Picking up wins: Contestants pick up 5 victories in Medora Badlands Rodeo finale
MEDORA — Beautiful weather highlighted the final day of the Medora Badlands Rodeo.
Vance Steedley from Sundance, Wyo., took full advantage of the weather to win steer wrestling with a time of 4.1 seconds on Saturday at the Ranch-O-Rama Arena.
In the two other times Steedley came to Medora, conditions were less than favorable especially last year when the grounds were thick and muddy.
“You can’t ask for much more than that,” Steedley said. “Just going out there and making the smoothest ride you can while you can.”
Coming into Saturday’s afternoon session, Ben Grann from Bismarck set the bar high with a top score of 4.4 seconds. But Steedley paid no attention to the top score and went in blind to take the pressure off.
“To be honest, I don’t even pay attention to the times coming in I didn’t know what was leading it or anything,” Steedley said. “I just went out and made my run and figured it would be in there or not. Just take it pretty easy.”
Steedley was the first steer wrestler and set the event-winning score — as did Bobbi Grann in barrel racing.
The Sheyenne native — and a member of the Dickinson State rodeo team — ran an impressive 15.097 seconds which no other rider came close to touching.
With College National Finals Rodeo coming up next week, Grann has been training with a new horse — Bell — to give her the leg up in the competition and said so far so good.
“This is only my seventh or eighth time running her so we’re pretty inexperienced yet but we’re going to the national finals college rodeo together,” Grann said. “We’re just trying to get some runs in and trying to get used to each other and so far it’s going really good.”
Like most of the Medora rodeo competitors, Grann will be competing in Elgin today in hopes of dropping her time even lower and picking up another top spot.
Though she’ll be riding her usual horse today, the win from Saturday gives her some added self-assurance for Elgin and the college finals.
“Just every time we go out there and do good it makes us more and more confident,” Grann said.
The final event — bull riding — was won by a veteran. Jay Dunford from Baldwin has been riding bulls professionally since 2000 and his years of experience showed in the arena.
As soon as Dunford left the chute, his eight-second ride looked effortless and scored an 81, six points higher than Friday’s top scorer Coleman Entze.
“Just a nice bull, kicked out of there, turned left spun into my hands and was fun to ride,” Dunford said.
Of the nine events, five of the winners were determined on Saturday. Richardton’s Dalton Rixen took the belt buckle in saddle bronc with a score of 72.
On Friday, Logan Berg won bareback (74), the duo of Casey Holmes and Joe Painter took the team roping title (8.1 seconds), Justin Skofield couldn’t be touched in tie down (9.3 seconds) and Kristi Steffes finished in first for ladies breakaway (2.6 seconds).
Medora Badlands Rodeo
At Ranch-O-Rama Arena
Bareback riding: 1, Logan Berg, Mandan, 74.
Barrel racing: 1, Bobbi Grann, Sheyenne, 15.097.
Bull riding: 1, Jay Dunford, Baldwin, 81.
Ladies breakaway roping: 1, Kristi Steffes, Vale, S.D., 2.6.
Saddle bronc: 1, Dalton Rixen, Richardton, 72.
Senior mens breakaway: results not available.
Steer wrestling: 1, Vance Steedley, Sundance, Wyo., 4.1.
Team roping: 1, Casey Holmes, Buffalo, S.D., and Joe Painter, Buffalo, S.D., 8.1.
Tie-down roping: 1, Justin Skofield, Flandreau, S.D., 9.3.