Chris Peterson Havre Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org
While most sports fans are currently caught up in the NFL Playoffs or local high school and college basketball, one man from Havre is thinking only about the rodeo. That man's name is Josh Granell. Granell is a 31-year-old from Havre who recently won the steer wrestling average on Jan. 13 at the Montana Pro Circuit Rodeo Finals in Great Falls. By winning the steer wrestling average at the (MPRF) event in Great Falls, Granell earned a trip to the Dodge National Circuit Finals in Pocatello, Idaho, which will take place March 19-22. Granell qualified for the Montana Pro Circuit Rodeo Finals (MPRF) by being one of the Top 12 money winners on the circuit during the year. In the event, each participant gets three sreer runs and whoever has the fastest average after the three steer runs wins. “It was great to win the circuit fi- nals,” Granell said. “They take the top 12 people to Great Falls and my goal really was just to get there. I knew it was going to be tough because I was facing the best 12 guys in the state, but I got some good steers and was able to use them.” By winning the steer average at the MPRF he also earned the title of Reserve Champion for 2007. At the National Circuit Finals, Granell will have to face champions like himself from other pro circuits all across the country. Half of them qualified for nationals like Granell, by winning the steer wrestling average, while the other half qualified by winning the most money on their respective circuits. “I know that the competition at (Nationals) is going to be really tough,” Granell said. “I mean, a lot of these guys have went and competed in the National Finals Rodeo, but I am still going to have high expectations for myself. Like I said before, you just have to hope you draw a good steer and use them well.” Granell is not by any means new to the rodeo. He has been competing in rodeo events for ten years now thanks in part because Jeff Solomon, a former (MRPF) finalist who kind of took Granell under his wing. In many ways Solomon showed Granell the ropes. He taught him certain tricks of the trade, which have helped Granell get to where he is today. In fact, the horse that Granell used to win the steer wrestling average at the MRPF was Solomon’s horse, affectionately named Rascal. “Jeff has been a big help to me,” Granell said. “He has been to a lot of big rodoes in the United States and in Canada, so he knows how to prepare for them and what it takes to do well. “He helps me in practice and he has shown me a lot of things,” he added. “He showed me how to get a good catch on a steer and getting a good start out of the box without breaking barrier. He has really helped me improve.” Whether or not Josh has improved enough to win in Pocatello, nobody knows, but it's been a great ride so far this season, and he would love to stay on it as long as he possibly can. “My goal has always been just to make it to nationals,” Granell explained. “To win it would be just incredible, that’s about all I can say, it would be unbelievable. Granell will try to finish off his impressive run on March 19-22 in Pocatello, Idaho at the Dodge National Circuit Finals.