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Badlands Rodeo, NDRA opener end on high notes

Logon Berg of Mandan holds on to score 75 points to take first in bareback riding during the second day of the Medora Badlands Rodeo on Saturday at Ranch-O-Rama Arena. (Press Photo by Colton Pool)

MEDORA — The dreams of chaotic 8-second rides were quickly dashed. The bulls wanted no part of that.

To the dismay of most, the bulls at the Medora Badlands Rodeo pitched a shutout over the course of the two-day event at Ranch-O-Rama Arena, leaving riders bruised and defeated, yet complimentary.

“I thought I was going to get on a nice little spinner, a little sweetheart,” said John Jacobs of Little Eagle, S.D., “and that sucker bucked and made me look like a clown. … When my back was on the ground, I looked up and he was still bucking. I wasn’t ready for that.”

Jacobs and his fellow riders found themselves telling the same story but chalked it up to the quality of the stock.

“All the bulls I saw are good. They all gave honest trips; that’s what I saw. They were just better than the riders,” Jacobs said. “The bulls, they know how to play the game. They know what’s up. They know when that chute opens up, it’s time to go.”

Luckily for the other participants at the North Dakota Rodeo Association’s first event of the season, this weekend showed them far more luck.

Logon Berg, a three-time high school state champion in bareback riding out of Mandan High School, most recently in 2014, notched a score of 75 in the event Saturday, besting the identical 74 scores posted by Clay Jorgenson and Mike Fred on Friday.

“(Friday) there were some pretty good rides,” Berg said. “I just came in today and was determined that I was going to beat them. … It’s a lot of luck of the draw, I guess. There’s some really good talent that comes down here.”

Berg estimated that it had been about three months since he had competed, which was a byproduct of training new horses and moving with his girlfriend to New Salem, so he was satisfied with his performance.

“It was really nice coming back and getting on one, winning the first rodeo of the year,” he said. “The horse came out, had two pretty good kicks, and then petered off, and I just did what I could.”

Cody Hilzendeger of Baldwin turned in a time of 10 seconds in the calf roping at Saturday morning’s slack, taking the top spot from Cole Hatzenbuhler (11.1) from Friday. At Saturday’s performance, Jon Peek of Berthold opened at 8.5 seconds but was upended by Jason Schaffer of Broadus, Mont., in 8.2 seconds.

“It’s the second rodeo with the horse I’m riding. He’s green, but he gave me a chance to win second,” Peek said. “Jason came after me and made a great run.”

Peek has placed in the top two in calf roping in each of the last four years at the Medora Badlands Rodeo, and he’s won calf roping in the NDRA each of the last three years, so even second place on Saturday sets him up nicely for the year.

“It’s great to win second here, great to take second on a horse you’re bringing along and training,” Peek said. “If you can place at every rodeo you go to, you’re doing great. … This is exactly what I need to do at every rodeo. Just get a good start and rope the calves and tie them as fast as I can.”

Laine Hanson took over at the top of the leaderboard for ladies breakaway Saturday, clocking in at 2.6 seconds.

Cathy Roesler took first in the ladies barrel racing in 17.171 seconds Saturday, topping Lindsey O’Keeffe’s 17.424 from Friday. All other leading scores from Friday stood through the second day of competition.

Top 10 finishers

Bareback riding: Logon Berg 75; Clay Jorgenson 74; Mike Fred 74; Nick Harmon 73; Thomas Kronberg 71; Tate Schwagler 66, Dude Koester 63.

Calf roping: Jason Schaffer 8.2; Jon Peek 8.5; Cody Hilzendeger 10.0; Logan Seifert 11.1; Cole Hatzenbuhler 11.1; Austin Visser 11.6; Kane Gjermundson 12.9; Jason Lawrence 13.5; Lane Rossow 13.5; Garrett Dockter 15.6.

Ladies breakaway: Laine Hanson 2.6; Ashley Schaper 2.7; Jodi Bubel 2.8; Kelly Vetter 3.0; Anna Jorgenson 3.2; Teddi Schwagler 3.2; Allison Wittkopp 3.3; Shannah Plehall 3.3; Carole Hollers 3.5; Lynn Schaper 3.7.

Saddle bronc: Dalton Rixen 76; Rhett Fox 69; Logan Nielson 69; Qwint Stroh 65; Boyd Stroh 65; Cody Trump 62; Miles Engleburt 61; Wyatt Neidhardt 59; Taylor Tupper 56; Jake Foster 51.

Steer wrestling: Cameron Morman 5.1; Tyler Thorson 5.3; Scott Kleemann 5.6; Rowdy Benson 6.0; Zach Johnson 6.8; David Hindman 7.3; Rylie Reiss 9.4; River Voigt 12.0; Bridger Anderson 15.4; Todd Suhn 15.8.

Team roping: Turner Harris/Ross Carson 6.1; Clay Edger/ David Hindman 7.3; Ryan Gronley/ Jake Beard 7.7; Layne Carson/ Tim Franzen 8.3; Jeff Schaffer/Jordan Schaffer 8.3; Ross Pfleger/ Lane Rossow 8.7; Jed Bohmbach/ Kyle Jensen 10.0; Seth Peterson/Robert Murphy 12.0; Cameron Morman/Chance Glass 12.1; Cole Hatzenbuhler/TJ Kraft 12.4.

Ladies barrel racing: Cathy Roesler 17.171; Lexus Kelsch 17.410; Lindsey O’Keeffe 17.424; Amanda Lundquist 17.440; Josey Clark 17.518; Dawn Carson 17.550; Pressley Hamann 17.590; Tess Dolezal 17.603; Hali Gjermundson 17.612; Annie Praus 17.628.

Senior men’s breakaway: Jeff Schaffer 2.7; Kelly Eggl 2.8; Bob Burke 3.1; Kirk Ford 3.3; John Hoven 4.2; Bill Jorgenson 4.5; Gene Smith 5.4; Lyle Wilcox 5.8; Jim Graven 12.3; Marty Burress 12.4; Michael McInerney 12.4.

Bull riding: No finishers.

Parker Cotton

Cotton is the sports editor at The Press, where he covers the area's high schools. He came to The Press as the Multimedia Editor in May 2015 after graduating from the University of Northern Colorado with his master's degree in Sociological Practice. He holds undergraduate degrees in Journalism and Sociology from UNC, as well. 

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