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Mind over mudder: Cowboys dazzle in damp Roughrider Days Rodeo

South Dakota native JJ Elshere holds on tight during his saddle bronc ride on Friday, June 29, at the Stark County Fair Grounds during the Roughrider Days Rodeo. (Shelby Reardon / The Dickinson Press)1 / 4
JJ Elshere flashes a smile to the crowd after a particularly muddy saddle bronc ride on Friday, June 29, at the Roughrider Days Rodeo. (Shelby Reardon / The Dickinson Press)2 / 4
Kolby Wanchuk, who hails from Alberta, earned an arena record of 87 points in the saddle bronc competition on Friday, June 29, at the Stark County Fairgrounds. (Shelby Reardon / The Dickinson Press)3 / 4
Stetson Lawrence of Williston tops the bull riding standings after two days, earning a score of 83 on Korkow Rodeos' Little Turbo. (Shelby Reardon / The Dickinson Press)4 / 4

About an hour before the second day of the Roughrider Days PRCA Rodeo, it started to pour.

While the rain cleared up shortly after the competition began, the arena was a sopping mess with ankle deep puddles throughout.

Nobody cared.

The crowd braved wet benches as the cowboys and cowgirls triumphed in the elements. Kolby Wanchuk even put a new arena record in the books.

The Canadian rider sits in first place in saddle bronc after earning an 87 on the back of Korkow Rodeos' Bad Onion at the Stark County Fairgrounds on Friday, June 29.

"She come out, just really bucked and I was able to go with her," Wanchuk said. "She came out, broke, had one corner and then just straight down the arena just jumping and kicking."

The 87 is Wanchuk's new personal best score in the event and narrowly bested Dusty Hausauer who sat in first place after day one.

While the saddle bronc riders had some tough numbers to beat already on the board from Thursday, the team ropers had it a little easier.

Only the team of Rex Treeby and Elliott Gourneau put up a time, roping their steer in 11.6 seconds on Thursday.

The Dickinson pair of Jason Vohs and Chad Ystaas nearly halved that with a time of 6.4. At the moment they finished, they sat in second, but a few teams beat the six-second barrier, bumping them down. After the remaining teams performed, the Dickinson crew clung on to a top-five spot.

"It went good. I thought my header got out really well. He scored good and he set the steer up to me real fast," Ystaas said. "I thought it went real good, especially with the conditions."

Other than coating fallen riders and steer wrestlers, the mud didn't pose too much of a problem, although it could have, especially in the team roping event.

"As long as the steer's jumpy you don't have to change much of anything," Ystaas said. "But if the mud is sticky and the steers want to drag down, you got to throw a little bit of a different heel. He made him hop, so it was pretty easy."

In the final event of the night, bull riding, Williston's Stetson Lawrence performed the best.

After Thursday, an 81 was the score to beat and Clayton Enzminger of Steele earned an 82 on Snapper. Lawrence followed a few rides later with an 83 on the back of Little Turbo to take the lead. When the event closes out on Saturday, riders will aim to top his performance.

Samantha Jorgenson of Watford City flew threw her barrel racing event in 18.41 seconds, rounding out the top five after two days.

Kaylee Gallino leads with a time of 17.84, which she earned Thursday. No one broke 18 seconds on Friday, but Tiany Schuster of Krum, Texas came close with an 18.22.

In steer wrestling, Joe Robert Nelson worked quickly, stopping the clock at 4.6 seconds. As the only cowboy to finish under five seconds, the Keene native leads the event.

Performance one results

Roughrider Days PRCA Rodeo

Bareback riding: 1. Steven Dent, 84 points on Korkow Rodeos' Feather Fluffer; 2. Dylan Wahlert, 78.5; 3. Ty Breuer, 78; 4. Tyler Scales, 75; 5. Levi Nicholson, 66.

Steer wrestling: 1. Cameron Morman, 5.2 seconds; 2. Tanner Brunner, 5.4; 3. Joe Wilson, 6.6; 4. Chason Floyd, 7.1; 5. Brian Anderson, 9.6.

Team roping: 1. Rex Treeby/Elliott Gourneau, 11.6 seconds.

Saddle bronc: 1. Dusty Hausauer, 86 points on Korkow Rodeos' Paint Chip; 2. Steven Dent, 84; 3. Colton Miller, 78; 4. Shorty Garrett, 75; 5. Travis Nelson, 52.

Tie-down roping leaders: 1. Trell Etbauer, 10.0 seconds; 2. Dillon Wickum, 14.1; 3. Rex Treeby, 14.3; 4. Caleb Bullock, 16.0; 5. Wyatt Treeby, 16.5; 6. Kane Gjermundson, 28.9.

Barrel racing leaders: 1. Kaylee Gallino, 17.84 seconds; 2. Lisa Anderson, 17.91; 3. Teresa Wolff, 18.99; 4. Debra Wolff, 19.15; 5. Tess Dolezal, 23.27; 6. Stephanie Curtis, 27.74.

Bull riding leaders: 1. Rorey Maier, 81 points on Korkow Rodeos' Laser Beam; 2. Jeff Bertus, 79; 3. Riley Blankenship, 69.

Performance two results were not available at press time.

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