Volume 122, Number
Local competitors make mark at RRA rodeo finals
Talent and adrenaline combined to provide top-notch rodeo action as numerous Roughrider Rodeo Association (RRA) families participated in the finals Sept. 23-25 in Burdick Arena at Devils Lake.
The best cowboys and cowgirls in the association geared up to battle for buckles and prize money. The finals performances counted in the season standings, and some categories were so close that the finals winner determined the season champion.
Among the big winners was Bobbi Grann. There was a lot on the line for this Minnewaukan cowgirl, who led the all-around standings heading into the finals. She built a virtually insurmountable lead with a tremendous regular season and finals. All totaled, the 14-year-old strapped on a gold buckle proclaiming her the 2005 women’s all-around champion. She was also awarded the women’s finals all-around prize.
Bobbi proudly claimed the champion barrel racing buckle. She went into the finals sitting first in the barrel racing standings, running her way to fifth place in round one with a run of 13.711, placing third in round two at 13.790 and posting a 13.508 run to win second in the final round. Ashley Benson of Sheyenne was sixth in the first round, second in the second round and sixth in the third round with times of 13.856, 13.519 and 13.769, respectively. Kenzie Benson, also of Sheyenne, ran the pattern in 13.557 seconds to take second place in the first go-round.
The goat tying race was heated and intense over the course of the three days. Warwick cowgirl Laura Waldo held a slight lead, but Bobbi Grann wasn’t far behind. The two battled neck and neck for the championship.
Laura won two go-rounds (6.9 and 7.3) and finished sixth (9.9) in the other for the RRA’s year-end title. Bobbi finished second (7.0) in the first round and third (8.1) in the second round and was in the victory lap (7.2) the third go-round. Bobbi’s performance on the three runs made her the finals winner and the reserve champion for the season.
Also in the goat tying competition, Kenzie Benson had a 7.9 in the third round, good for third place. She placed fourth in the first round with a time of 8.9 and fourth again in the second round with an 8.5 score. Ashley Benson had times of 8.1 seconds (third place) in round one and 11.3 seconds
(sixth) in round two.
Bobbi Grann was a three-event threat. In the junior breakaway, her time of
13.7 got her the fifth place points in round two.
Ben Grann of Minnewaukan scored big in 2005, closing out the year by winning the RRA’s junior steer wrestling title. This marked his first trip to Devils Lake as a steer wrestler and he stayed solid in both go-rounds.
The two second places (13.0 and 12.4) he won at the finals played a key role in his gold buckle. He also participated in the junior calf roping event but failed to tie down a calf in the two go-rounds.
Probably nobody was more eager to travel to Devils Lake for the 22nd annual RRA finals than nine-year-old Lacey Grann, who had just moved to the leader board in the novice barrel race in early September. Running a 15.105 gave her a fourth place in the first go. The Minnewaukan cowgirl kept all the barrels standing and turned in a time of 14.310, winning the second round to take the reserve championship. Lacey also reached the finals as a junior goat tier.
John Grann of Minnewaukan took care of business in Devils Lake and was rewarded with some paychecks in the calf roping. He finished fourth (19.2) in the third go-round after winning third (16.5) in the second round. Grann and John Soderholm of Sheyenne paired in the mixed team roping to split fourth and fifth places in the first go with 13.2 seconds.
Junior bareback rider Gary Owl Boy of St. Michael wouldn’t let anything get in the way of hitting the rodeo road and riding bucking horses. His 57-point ride drew cheers from the crowd in round one, splitting second and third.
The finals proved difficult for many of the ladies breakaway entrants. The fans witnessed just one qualified run in round one. Connie Soderholm of Sheyenne roped her way to the second place check in the third round. Her time was a 3.5.
Mike Tollefson of Devils Lake picked up reserve champion honors in the team roping. He and his partner J.D. Youngbird of Wilton turned in a 6.5 in the first go and placed second.
Jack Teigen of Grand Forks drew steers that ran pretty good in the senior breakaway event. He had times of 4.3 and 5.1 seconds, both of which were good for fourth in the rounds. Roping with Andy Otto from Grand Forks, Teigen finished second (8.1) in round two giving them a check in the mixed team roping. Jack grew up near Minnewaukan.
As usual, it’s been a spectacular regular season filled with the breakout of future stars, the comebacks of veterans and the consistency of established champions.
Now contestants are hoping to put all those lessons to use and build upon them. Maybe it will win them a trip to Devils Lake in 2006.
Visit the RRA Web site at www.roughriderrodeo.com.
The Roughrider Rodeo Association finals are simply a great place for contestants and families to celebrate the sport they love. Minnewaukan and Warwick produced some champions. Pictured, left to right, are Ben Grann, Bobbi Grann and Lacey Grann, all of Minnewaukan, and Laura Waldo of Warwick.
Family of snowpeople
Most of Benson County missed the big storm Oct. 5 when western North Dakota got hit hard by the first storm of the season. Minot had up to 15 inches of snow. Many people in this area were without power when the heavy, wet snow and strong winds broke off power poles. The snow at Minnewaukan pretty much melted shortly after falling, but not before the family of Francis Schneider Jr., which lives a mile north of Minnewaukan, went outside to make this family of snowpeople. The sculptures had already melted significantly when this photo was taken Oct. 7.
Deer live in town
Deer have been regular residents of Minnewaukan all summer as gardeners can attest. The deer eat everything but zucchini. This doe hardly paid any attention to the traffic going by on the farm to market road west of the elevator.
Students send help
Leeds Elementary students recently participated in a "We’ve Got Your Back"
fund drive for students affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Leeds students in grades K-6 donated school supplies and backpacks to send to displaced students. Fifth graders are pictured left to right, front row: Kevin Slaubaugh, Joe Strand, Brady Stoll, Matthew Ellison, McKenzie Silliman, Kayla Matlock and Jesse Hoffert. Back row: Andrew Bowman, Chelsi Olson, Colton Gillespie, Seth Bisbee, Josh Blegen, Danielle Redetzke, Meghan Jorgenson and Dylan Torgerson.
US Senator Kent Conrad met with 19 North Dakotans last week who attended the annual meeting of the National Association of Federally Impacted Schools (NAFIS) in Washington, DC. Steve Jacobson, right, superintendent of the Warwick School, presented Senator Conrad with the 2005 Friend of NAFIS Award for his "steadfast support and sincere dedication to the Impact Aid Program." The Impact Aid Program supports schools on federal land, such as military bases or Indian reservations. Senator Conrad has been instrumental in securing adequate funding levels for the program as part of the 2006 budget.
Bag big bulls
Three area hunters bagged big bull elk in the Arizona Archery Hunt 16 miles south of the Grand Canyon. Craig Blomster of Harlow is pictured with the bull he shot. The three were guided by "The Good Ole Guides" during the hunt, which was held September 16-29.
Andy Backstrom, right, was the Maddock A. S. Gibbens FFA Chapter winner in the creed contest with Stephanie Rieger, left, runner-up. Andy represented the Maddock Chapter in the district creed contest held at the District 3 FFA Leadership Conference in Rugby October 5. The FFA Creed is a basic statement of beliefs of FFA members. Ninth grade FFA members are required to learn the creed to achieve the Greenhand FFA Degree.
Bremer gives funds
A fund-raising auction held during Summerfest netted $2,000 which will be added to the Minnewaukan Endowment Fund administered by the ND Community Foundation. Bremer Bank will match that amount. James Helgeson, left, president of Bremer Bank, is shown giving the matching check to Myron Jury of Minnewaukan, co-chairman of the fund-raising auction. Interest from the endowment is awarded annually to non-profit groups in the community, such as the ambulance service, fire department, library, school and 55 club.
Anyone who wishes to make a contribution that will be matched by Bremer, may contact Myron Jury at 473-5588 or Rita Staloch at 473-5755.