By Kim Staudinger
The third annual Bear Paw Round-Up, a Professional Rodeo Circuit Association-sanctioned rodeo, is set to take place this weekend at the Blaine County Fairgrounds in Chinook.
The rodeo will be Friday and Saturday and begins at 7 p.m. each night.
The event is one of the first rodeos being held in Montana this year and is the first pro rodeo of the summer on the Hi-Line. The Chinook event precedes the annual Augusta Rodeo, scheduled for Sunday.
The Round-Up is one of six rodeos held this year in the Montana Pro Rodeo Circuit as a designated Circuit Series Rodeo, meaning special bonus points will be given out and will count toward special awards from Wrangler, PRCA's premier sponsor.
Last year's rodeo gathered 150 contestants, including top contestants from the Montana Pro Rodeo Circuit, other states and Canada. According to rodeo spokesman Jay Harwood, more than 230 contestants are signed up for the two-day event this year.
All major rodeo events will be featured, including the Wild Horse Race and the Mutton Bust'n event for kids.
The Brookman Rodeo Co. of Wolf Point will furnish the bucking stock. Brookman is known for its bucking horses, which appear annually at the National Western Stock Show Rodeo in Denver, the Dodge National Circuit Finals at Pocatello, the College National Finals at Casper, the Montana Pro Circuit Finals in Great Falls and the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.
Donnie Landis will be featured this year as the rodeo clown. Landis is from Sonora, Calif., and has appeared at the National Finals Rodeo, the Montana Pro Rodeo Circuit Finals, the Calgary Stampede, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, the California Rodeo in Salinas and more.
Joining Landis is the new Miss Rodeo Montana, Kristina Mensik of Red Lodge. Bull fighter Mike Anderson of Dillon and rodeo announcer Jay Harwood are also participating in this weekend's events.
The Wild Horse Race features teams of three unmounted participants working to subdue a wild horse. The teams then attempt to saddle the horse, with one contestant aiming to ride the animal across the finish line. All teams compete at the same time. A few spots still remain for this event, Harwood said, and anyone interested in competing should contact the rodeo office.
The rodeo also has plenty to keep kids entertained. The first event for the kids is the Mutton Bust'n contest. For this event, kids ride on the back of a Max Hofeldt sheep and try to reach the finish line before being bucked off.
The event is divided into two different age groups and each contestant receives a prize. Parents are asked to get to the rodeo office and register early due to the limited number of contestants.
For those looking for an event on the calmer side, the Kiddie Rodeo is also featured each night at 6 p.m.
Mensik, Miss Western Montana Rodeo Queen Sarah Wilkins and Miss Great Northern Rodeo Queen Erin Darlington are in charge of the Kiddie Rodeo.
No pre-registration is necessary for this event. Hamburgers, hot dogs and Polish sausages will be available.
Advance tickets are available at Chinook Pharmacy, Hart of the West in Harlem, or Corral West in Havre.
For more information contact Bear Paw Round-Up in Chinook at 357-2102 or 357-2227.