Hometown pride: DSU rodeo teams seek to close out regular season on high note at home
Entering the final weekend of the college regular season, the Dickinson State men’s rodeo team sits first in the Great Plains Region standings.
However, DSU’s lead over South Dakota State is only 45 points.
Jordan Pelton and Dalton Rixen made sure the regular season finale and lone home rodeo started off on a good note finishing with a top score in the first round of their respected events during the Blue Hawk Stampede on Friday at the DSU Outdoor Arena.
“We’ve been doing really well,” said Rixen, who posted 74 points during the first round of saddle bronc riding. “We go to a rodeo as a team and not as separate people.
“It’s our home ground, but I think it’s one of the hardest rodeos to win. But you just have to stay focused and concentrate on what you are doing.”
Rixen, a sophomore and Richardton graduate, was the only saddle bronc rider to finish with a score. The Richardton graduate sits in fourth place in saddle bronc riding in the region.
With Rixen being the second-to-last saddle bronc rider, he witnessed the first six cowboys end with a no score. However, the sophomore wasn’t fixated on being the only saddle bronc rider to post a score.
“I feel confident,” he said. “You have to be confident anytime you get on. When you nod your head, it’s just you and the horse. There’s nobody else. That’s all that matters.”
Pelton, a senior from Halliday, posted a first-round score of 67 in bareback riding. Out of the four bareback riders, three finished with a score. Pelton entered the weekend third in bareback riding in the region.
The senior cowboy hasn’t felt this season was his best, but he’s ecstatic the team placed in the top three during eight of nine rodeos. The Blue Hawks have won three rodeos.
“I haven’t necessarily had the year that I quite wanted, but it’s still been good,” Pelton said. “I’m just happy the team is doing well.”
On the girls side, DSU senior Bobbi Jo Grann is leading the Great Plains Region women’s all-around.
She didn’t disappoint at home either.
The senior from Sheyenne posted a time of 15.93 during the first round of barrel racing. The time puts her in second.
“It went really well,” Grann said. “I actually have never run this horse before, so to end up second on her was great.”
In the Great Plains Region, Grann currently sits second in goat tying, seventh in breakaway roping and 12th in barrel racing.
As a team, the Blue Hawks are in a tie for third with Iowa Central Community College. Grann said the team has really picked it up in the spring by winning three of the last four rodeos.
“We had a really slow fall and things just weren’t going well,” she said. “This spring everything has really improved. It’s just too bad we don’t have many more (rodeos).”
The Blue Hawk Stampede continues at 1 p.m. today at the DSU Outdoor Arena. Grann said it’s special to compete at home, because cowboys and cowgirls want to impress their fans.
“It’s so exciting to go in front of the home crowd and we’ve practiced here, so we are ready here,” she said. “Everything is so familiar and it’s just a lot of fun.”