By Shelley Heath
The last two weekends, area High School Rodeo athletes have been working hard to gain enough points to make it to the State Rodeo Finals in Belle Fourche this week, June 13-16. Competition will begin on Thursday with the first performance, Friday will be the second performance and Saturday will be the Short Go.
To get qualified for state, you must carry in at least 3 points to make an appearance in Belle Fourche. There are four performances in the regional rodeos and points are given by placings. First receives 10 points, second receives 9 points and so on. The first weekend the rodeo was held in Highmore, winds were making it difficult for all events. The second weekend was held in Ft. Pierre, the weather cooperated, giving better chances to qualify. Athletes then carry the best of 3 performances to state, so for example if you earned 6, 9, 4 and 8 in any event, you disregard the lowest point and for this event, you would get to carry 23 points to state. The most you can take in is 30 points. Once at state, points build on top of these and then the top 4 point earners will make an appearance in Rock Springs, WY for the National Finals in July.
Of our 12 Tripp County High School Rodeo Athletes, 7 qualified for state. The River Region is a very strong competitive region of rodeo. There are 4 regions in South Dakota, the River, the Eastern, the Southwest and the Northwest.
In rodeo, you cheer for all, so I feel all our area rodeo athletes need credit for all their hard work, not just our Tripp County Athletes. Those earning enough points to make it to state are: In Breakaway Roping: Saige Schuyler, 13.50; Saydee Heath, 8. Bull Riding: Riggin Shippy, 20; Boys Cutting: Blasé Steffen, 29; Brandon Volmer, 24.50; Goat Tying: Saige Schuyler, 10; Lainee Schonebaum, 9. Girls Cutting: Saydee Heath, 19.50; Saige Schuyler, 18.50. Pole Bending, Saige Schuyler, 26; Ramee Jo Hanson, 5; Saydee Heath, 3. Reined Cow Horse: Blasé Steffen, 29; Dawson Phillips, 21.50; Saydee Heath, 18.50. Saddle Bronc: Kolton Salonen, 28. Steer Wrestling: Beau Dean, 17; Finn Hanson, 14. Team Roping: Blasé Steffen & Beau Dean, 20; Kade Starr & Dawson Phillips, 18; Saige Schuyler & Brandon Volmer, 8. Tie Down Roping: Beau Dean, 26; Linkyn Petersek, 25; Dawson Phillips, 22; Blasé Steffen, 19; Kade Starr, 7; Weston Vanderpol, 4.