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Murphy chasing NDRA titles

Seth Murphy never doubts himself if he doesn't fare well at a rodeo. It's not his nature.

If Murphy wins an event, great. If he doesn't, he quickly forgets about it and moves on.

"I try and stay consistent every run," said Murphy, a 2003 graduate of Killdeer High School. "I don't go out trying to win every rodeo. I sort of let what's going to happen happen. Regardless if it's good or bad, I go on to the next rodeo."

Murphy hasn't necessarily been a winner every time this summer. But he hasn't walked out of the arena a loser either.

The all-around cowboy who lives outside of South Heart has been to 14 North Dakota Rodeo Association events this season and placed in an event in all of them.

That consistency is responsible for Murphy holding a 177-point edge on three-time defending NDRA men's all-around champion Preston Billadeau.

Whether it's in the calf roping, steer wrestling or team roping, Murphy has found ways to win money and earn points toward the all-around standings.

"At the beginning of the year, I like to set pretty high goals," Murphy said. "My goal this year is to win the calf roping, steer wrestling and the all-around."

Murphy has two wins in both the calf roping and steer wrestling this summer. Despite missing last weekend's Grant County Rodeo in Carson -- he opted for a trip to the Twin Cities to watch the final two rounds of the PGA Championship -- he still sits third in the NDRA standings in both events.

With just one rodeo remaining -- the Slope County Fair Rodeo in Amidon on Aug. 30 -- before the NDRA Finals on Sept. 11 and 12 in Watford City, Murphy is within reach of all three of his goals.

He trails Billadeau by 95 points in the calf roping and is 95 points behind another Killdeer native, Scott Kleeman, in the steer wrestling, which Murphy won in 2006. Competitors receive 80 points for a win.

With a pair of horses Murphy has confidence in, he believes can make a push for the titles.

"They're just more mature and they're a lot more solid than a lot more horses," Murphy said. "I don't have to go to rodeos and get on random horses all the time. It makes it a lot more consistent when you know what you're dealing with."

Regardless of how he finishes at the end of the season, Murphy knows he'll have to gear up for what promises to be an exciting winter in his personal life.

His fiancé, Chantel Starr, is pregnant with the couple's first child. Murphy said the baby is due in early February. The couple has a wedding planned for Oct. 10, 2010.

While Murphy expects rodeo to continue being a part of his life, he knows the future will bring challenges as he begins "just trying to keep 'em all balanced."

Notes

r Dickinson's Dusty Hausauer has dropped to 11th in the world saddle bronc riding standings. Hausauer was sixth last week. He has won $52,404 this season and needs to finish in the top 15 at the end of the regular season to qualify for the National Finals Rodeo in December.

r After a season-long battle for the top spot, Lee Dunford and Casey Breuer head into the home stretch of the NDRA tied atop the bareback riding standings with 470 points each.

r The Roughrider Rodeo Association wraps up its regular season with the Fort Yates Rodeo on Saturday and Sunday. The RRA Finals are scheduled for Sept. 25-27 in Devils Lake.

Dustin Monke

Monke came to The Dickinson Press in July 2006 as the newspaper's sports editor and was hired as its managing editor in March 2013. During his tenure at The Press, Monke has won multiple awards for sports reporting, feature reporting, column writing, page design and photography. He was a key part of The Press winning the North Dakota Newspaper Association's General Excellence and Sweepstakes awards in 2009 and 2012, and oversaw The Press' Sweepstakes and General Excellence wins in 2014, as well as its national first-place honors for Community Leadership in the Inland Daily Press Association and contributed to the first-place Inland award for Investigative Reporting. As the newspaper's editor, he writes an occasional Sunday column, is a member of The Press' Editorial Board, contributes feature stories and breaking news, designs pages, and oversees the day-to-day operations of the newsroom and editorial staff. In his free time, he enjoys watching sports and action movies, exercises whenever his schedule allows, and spends every minute he can with his wife and son.

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