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Last chance for cash and trip to nationals

Clay Schaeffer is ready to ride again. The 26-year-old local saddle bronc rider, who graduated from New England High School and lives in the Dickinson area, returns to the arena tonight at the PRCA Badlands Circuit Rodeo after being sidelined for...

Clay Schaeffer is ready to ride again.

The 26-year-old local saddle bronc rider, who graduated from New England High School and lives in the Dickinson area, returns to the arena tonight at the PRCA Badlands Circuit Rodeo after being sidelined for 2½ months.

Schaeffer is second in the circuit saddle bronc standings, trailing Cole Elshere of Faith, S.D., by roughly $1,600.

He was leading the circuit on July 25 when a bronc flipped on him in the chute and fractured five of his vertebrae during a rodeo in Timber Lake, S.D.

Schaeffer said the most he has done since then is ride colts, yet his back feels good.

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"I'm feeling pretty good about it. I'm feeling pretty healthy," Schaeffer said. "I'm just going to go do my best." The champion of the Badlands Circuit Finals -- a four-performance event at Minot's All-Seasons Arena that ends Sunday -- and the year-end money earnings winner in each event advances to the National Circuit Finals Rodeo, which begins March 31 in Oklahoma City.

Seth Murphy, a 25-year-old who lives in South Heart but grew up in Killdeer, is sitting first in the steer wrestling standings in his first full season competing in PRCA rodeos.

"In the past, I never really had the horsepower or the funds to go the way I wanted," Muphy said. "Last year, I ended up buying a bulldogging horse from Henry Hollenbeck in Montana and got going pretty good." Murphy, 25, said even if he falls short of the year-end title -- he has just an $800 lead on Ivan Teigen of Camp Crook, S.D. -- he is confident that his consistency gives him a chance to win the average title and earn a trip to the National Circuit Finals.

"The more rounds you have, the guys who are riding better horses, the guys who know how to ride the line better, they sort of rise to the top," Murphy said.

Grassy Butte bull rider Abe Dillman is hoping for the same kind of luck.

Dillman, 20, said he has accomplished two of his goals in the past month: win the saddle and the championship at the North Dakota Rodeo Association finals and score his first 90-point ride.

Now, the third is right in front of him.

He sits third in the Badlands Circuit bull riding standings coming into the finals but is close enough to make a run at the circuit championship and a spot in the National Circuit Finals.

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"I know that I could get up there if I have a good weekend and ride most of my bulls, or all of them, and get the average money up there," Dillman said.

Contestant list is in the Scoreboard on Page B4.

Contestant List

Badlands Circuit Finals

At Minot

Note: Year-end leader and Circuit Finals champion in each event advance to National Circuit Finals Rodeo.

Bareback riding

1, Scott Montague, Rapid City, S.D. 2, Sam Nordick, Mohall. 3, Ty Breuer, Mandan. 4, Dan Miller, Raleigh. 5, Joe Gunderson, Agar, S.D. 6, Donald Miller, Raleigh. 7, Weston Garrett, Belle Fourche, S.D. 8, Cleve Schmidt, Belle Fourche, S.D. 9, Travis Bechen, Rapid City, S.D. 10, Cheyenne Seymour, Mud Butte, S.D. 11, Tucker Zingg, Bismarck. 12, Josh Luger, Fort Yates, S.D.

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Saddle bronc riding

1, Cole Elshere, Faith, S.D. 2, Clay Schaeffer, Dickinson. 3, Troy Crowser, Whitewood, S.D. 4, Ty Thompson, Wanblee, S.D. 5, Hugh Connolly, Golden Valley. 6, Ty Manke, Rapid City, S.D. 7, Jeremy Meeks, Belle Fourche, S.D. 8, Wade Yost, Ree Heights, S.D. 9, Louie Brunson, Interior, S.D. 10, J.J. Elshere, Quinn, S.D. 11, Jeremy Means, Eagle Butte, S.D. 12, Chuck Schmidt, Keldron, S.D.

Steer wrestling

1, Seth Murphy, South Heart. 2, Ivan Teigen, Camp Crook, S.D. 3, Colt Floyd, Buffalo, S.D. 4, Jake Rinehart, Highmore, S.D. 5, Clay Cowan, Highmore, S.D. 6, Clay Schaack, Wall, S.D. 7, JB Lord, Belle Fourche, S.D. 8, TJ Steele, Newell, S.D. 9, Jim Hansen, Watford City. 10, Ty Talsma, Verdigre, Neb. 11, Brent Dolezal, Killdeer. 12, Tom Hansen, Killdeer,

Tie-down roping

1, Grady Lockhart, Oelrichs, S.D. 2, Boe Brown, Harrold, S.D. 3, Preston Billadeau, Parshall. 4, Justin Scofield, St. Lawrence, S.D. 5, Jay Mattson, Deadwood, S.D.: 6, Tyler Fagerhaug, Wessington Springs, S.D. 7, Dane Kissack, Spearfish, S.D. 8, Clay Cowan, Highmore, S.D. 9, Tyler Thiel, Belle Fourche, S.D. 10, Seth Murphy, South Heart. 11, Paul David Tierney, Oral, S.D. 12, Rick Greiner, Highmore, S.D.

Team roping headers

1, Brent McInerney, Alzada, Mont.. 2, J.B. Lord, Belle Fourche, S.D. 3, Brett Price, Faith, S.D. 4, Preston Billadeau, Parshall. 5, Jeff Johnston, Seneca, Neb.. 6, Jay Mattson, Deadwood, S.D. 7, Jess Tierney, Hermosa, S.D. 8, Alfred Hansen, Dickinson. 9, Layne Carson, Grassy Butte. 10, Scott White, Oelrichs, S.D. 11, Jake Nelson, Creighton, S.D. 12, Bart Ness, Kennebec, S.D.

Team roping heelers

1, Guy Howell, Belle Fourche, S.D. 2, Ryan Zurcher, Hawk Springs, Wyo. 3, Paul Griemsman, Piedmont, S.D. 4, Quincy Opela, Stapleton, Neb.. 5, Jesse Fredrickson, Upham. 6, Coy Thompson, Whitewood, S.D. 7, Paul David Tierney, Oral, S.D. 8, Tommy Crane, Whitewood, S.D. 9, Chase Carson, Grassy Butte. 10, Rory Brown, Edgemont, S.D. 11, Jeff Nelson, Philip, S.D. 12, Elliott Gourneau, Kennebec, S.D.

Barrel racing

1, Jessica Routier, Buffalo, S.D. 2, Britany Fleck, Mandan. 3, Lisa Lockhart, Oelrichs, S.D. 4, Nikki Steffes, Vale, S.D. 5, Jana Griemsman, Piedmont, S.D. 6, Jessica Holmes, Rapid City, S.D. 7, Amy Holmes, Oregon, Wis. 8, Tamra Musick, Virgil, S.D. 9, Rachel Tiedeman, Brookings, S.D. 10, Pamela Rolph, Camp Crook, S.D. 11, Tera Moody, Letcher, S.D. 12, Melissa Bachand, Spearfish, S.D.

Bull riding

1, Abe Dillman, Grassy Butte. 2, Tater Hins, Huron, S.D. 3, Thunder Boomer, Interior, S.D. 4, Charles Zoss, Forestburg, S.D. 5, Aaron Brewer, Pierre, S.D. 6, Garrett Vig, Newell, S.D. 7, Shawn Coleman, Springfield, S.D. 8, Clay Hindman, Belvidere, S.D. 9, Jobie Dryden, Oelrichs, S.D. 10, Dane Maher, Eagle Butte, S.D. 11, Taryl Smith, Litchville. 12, Derek Long, Timber Lake, S.D.

Related Topics: RODEO
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