014 WNFR stock, Real McCoy, Time Rental, Campfire and Cactus Juice will be entered along with stock from eight top PRCA stock contractors.

The 2015 PRCA Rodeos and Xtreme Bull Tour promises to showcase the same spirit of competition, hard work, and perseverance the event is known for. We look forward to the attendance of all competitors, and once again enjoying the company of friends from across the region. Tickets and information at www.gotmine.com or 1-800-got-mine Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, Rapid City.

2015 Rodeo Stock Contractors

• Sutton Rodeos Inc, Stock Contractor: Jim Sutton, Location: Onida, S.D.

Bucking Stock of the Year: SB-Deep Water, 1979; BB-Tombstone, 1985; SB-Chuckulator, 2012

Background: Jim’s father, James H. Sutton-a Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame member-produced his first rodeo on the home ranch in 1926. Sutton Rodeos was formed in the late 1960’s and with 80 years of rodeo experience, the Sutton tradition continues, raising 90% of their horse breeding stock. Jim started the Wrangler Bullfights in 1981 in Rapid City and produced the NFR openings in 1995 and 1996. Steve (son of Jim), is co-owner and NFR pickup man in three decades (1978, 1981, 1986, 1993, 1995). Jim’s wife Julie is in charge of publicity, advance promotion. Steve’s wife, Kim times, does publicity and marketing. Their daughter, Amy, started timing PRCA rodeos in 2006 and assists with marketing. Her husband Steven is a PRCA flank man and assists with livestock and rodeo production. Their son, Brent, started his PRCA career as a pickup man in 2004 and contestant in 2007 and competes in college rodeos for SDSU. Other son, Brice, became a PRCA pickup man and contestant in 2010. Both assist Sutton Rodeo with livestock and rodeo production. With the exception of one year, they have had stock selected to every NFR since 1959.

• Burch Rodeo Company, Stock Contractor: Chad Burch, Location: Rozet, Wyo.

Bucking Stock of the Year: SB-Blood Brother, 2008, runner up, 2002-03; Lunatic From Hell-Top 3, 2014

Background: Max Burch has bred bucking horses for more than 20 years that cowboys describe as “rank” or “eliminators”. Burch purchased Midwest Rodeo Company from Steve Sutton in 1999, and now Max’s son, Chad, runs the company. Burch Rodeo sent three bareback horses, four saddle bronc and two bucking bulls to the 2011 Wrangler NFR.

• Burns Rodeo Company, Stock Contractor: Summit, Location: Laramie, Wyo.

Bucking Stock of the Year: BR-Mr. T, 1986, BR-Blender Head-Top 3, 2004: Cross The Line, 2014

Background: Pete Burn’s stock is kept at the High Plains arena, six miles from Laramie and at Burn’s own ranch some 23 miles from Laramie. Located in Wyoming’s southeastern section, the various portions of the ranch top 8,500 ft in elevation. Burn’s son Hal, began his own bucking stock breeding program a few years ago. They are bucking various young horses they raised and now have bull calves sired by NFR bulls Mardi Gras and Mr. T. Burn’s has had stock selected for the Wrangler NFR every year since 1983.

• Powder River, Stock Contractor: Hank, Lori & John Franzen, Location: Riverton, Wyo.

Bucking Stock of the Year: Hall of Fame Bareback Horse Khadafy Skoal, 1990, 1995-96; saddle bronc Miss Congeniality, 2005, 2007, top 3 2008; reserve champion bareback Skoal’s Frontier, 1991.

Background: Hank Franzen, a gold card member, began in the PRCA stock contracting business in 1986 after spending all his life in rodeo arenas. He and his wife, Lori, started the company on their own. In those 25 years, they have earned 148 “top stock” awards, including Dodge National Circuit Finals Rodeo and circuit awards. Their children, Jill and John, are a huge part of their family entertainment productions. Hank also serves as stock contractor representative for the RNCFR. Powder River sent three bareback horses, four saddle broncs and four bucking bulls to the 2011 Wrangler NFR, where Smooth Groove was among the top five bucking bulls.

• Brookman-Hyland Rodeo Company, Stock Contractor: Dave Wieferich, Location: Sidney, Mont.

Background: In 2006, Cathy and Dave Wieferich and their three children, LaTasha, Tesa and Tate, took over the rodeo business from the late ProRodeo Hall of Fame stock contractor Marvin Brookman, Cathy’s great-grandfather. While continuing to focus on Marvin’s famous breeding program, the Wieferiches have added sound, production and rodeo entertainment to the sport and added Joe Hyland as a partner. They produce 10 rodeos across the northwestern United States and subcontract for many events all over the U.S. They had one saddle broncs and two bucking bulls selected to the 2011 WNFR.

• New Frontier Rodeo, Stock Contractor: Jimmy Crowther, Location: Powell, Wyo.

Background: Jimmy Crowther bought Rumford Rodeo in 2009. Rumford Rodeo was a three-generation stock breeding and contracting family business, producing 10-15 PRCA-sanctioned events annually and taking part in high school and college rodeos. The company also has produced Wild West shows and rodeos in Finland, France, Venezuela, Oman and most recently Spain.

• Bar C5 Rodeo, Stock Contractor: Vern McDonald, Location: Lac La Biche, Alberta, Canada

Background: Situated on the edge of the Boreal forest of northern Alberta, the Bar C5 Ranch was founded in 2008 by Vern McDonald of Lac La Biche. With over 80 top quality mares and five stallions with superior bloodlines, The Ranch is producing world-class bucking stock. Bar C5 is proud to be a part of the training of potential cowboys from colleges across Alberta, such as Olds College and Vermillion College. The Ranch donates its horses, time and trucking to these colleges to help young and upcoming cowboys excel in bronc riding.

• Painted Pony, Stock Contractor: Shaun Graham, Location: Lake Luzerne, N.Y.

Background: After six years in amateur rodeo, Shawn Graham got his PRCA stock contractor card in

2006, shortly after purchasing 56-year-old Painted Pony Championship Rodeo from Jack McCue. Painted Pony took a bareback horse to the Wrangler NFR in 2013 – five years after they became the first New York stock contractor to take a bucking horse to Las Vegas for the big event – and a saddle bronc was also selected but unable to attend.

• Bar T Rodeo, Stock contractor: Jeff Flitton, Location: Chester, Utah

Bucking Stock of the Year: Alley Cat, tie, 1977, also top-three bareback horse at NFR 1976, 1982, and top bareback horse of the Wilderness Circuit, 1976-77, 1981-83. Background: Bar T Rodeo has been a family-run operation for more than 60 years. In 1997, Swanny Kerby, who started the business, was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame. His son, saddle bronc rider and pickup man Bud Kerby, and Bud’s wife Evelyn built up Bar T Rodeo’s breeding program and helped produce the first-ever Olympic exhibition rodeo in Farmington, Utah, in 2002. In 2012, Evelyn sold the business to their daughter and son-in-law Wendie and Jeff Flitton, their son Cody and daughter Kellie Addington and her husband Sam, who operate it with another Kerby daughter, Lori Pierce, and her husband, Martin. Bar T Rodeo won the Remuda Award in 2005 and 2011 for providing the best, most consistent pens of bucking horses to PRCA rodeos.