Summer rodeos in Montana don’t get much bigger than what’s about to happen inside the arena at the Great Northern Fair.
Tonight and Friday night, the fair plays host to the Great Northern Rodeo, a Northern Rodeo Association event. The rodeo has one of the best payouts of the summer circuit and will also feature some of Montana’s top cowboys and cowgirls, as well as some unique events.
Special to the rodeo this year is Jerry Norton, the reigning world champion bull fighter. Norton is a veteran of the national and world rodeo scene and is considered one of the best in business.
Also part of the rodeo again this year is the Wild Cow Milking Contest. The event will be held at the end of Friday night’s performance and will feature local teams competing to haul in a cow in the arena with the best time winning.
But the main attraction is the rodeo itself, and big money, as well as NRA points will be at stake. There are performances tonight at 7 and Friday night at 7 p.m., as well as some slack in the morning. The rodeo is a combined event with a average payout from the two performances.
This week’s Great Northern Rodeo will certainly feature some of the top athletes on the Montana circuit, including many local standouts. Havre’s Josh Granell is currently ranked 14th in the most recent steer wrestling standings, while fellow Havre cowboy Ben Richmond is 14th in the bareback riding coming into the Havre rodeo. Longtime Havre rodeo veteran Scott Strauser is presently ranked eighth in team roping on the summer circuit.
On the women’s side, several local stars will compete in the barrel racing, including Havre’s Candi Zion, Emily Kallenberger, Kassi Brough and Jenna Knutson, while Big Sandy’s Chelsea Brown is fourth in the current standings in breakaway roping.
This week’s rodeo will also showcase plenty of Hi-Line competitiors, including standouts from Chinook, Box Elder, Rocky Boy, Harlem and Hays. The rodeo will also have some young, local talent as the NRA schedule includes junior steer riding, junior breakaway roping and junior barrel racing.
So as always, there’s plenty of money to be won and plenty of excitement to see at the Great Northern Rodeo and this year’s rodeo will be no different.
Tonight’s performance starts at 7 at the Great Northern Fair, and Friday night’s performance also gets under way at 7 p.m.