If you’re a professional rodeo fan, then saddle up and head to the Great Northern Fairgrounds this weekend for the NRA Great Northern Stampede as the event promises to deliver two days of exciting action.
The annual event sanctioned by the Northern Rodeo Association, will begin tonight at 7 inside the Great Northern Fairgrounds Arena and concludes Saturday when the second day of the event gets under way at 7 p.m. There will also be plenty of slack, scheduled for Saturday at 9 a.m.
The rodeo will feature all the classic events such as bull riding, saddle bronc riding, bareback, steer wrestling, tie down roping, team roping and exciting women’s events such as barrel racing and breakaway roping.
Talent from across the state will converge on the grounds for the rodeo but there will be plenty of local talent worth watching, headlined by Ben Richmond, who currently ranks sixth in the NRA standings in bareback, which he will compete in Friday night.
Other local talents competing Friday night include daughter and father Kenzie and Doug Kallenberger of Havre in the junior barrels and saddle bronc riding, respectively. Doug Kallenberger will also team with Jack Nystrom in team toping and will be joined by the team of Isiah Turn Toes and Duane Raining Bird from Box Elder. Turn Toes will also compete in bull riding.
On Saturday more locals will be in action as Chinook’s Ryan Walter and Harlem’s Brandon Hammond compete in bull riding as well as Tylynn Rettig of Rudyard in ladies barrel racing.
Other top talents from the NRA that will be competing in the two-day event include all-around point leader Phillip Shields, as well as Austin Barstow and Ian Austiguy, all from Dillon. Barstow and Austiguy rank seventh and 12th, respectively, in the all-around standings.
This year’s rodeo will not only feature a bevy of talent but also includes some exciting special events such as wild cow milking, where teams of three will attempt to catch a cow, tie it up and milk it; the team that gets the most milk in the bottle wins and will have a $500 prize as the incentive.
The stock contractors for the Great Northern Rodeo are Black Eagle Rodeo out of Cut Bank as well as Bird Bucking Bulls of Browning, who will be bringing Chocolate Thunder, a Montana-bred bull that competes on the Professional Bull Riders Tour.
The bullfighters for this weekend’s rodeo are going to be Brett Hodson and Joey Hackett. Hackett will also handle the role of rodeo clown for the event.
This weekend’s rodeo is also a stop on several Indian rodeo association tours, so points to qualify for the Indian National Finals Rodeo will also be on the line.
The Great Northern Stampede kicks off tonight at 7 at the Great Northern Fairgrounds Arena. Slack is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. Saturday morning, and the second performance of the rodeo is slated for 7 p.m. Saturday.