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Blankenship bulls over competition

Press Photo by Royal McGregor Killdeer's Riley Blankenship rides the bull 'High Voltage' 8 seconds to win the Dickinson High Rodeo bull riding event Monday at the DSU Outdoor Arena.

The cream-colored, muscular bull quickly charged out the chute.

Riley Blankenship had his left hand down, his right hand up in the air and had the bucking bull "High Voltage" turning in circles.

The Killdeer cowboy had a score to settle with High Voltage on Monday at the Dickinson State Outdoor Rodeo Arena.

"I was excited to have him again," Blankenship said.

Three years ago, the charging power of High Voltage led to Blankenship getting bucked to the ground.

In a Memorial Day downpour that left many bull riders face first in the mud, it was Blankenship that saw redemption in the Dickinson High School Rodeo.

As the eight-second buzzer sounded, Blankenship posed with two fingers in the air and victoriously jumped off of High Voltage.

Blankenship then took a parting shot from the angry bull, sending him a few feet in the air before the cowboy safely climbed over the chute.

"It'll hurt tomorrow, but right now I'm just having fun," Blankenship said smiling.

A score of 71 was all Blankenship needed to win the event. No one else scored, including then North Dakota High School Rodeo Association bull riding points leader Jake Benson. Blankenship trailed Benson by one point going into Monday's monsoon.

"You just make the most of it," said Blankenship, who recently graduated from Killdeer High School. "It's pretty crappy (weather) out, but you got to keep positive and move through it.

"You have fun with it and good things will come out."

Blankenship will compete in the Pro Rodeo Cowboys Association and Pro Bull Riding circuits throughout the summer.

Killdeer High sophomore-to-be Lakken Bice stormed the competition in barrel racing.

Riding her horse, Hero, Bice got crisp barrel turns in the deep mud and then raced to a time of 16.861 seconds.

"I was kind of nervous about the ground being slick," Bice said. "I just made sure I was setting up my barrels to get (Hero) ready for each barrel."

Bice's finish beat out previous leader Cydney Peterson's time of 17.095 (second-place).

"He ran really good today," Bice said about Hero. "It felt like a really good run for what we were running in. It was fun."

Notes: The pole bending, team roping and goat tying events were postponed to Saturday's Bismarck High School Rodeo.

Dickinson High School Memorial Day Rodeo winners

Steer wrestling

Keaton Schaffer, Broadus, Mont., 8.71 seconds.

Boy's cow cutting

Riley Rustad, Kindred, score 71.

Bareback riding

Jerald Berger, Mandan, 71.

Saddle bronc riding

Callen Clarys, Mandan, 56.5.

Bull riding

Riley Blankenship, Killdeer, 71.

Girl's cow cutting

Samantha Jorgenson, Watford City, 72.

Breakaway roping

Kassie Kautzman, Walcott, 2.83 seconds.

Barrel racing

Lakken Bice, Killdeer, 16.861 seconds.