Krista Corner Havre Daily News email@example.com
More than 200 rodeo contestants from the Pro Rodeo Circuit Association will converge on Havre Thursday and Friday as the cowboys and cowgirls compete in the PRCA rodeo at this year's Great Northern Fair. Gus Sharp, a local financial advisor, said Monday he helped his long-time friend Mark "Sparky" Dreesdan, a Montana rodeo stock contractor, organize the event this year. The fair board turned the rodeo over to Dreesdan to bring the entertainment up a few notches. Top stock and more riders "The rodeo is going to be totally different this year than it has been in the past," Sharp said. "The fair board decided to contract the whole rodeo out to Sparky. He's bringing in the stock." Sharp said he was brought in to go after local sponsorship so the cowboys and cowgirls would be competing for bigger prize purses. "We have $15,000 in added money," Sharp said. The added money tempted 220-plus PRCA contestants who were registered as of July 8, which was the deadline. The extra money has also boosted the caliber of contestants slated for the competition, most of whom have been to the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas or show promise of getting there. "The National High School Rodeo champion is going to be here from last year," Sharp said. "A couple of the National College Finalists champions are going to be here." Sharp added that many of the NFR contestants and PRCA cowboys and cowgirls participating this year hang their hats here on the Hi-Line. "We're going to still have some local flair to the event because we've got some people like Kevin Keller, Scott Owens, Doug Kallenberger, Troy Solomon and Shane Schwenke coming, and others," he said. Sharp attriButes another aspect of excitement in hosting national rodeo champions to the quality of the rodeo stock being brought in by Dreesdan. "There is quite a number (of contestants) with PRCA cards that will be here because of the quality of livestock that will be out and the amount of money," Sharp said. "Three of the horses coming out here bucked out at the NFR last year. One mare Two Lizzards has the highest points scored ride at Cheyenne. That means the ride they made on her has the highest points ever scored at Cheyenne. A couple of horses will even be here from the eliminator pen." Sharp said the eliminator pen at the NFR consists of the toughest, worst horses known to cowboys and cowgirls. One night out of the 10 nights of the NFR, cowboys and cowgirls must ride these animals, he added. "One horse is coming that hasn't been to the NFR, but has the record of the most buck offs in a row and for two years this horse has never been ridden," Sharp said. Sharp said Hi-Liners won't want to miss this year's wild rodeo entertainment. "It's going to be great cowboys and cowgirls, great stock and it will be a show that will be as close to Vegas as you're going to find in this part of the country I am sure," he said. "We've got guys like Shawn Stroh, Jess Martin he's been to the NFR four times and Cody Beuler is a bull rider and an NFR qualifier. Shelly Murphy in barrel racing is number five in the world right now." Murphy will barrel race in Havre during the PRCA rodeo, Sharp added. “There is a lot more of them that are coming," Sharp added. "With there being over 220 contestants. There is going to be a large number of talented entrants." Business Ladies Calf Dressing Rodeogoers will also be treated to a bit of wild humor with a local event that has been added this year just for fun. "Another thing we're doing that will put local flair into the rodeo is called the Ladies Business Calf Dressing," he said. "I personally have never witnessed this event but have talked to a lot of people that have witnessed this and they say this is the best spectators event they have ever seen." Local teams of women from various entities will be purchased by audience members in a calcutta round, the audience member who owns the winning team gets paid the bucks. Ten teams will compete each night and the business that sponsors the winning team gets to display the winner's plaque. Clowning around Professional rodeo clown Duane Reichert will be adding color and safety to the arena. Reichert is an active member of the Rodeo Cowboys Association who has worked the Badlands Circuit, First Frontier Circuit, Great Lakes Circuit, the Dodge National Circuit Finals, the National High School Rodeo Finals and the National Little Britches Rodeo, and was inducted into the South Dakoda Hall of Fame. Locals may have seen Reichert who performed in an Oscar-winning documentary called "The Great American Cowboy" and in a Dan Seals music video of "All that Glitters is not Gold." More to see at the fair In addition to a rodeo filled with rodeo celebrities local and national the 2008 Great Northern Fair has many other things to offer for family fun. The free stage offers three acts this year a wandering washboard act in Washboard Willie, a rattlesnake-fest in the West Texas Rattlesnake Show and a bunch of dummies will entertain crowds in the ventriloquist show, Joe Gandelman and friends. View local talent and that from afar with a stroll through the community center to see the open class community competition, which was opened to entries all over the world this year. Take a jaunt through the midway and play a favorite game or ride gut-wrenching rides. Then get on over to the 4-H barns and check out the Hi-Line's future stock growers and their entries in the 4-H competition. Later, the magic of the carnival and midway game lights sparking the night sky awaits. Other night show events to be sure to catch at the Great Northern Fair, include Junior Rodeo tonight, local and a professional truck pulls on Saturday and an always-favored fair time activity the Havre Jaycee's Demo Derby on Sunday, July 20. For more information on any of these events contact the Great Northern Fair office at 265-7121 or pick up a Great Northern Fair Guide published in the Tuesday Havre Daily News.