By Tiffany L. Rehbein
Clap your hands, Havre, the PRCA sanctioned Great Northern Stampede stormed through town Saturday and Sunday and offered nothing short of skin-tingling, best-of-the-best rodeo action.
Both Saturday and Sunday evenings action began with some local entertainment in the Country Charms and the Hi-Line Therapeutic Riding Associations treatment plan.
Those two openers coupled with the laugh-rendering antics of rodeo clown Flint Rasmussen warmed the hands for a nearly-packed house both nights. And the cheers were loud for Havres Solomon family.
Dusty Solomon finished second in the bareback bronc riding with a score of 76 which earned him $355.02. As of July 15, Solomon stood at No. 6 in the NRA official standings.
In its second year as a PRCA santionced rodeo, the Great Northern Stampede is on the Montana circuit. Any money winners earn points and the top 12 travel to the circuit finals in Great Falls the third weekend in January, 2000. There are 12 separate circuits in the region.
Bozemans Scott Lund won the top prize in the bareback bronc riding event with a score of 78 which earned him $473.36 in prize money. Lund proved the first was the best. He was the first bronc rider out of the chute to kick-off all events Saturday.
Gary Pimperton of Belt proved the last was best, however, when he rode the last saddle bronc out on Saturday to the event-winning score of 84. He took home $636.32 for the effort. Shaun Stroh, the last man out on Sunday, had a 79 for a $477.24 second place finish.
The highlight event of every rodeo, the bull riding, saw three top finishes from three top cowboys all vying for a top 12 spot to go to Great Falls in January. Frenchtowns Kevin Nordahl, the last bull rider Sunday, scored a 79 and stole the title from Corvalliss Dusty Miles and Havres own Clint Solomon, who had stood tied at 78 since Saturday.
Leonard Haraga of Missoula won the steer wrestling. He threw down the bovine in 4.8 seconds. Haraga, again, proved the first to be best. He opened the event on Saturday.
In more calf action, Rob Kountz of Bozeman and Jay Murnion of Jordan paired-up to rope the animal in 5.5 that earned them $795.40 in winnings in the team roping competition.
The 1997 and 1998 Montana circuit champion, Bill Boyce, captured the calf roping event. He roped and tied the creature in 10.0 on Sunday. His Wranglers were filled with $713.92 for the effort.
And for the ladies, Shirlee Parini of Billings won the barrel racing event, clocking in at 16.77 that earned her $512.25. Hamiltons Lisa Scheffer was a close second with 16.81.
And half a breath behind came Rachael Myllymaki of Arlee in 16.89. Myllymaki stands at No. 3 in the world barrel racing standings, has traveled to the NFR for the last three consecutive years and was a seven-time Montana circuit champion.
Bareback Riding 1. Scott Lund, Bozeman, 78, 473.36; 2. Dusty Solomon, Havre, 76, 355.02; 3. John Schirra, Roberts, 75, 236.68; 4. Scott Chesarek, Billings, 74, 118.34
Saddle Bronc Riding 1. Gary Pimperton, Belt, 84, 636.32; 2. Shaun Stroh, Glendive, 79, 477.24; 3. Shane Moran, Dillon, 76, 318.16; 4. JC Augare, Browning, 75, 79.54; 4. Buck Reiner, Fishtail, 75, 79.54
Bull Riding 1. Kevin Nordahl, Frenchtown, 79, 576.18; 2. Dusty Miles, Crovallis, 78, 378.39; 3. Clint Solomon, Havre, 78, 375.39; 4. Jess Matt, Bridger, 76, 209.52; 5. Justin Mack, Ronan, 75, 122.22; 6. Jason Olson, Malta, 73, 43.65; 6. Rowdy Alexander, Busby, 73, 43.65
Steer Wrestling 1. Leonard Havaga, Missoula, 4.8, 774.06; 2. Ivan Teigen, Capitol, 4.8, 774.06; 3. Gary Zipperian, Clancy, 5.4, 331.74; 4. Jeremy Marn, Belt, 5.4, 331.74
Team Roping 1. Rob Kountz, Bozeman, Jay Murnion, Jordan, 5.5, 795.40; 2. Shawn Steinbach, Fort Shaw, Tell Steinbach, Wolf Creek, 6.0, 596.55; 3. Chris Witcher, Miles City, Enoch Schaffer, Broadus, 6.1, 397.70; 4. Britt Givens, Riveiton, Wy., Shane Hampton, Metteetse, Wy., 6.3, 198.85
Calf Roping 1. Bill Boyce, Lewistown, 10.0, 713.92; 2. Lyle Baumann, Hardin, 10.3, 535.44; 3. Chris Witcher, Miles City, 10.8, 356.96; 4. JayBob Hahnkamp, Melrose, 11.8, 178.48
Barrel Racing 1. Shirlee Parini, Billings, 16.77, 512.25; 2. Lisa Scheffer, Hamilton, 16.81, 423.93; 3. Rachael Myllymaki, Arlee, 16.89, 335.61; 4. Angela Lockwood, Volberg, 16.91, 247.29; 5. June Tibbetts, Terry, 16.99, 158.97; 6. Charlotte Schmidt, Cut Bank, 17.00, 88.32.