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No stranger to the CNFR: Dickinson State’s Bobbi Grann ready for biggest stage in college rodeo

Press Photo by Royal McGregor Dickinson State junior Bobbi Grann rides during barrel racing during the Medora Badlands Rodeo on June 7 at Ranch-O-Rama Arena in Medora. Grann finished the college regular season as the women’s all-around champion in the Great Plains Region. With the all-around title, Grann qualified for the College National Finals Rodeo which begins today in Casper, Wyo.

Bobbi Grann isn’t a stranger to the biggest stage in college rodeo.

This is the third straight year the Dickinson State junior has reached the College National Finals Rodeo.

However, this time around Grann is entering the CNFR as the Great Plains Region women’s all-around champion.

“(The year) went really well and I had a very good season,” she said. “Hopefully, it will just carry on to the finals.

“Making it every year (to CNFR) is exciting and I know what to expect there. I know how much fun it is and what an accomplishment is to get there.”

As an all-around champion, Grann can compete in the barrel racing, breakaway roping and goat tying. The six-day CNFR begins today in Casper, Wyo.

Grann solidified the region all-around championship after placing first in barrel racing and fifth in goat tying during the Blue Hawk Stampede on May 10 at the DSU Outdoor Arena.

“That was my No. 1 goal coming into the season,” Grann said. “That was my biggest accomplishment this year and I was really proud to win that. It was a lot of work. I had a few tough rodeos and we had some rodeos in the mud. It wasn’t an easy feat, but I was really happy that I got that title.”

Since the regular season ended on May 10, Grann has had plenty of time practicing and training for the CNFR. In the month leading up to the CNFR, Grann has completed at multiple rodeos to maintain the competitive edge.

“I’ve been keeping my horses in shape and competed at a couple of other rodeos just to keep things going,” she said. “I just kept practicing and getting ready. It’s never good to just sit and do nothing. It was really good to get out, get to some more rodeos, keep the confidence up and keep things rolling.”

The added rodeos after the collegiate regular season has also helped her become more acquainted with Bell, the horse Grann will ride during the CNFR.

Grann first competed on Bell during the Blue Hawk Stampede where she finished runner-up and first in barrel racing on May 9 and 10, respectively. The combined time of 32.05 seconds helped Grann win the overall time in barrel racing.

“I honestly didn’t know how it would go on her,” Grann said about riding Bell for the first time during the Blue Hawk Stampede. “For it to go that well, was just outstanding and it has been going well ever since. Hopefully, we just keep going and do really well down there.”

Grann posted a time of 15.092 seconds, fast enough to finish first at the Medora Badlands Rodeo on Saturday. She continued her winning ways by placing first at the Elgin North Dakota Rodeo Association rodeo with a time of 16.474 seconds.

DSU head coach Eudell Larsen said Grann’s season wasn’t perfect from start to finish.

In the first four rodeos of the season, Grann amassed a total of 270 points — including scoring no points during the Iowa State University rodeo on Oct. 5-6. To put into perspective, Grann amassed nearly 400 points in the next two rodeos.

Larsen said the jumping-off point occurred during the North Dakota State University rodeo on Oct. 18-19 when Grann placed third in goat tying and seventh in breakaway roping.

“She had a good year, but she still didn’t have the year she was hoping to have,” Larsen said. “She had a pretty tough fall season and she came on real strong in our last rodeo of the fall and all spring she’s been real tough. She’s a competitor and just preservered.”

With a year remaining, this won’t be Grann’s final week of collegiate rodeo. Grann has one more year at DSU and she hopes to use this year as a confidence boost going into her final season. The Blue Hawks junior will also welcome a familiar face to DSU women’s rodeo team. It’s Grann’s younger sister — Lacey.

“My sister is actually coming to Dickinson in the fall, so she’ll be on the rodeo team with me as a freshman,” Grann said. “It’s great because (you) never want it to end when it is going good. I love Dickinson and my rodeo team and my rodeo coaches. I’m sad that I only have one year left.”