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Locals hoping to show well at Roughrider Days Rodeo

Dusty Hausauer tries to compete in every Roughrider Days Rodeo that he can. It's held only a few blocks away from his house, after all. But Hausauer has a challenge on his hands this time around, and he's ready for it.Many local cowboys and cowgi...

Dalton Rixen
Former Dickinson State cowboy Dalton Rixen competes during the Medora Badlands Rodeo on June 7, 2014, at Ranch-O-Rama Arena in Medora. (Press File Photo)

Dusty Hausauer tries to compete in every Roughrider Days Rodeo that he can. It’s held only a few blocks away from his house, after all.
But Hausauer has a challenge on his hands this time around, and he’s ready for it.
Many local cowboys and cowgirls are set to compete in the Roughrider Days at Dickinson State Arena beginning at 7 p.m. each night from tonight through Sunday.
“My hometown rodeo, I always try to get to it every year,” Hausauer said. “It’s always different in your hometown. You always want to do well. There’s a lot of people you know who come out to the rodeo for support.”
Heading into the Roughrider Days, a Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association event, Hausauer leads the Badlands Circuit saddle bronc standings with $6,374.68 and is 31st in the world standings with $13,653.81.
The Roughrider Days won’t be short of talent. Reigning world champion bull rider Sage Kimzey will be riding bulls and the saddle bronc. For local talent making an appearance, Mandan brothers Casey Breuer and Ty Breuer are 16th and 21st with $22,094 and $18,950, respectively, in the PRCA bareback riding standings, while Halliday’s Jordan Pelton sits in 33rd with $9,478.
And although he’s among the best in the world, Hausauer said he’s still got some nerves for this one.
“You want to do good and you want perform your best any time you’ve got people from your hometown watching you,” Hausauer said. “You’re always a little bit nervous more than you are at any other rodeo. There’s something different when people that you grew up with and a community you’ve lived in all your life (are there). There’s just something different.”
Hausauer drew Swagger Jacked, the horse which won the Roughrider Days in 2014, for his run and got a test run on him about a week ago.
But Hausauer said he hasn’t had great success with him in the past.
“He’s got some tricks, I guess you could say,” Hausauer said. “He’s the one you can win the rodeo on. Usually you win on him or you get bucked off. I’m pretty excited about getting on him. You get a little more confidence when you get on a horse a second time, especially a couple weeks apart.”

Hausauer said he’s been on high-level horses all year, so he knows full well what to expect.
“I know the horse is going to do its part,” he said. “If the horse wasn’t one I could win or place on, I would probably go to a different rodeo. Any time you’re getting on, it’s exciting. It’s a chance to win some money and get to the circuit finals and hopefully national finals rodeo in (Las) Vegas.”
Dickinson’s Chase Kukuchka will also be in the saddle bronc event, and he drew Queenie, which won the Roughrider Days last season.
But like Hausauer, he’s not backing down.
“She’s a good one. She’s good to ride and really bucks,” Kukuchka said. “It’s definitely exciting. She’s the one that you want to get on. That’s huge. It’s always good to know you’re going into it with one that’s been there before and you know you’ve got a good shot to win it on. It boosts your confidence a little bit.”
Kukuchka moved to the city in 2009 to attend Dickinson State, where he met his wife and competed in college rodeo before graduating in 2012. He said the Roughrider Days is one of the best rodeos in the region.
So naturally, he’s striving for a good performance now that he’s drawn well.
“It’s one last thing you have to worry about,” Kukuchka said. “Some of them are trying to kill you when you get on it, but she’s been one who's been around for a long time and everyone knows her pretty well.”
For Kukuchka, making the top five of the Roughrider Days would be special, but he’s been bucked off twice in his hometown rodeo and faces a tough task ahead.
“I just have to do my job, I guess, and just make sure I don’t screw up,” Kukuchka said. “If you make a mistake, she’ll buck you off, but if you do things alright, she’s pretty good to get along with.”
Dalton Rixen, Kukuchka’s traveling partner, said he’s had a hit-and-miss season. He was bucked off his saddle two years ago but came back and scored 83 points - and $1,178 - for third place at last year’s Roughrider Days. He sits in 12th in the saddle bronc rookie standings.
The Richardton native said his ride last year wasn’t just because it was a home rodeo, but he admitted it is nice coming back to his hometown area during his rodeo season.
“You’re always going,” Rixen said. “It’s home and it’s comforting. ... You can stay at home and you don’t have to find somewhere to sleep.”
Rixen said he’s going to Mobridge, S.D., on July 2, Mandan on the third, and Belle Fourche, S.D., then Killdeer on the fourth.
“It doesn’t bother me at all, I guess,” he said. “It’s just something you have to get used to, which I am. It’s a way of life.”
But no matter where he’s at, Rixen said he would be thrilled to perform well this weekend in his third year at this rodeo.
“There’s no way to explain the feeling, to go out and perform at your best and put on a good ride,” he said. “There’s not much you can describe it with knowing you put the effort into it and got an outcome that’s positive.”
So performing well at the Roughrider Days would be no exception.
“It would be great if I could,” Rixen said. “I want to do good at this rodeo, and nothing changes from this to any other one. I’m not trying to show anyone what I can do. I already know I can do it.”

Related Topics: RODEO
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