There will plenty events to take part in this weekend as Havre celebrates 100 years, but many local rodeo fans will find themselves at the Hill County Fairgrounds in Havre.
All weekend long, the Montana State University-Northern men’s and women’s rodeo teams will host their annual rodeo during the Havre Festival Days. The Lights will welcome in some of the best rodeo talent in the state, as the entire Big Sky Region will be in attendance. Joining the Lights will be Montana State University, University of Montana, University of Montana-Western, Little Big Horn College, Northwest College, Miles Community College, University of Great Falls, D
awson Community College, and Blackfeet Community College.
Currently the Montana State University men’s and women’s teams are the No. 1 programs in the region, and will be in the hunt for team titles this weekend. University of Montana-Western will also challenge for a top spot as the No. 2 men’s team, while Northwest College holds down the No. 2 spot for the women. The MSU-Northern men are currently in fifth, while both Lights’ programs will look to be competitive against a very tough field.
“It is going to take their best times and scores,” MSU-N head coach Doug Kallenberger said. “Each and every weekend our teams are going to have to be on top of their A-Game because we are facing a lot of talent that competes in pro level rodeos year round. We have to perform our best each and every weekend if we want to come out on top.
“(But) being at home is a huge advantage for us,” Kallenberger added. “The fairground arena is also our practice facility, we will get to sleep in our own beds, and we will have hometown support.”
Northern competed last weekend in Wyoming and did very well. But with the talent on both lineups, both the men’s and women’s teams should continue to grow stronger and stronger.
The men’s team is led by veteran talent, including senior Robert Wagner (bronc riding), and senior Philip Sutherland (saddle bronc and steer wrestling). Junior Charlie Mack (bareback bronc and bull riding) will also lead the way this weekend, and could help push the team into title contention. Wagner rode in the CNFR last season and is capable of winning the saddle bronc this weekend, and every weekend to come.
“(Wagner) does tremendous for us,” Kallenberger said. “But those are my three top guys. Those three rack up points and just really do well. I really expect big things from this men’s’ team this year, we have two seniors and a junior leading the way for us, so I really do expect big things this year.”
Freshmen Lane Waid (tie down roping and team roping), Jo Jo Billy (team roping), Jake Gillespie, and sophomores Aam Mummau (saddle bronc), and Jrdan Lewis also make up the team, while Mack, Mammau, Sutherland, Wagner, Waid and Billy will be competing this weekend.
For the women, they are very young, but also house good talent in four freshmen, one senior, one sophomore and one junior.
Freshmen Hannah Heckman, Bailey Jo Thompson, Shay Tatsey and Katie Bell are all very talented barrel racers and breakaway ropers. Heckman shines in goat tying as well. And sophomore Malia VandenBos, and junior Kassy Brough also shine in barrel racing, while senior Lacey Davidson gives the team a veteran boost in the breakaway roping and team roping.
“They have tremendous talent,” Kallenberger said. “It is going to be a really strong team here in the near future. We have some really good athletes coming in from high school, and I think in the first rodeos we just had too many jitters. But now, I think they will all settle into their own, and over the next year or two, we will have a very strong women’s team.”
The Montana State University-Northern will host their annual rodeo this weekend at the Havre fairgrounds in Havre.
2012 Northern College Rodeo
Friday: performance at 7 p.m.
Saturday: Slack at 9 a.m., performance at 5 p.m.
Sunday: short go at 9 a.m.