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Tiny Binford a good stop for PBR

JAMESTOWN -- Binford may not strike most as a prime location for a top Professional Bull Riding event, but it is.

In fact, the town of about 150 people, located 50 miles northeast of Jamestown, is hosting its seventh sanctioned PBR event at 7 p.m. CDT Saturday at the Binford Community Park and Rodeo Grounds. The event will come with all the fixings of a major rodeo -- including world-class bulls and riders, said one of the rodeo's lead organizers, Jerry Iverson.

"It's always a top-notch deal," said Iverson, who managed the North Dakota State Fair for 30 years. "If people come out, they'll get their money's worth, and they'll have fun."

Rodeos are nothing new to the area. The Binford Rodeo Club has been in existence since 1967. They currently have about a dozen members, including event coordinator Bill Rickford, who said putting the show together is a serious undertaking.

Th event expects to bring in more than 2,000 fans.

"We plan for it the whole year," said Rickford. "People might not think a dinky little town like Binford could pull something like this off, but we find a way to make it happen."

Saturday night's event will feature some of the top riders and best bulls in the PBR circuit, including 2009 World Champion Kody Lostroh. Other top riders scheduled to appear are Ryan McConnel, Aaron Roy and Skeeter Kingsolver. Almost 40 riders have pre-registered to ride Saturday night and they come from 15 different states and Canadian provinces.

"They're in their middle of summer break (of the PBR season) right now," Rickford said. "They just had (a rodeo) in Bismarck, and they're hanging around to come to ours.

"Some of them are just getting back from Australia. These are some of the best guys around."

The same is true of the bulls.

In fact, 25 of the bulls that performed in Binford last year bucked at the Nationals Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.

Stock contractor Chad Berger of Mandan owns some of the premier bulls in the world, including Code Blue and Big Tex. Top bulls are worth as much as $2 million, similar in value to elite race horses. Code Blue bucked in Binford in 2009, the same year he was crowned, "The Bucking Bull of the Year."

"The bulls they bring are pretty incredible," Iverson said. "You'd think somebody would have to be crazy to get on top of one of those things, but those brave guys do it."

Brandon Sedler, a Binford native, who grew up across the street from the Binford Rodeo grounds, hauls the bulls from venue to venue.

Both Iverson and Rickford said it's a great event for the town, but they aren't in it for any financial gain.

"When it's done, we all meet and try to figure out how we're going to pay the bills, and if we have to dig into our own pockets, well, then that's what we have to do," Iverson said. "It is a big deal for the community to bring all these people in. A lot of people volunteer and help out to make it happen. It's a pretty big undertaking, but it's worth it."

Selvig is the sports editor of The Jamestown Sun, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.