Murphy having a good year
Seth Murphy is on a roll.
Less than four months after winning the all-around title at the National Circuit Finals Rodeo, Murphy is at the top of the Badlands Circuit in both the all-around and steer wrestling -- and he shows no signs of slowing down.
A double-entered contestant wherever he goes -- he is ranked seventh in the Badlands Circuit in the tie-down roping -- Murphy said he doesn't have much time to think when he competes.
"It's not very easy at all," Murphy said. "It's a pretty special thing if you ever do it."
It varies between rodeos, but sometimes Murphy has just one event between steer wrestling and tie-down roping.
Staying mentally focused between events, he says, can be the most grueling part of his routine.
"You get in a zone and you just stay in it," he said.
He must be doing something right. Murphy has earned $6,773 in all-around cash this year, including $4,670 in steer wrestling. His lead in the latter is more than $1,000 going into "Cowboy Christmas."
So far this year, Murphy has won the all-around and steer wrestling at both the Crystal Springs Ranch Rodeo in Clear Lake, S.D., and the Days of '56 Rodeo in Ponca, Neb. He won the all-around and tie-down roping at the Fargodome Rodeo and took top honors in the all-around at the Winter Show Rodeo in Valley City.
"My horses are still working real good," Murphy said. "Last year was my rookie year (in the PRCA). I've been feeling more and more comfortable at the rodeos I've been to twice now."
Murphy is set to attend six rodeos in four days over the holiday weekend.
He's up in Belle Fourche, S.D., on Friday night. He comes back to Dickinson for Saturday afternoon's performance and goes to Mandan that evening. He'll be in Mobridge, S.D., and Crawford, Neb., on Sunday. Then he comes to his hometown of Killdeer for the Fourth of July performance Monday at the Killdeer Mountain Roundup Rodeo.
On Tuesday morning, he returns to his job as the boss of SM Fencing.
"That'll be nice to get home, get some rest and then get up and go to work the next day," Murphy said.
Badlands Circuit's best to compete this weekend
The rodeo is scheduled to include the Badlands Circuit leader in every event but bareback riding.
Tie-down roping leader Boe Brown of Harrold, S.D., is scheduled to compete Thursday.
Bull rider John Jacobs of Timber Lake, S.D., and barrel racer Cami Bauer of St. Onge, S.D., are scheduled for Friday.
Dickinson saddle bronc rider Clay Schaeffer and South Dakota team ropers Scott White and Rory Brown are set to compete Saturday.
Schaeffer is on top of the Badlands Circuit bronc riding standings. He holds a narrow lead over Golden Valley veteran Hugh Connolly, who rides Thursday.
Joe Gunderson of Agar, S.D., leads the circuit in the bareback and is also eighth in the world. He is the only Badlands Circuit leader not attending the rodeo.
Big-name veterans scheduled for rodeo
Veteran barrel racer Jill Moody of Letcher, S.D., is set to compete tonight alongside top-ranked saddle bronc riders Bradley Harter and Sam Spreadborough.
Saddle bronc riders and NFR veterans Dusty Hausauer of Dickinson and J.J. Elshere of Hereford, S.D., are set to ride Friday along with Minnesotan Ty Corrington, who is ninth in the world standings. Chuck Schmidt, a rising star from Keldron, S.D., is also drawn for Friday night.
Hausauer and Corrington are traveling together this summer since Dickinson bronc rider Shaun Stroh is sidelined following hip surgery.