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Taming the beast: Billy Quade Phillips wins first-ever North Dakota CBR event

Press Photo by Royal McGregor Billy Quade Phillips of Henryetta, Okla., rides in the short go during Dielco Crane CBR Double Down on Saturday at the Dickinson State University Outdoor Arena. Phillips won the event with an 87-point ride.

Billy Quade Phillips threw his cowboy hat at the crowd in excitement, after registering the second score of the night.

The crowd at the Dickinson State University Outdoor Arena cheered even louder as Phillip's score was announced: 87 points, officially putting him in the lead.

The rookie was the only rider to have a qualified score in the championship round of the initial Dielco Crane CBR Double Down and was crowned the winner on Saturday.

"It was really good, a really good crowd and a lot of really good bulls from all-star contractors," Phillips said. "I was really fortunate to get dropped back to the short round and ride my short on bull."

The CBR Double Down was hosted by the DSU Alumni & Foundation and the first bull riding event in North Dakota. All proceeds from the event went towards student scholarships at the university. At the end of the event, the winner participated in the CBR Bounty Bull to try and win half of the $12,000 purse, with the other half of the purse going towards a new DSU scholarship. Phillips had to ride an undefeated bull, who hasn't allowed a qualified ride in two years, and was immediately bucked off.

"I know he was from Frontier (Rodeo Co.) and he really bucked," Phillips said laughing. "Kind of got me on the end of my arm and tried to jerk me down. I went ahead and tried him but didn't happen."

As talented as some of the riders were, the bulls were the real champions of the night. Out of the 30 competitors, only two riders were able to stay on for eight seconds. In section three, Abe Dillman from Grassy Butte finished out the long go with 84 points. Dillman has been riding livestock as long as he can remember, starting with sheep then calves, steer and riding in college for Miles Community College in Miles City, Mont. It was a huge relief for Dillman to be one of the only riders to actually have a qualified ride, considering his season wasn't off to a good start.

"It was a long time coming," Dillman said. "I kind of had a rough start to my year. This is well needed, especially this close to my house it was good."

After a rider was considered out of contention, he immediately left and was on his way to the next bull riding event. The lifestyle of these competitors is fast-paced and there is rarely any relaxation time between events. For Phillips, he is torn between taking the weekend off and going home to Henryetta, Okla. or continuing competing and making his way to Fort Worth, Texas before the next CBR event in Los Fresnos, Texas on Sept. 14.

At the end of the night, Phillips is pleased with his performance Saturday and how his season has been unfolding.

"It's a good stepping stone and a great program to ride in I feel like I've been riding really good this year," Phillips said. "I've place in all my events except two of them. I feel really fortunate and really blessed that I'm healthy and still riding."

Meaghan MacDonald

Meaghan is the sports page designer and copy editor for the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead.  After graduating from James Madison University (Va.) in May 2013, she moved from New Jersey to North Dakota to start pursuing her career in sports journalism and was a sports reporter for the Dickinson Press and covered Dickinson State athletics. Meaghan has been working for the Forum since June 2015.