The Big Ride: Havre Rodeo full of excitement
Known as one of the biggest rodeos on the Montana summer circuit, the 2011 Great Northern Rodeo lived up to its billing.
The rodeo, which ran Thursday and Friday night at the Great Northern Fair had contestants from every corner of Montana, including Havre and the Hi-Line. And it had just as many out-of-state competitors, as cowboys and cowgirls from all over competed for prize money and all-important Northern Rodeo Association points.
On the local scene, several Havre and area athletes did quite well.
Box Elder's Eric P. Watson turned in a time of 9.1 on Thursday night to easily win the calf-roping average. Watson was the only local winner in the two-night, combined rodeo, but many other area athletes picked up prize money as well.
In steer wrestling, Havre's Casey Delaney picked up a third-place check after he turned in a time of 5.4 on Friday night. Delaney was part of a large Havre contingent which included star Josh Granell in the steer wrestling. Havre also got prize money in the barrel racing as Candi Zion and up-and-coming star Kassy Brough both placed in the top ten. Zion finished fifth in the average after recording a time of 17.49 in the slack on Friday morning. Brough finished in eighth place with a time of 17.66 after riding in Friday night's performance.
Many barrel racers from Havre, Chinook, Harlem, Rocky Boy and the rest of the Hi-Line competed over the course of two days, and the ladies barrels and breakaway roping had a huge total of competitors.
In the rough stock events, Havre got a third-place from Guy Simonton, who also rodeos out of Malta. Simonton turned an outstanding ride in the saddle bronc on Friday night, good enough for 80 points. The ride electrified the large crowd and the 80 points was a high mark, considering 86 was the championship score.
In team roping, Box Elder was well represented as Jerome and John Bell teamed up to finish fourth. The duo recorded a time of 7.7 in Friday morning's slack. Team roping was another huge and hotly contested event as over 50 teams competed between Thursday night, Friday morning and Friday night's final performance. The event also featured many local standouts from Rocky Boy, Box Elder and Hays.
Havre and Big Sandy also got in the money in the ladies' breakaway roping. Havre's Casey Solomon turned in an excellent time of 3.3 on Friday night, good enough for sixth place, while Big Sandy's Chelsea Brown finished seventh, after recording a fast time of 3.4 in slack Friday morning.
Overall average winners for the two-day rodeo included East Glacier's John Salois, who won the bareback with a 74, Fortine's LeRoy Eash, who captured the saddle bronc with a score of 86 and Trego's Gerald Eash, who won the bull riding with an outstanding 85. There were only four qualified rides in a rough two nights of bull riding, with two scores in the 80's.
Melstone's Stephanie Newman won the barrel racing with a time of 17.40, Belgrade's Traci Bolich tied with Helena's Cee Cee Tryan in the ladies breakaway roping with times of 2.9 and Shane Bishop of Malta and Jordan Handy of Zurich teamed up to win the team roping with a time of 5.6. Duston Stephens of Corvallis won the steer wrestling in 4.2.
Great Northern Rodeo
Thursday and Friday
1. Justin Salois, E. Glacier, 74; 2. Colter Davis, Helena, 72; 2. Justin King, Sagle, ID, 72; 4. Sylvan LaCross, Baker, 71; Ben Wrzenski, Boulder, 68.
1. Leroy Eash, Fortine, 86; 2. Brian Dawson, Wisdom, 81; 3. Guy Simonton, Havre, 80; 4. Gerald Eash, Trego, 78; 4. Jesse Colliflower, Rocky Boy, 78; 6. Beau Michael, Browning, 76.
1. Gerald Eash, Trego, 85; 2. Andrew Evjene, Two Dot, 81; 3. Colten Jensen, Bozeman, 74; 4. Andrew Smith, Shawmut, 72.
1. Duston Stephens, Corvallis, 4.2; 2. Jaren Whitman, Belgrade, 5.1; 3. Casey Delaney, Havre, 5.4; 4. Shawn Downing, Silver Star, 5.7; Jim Pat Smith, Melrose, 6.5; 6. B.J. Brown, Whitlash, 7.0.
1. Eric P. Watson, Box Elder, 9.1; 2. Donnie Benson, Dillon, 9.6; 3. Brant Davis, Sand Coule, 10.1; 4. Clay Ullery, Augusta, 11.1; 4. Dustin Bird, Cut Bank, 11.1; 6. Tyler Hollan, Bozeman, 11.8; 6. Treston Vermandel, Shepard, 11.8.
1. Shane Bishop, Malta/Jordan Handy, Zurich, 5.6; 2. Delon Parker, Worden/Sid Sporer, Cody, Wyo., 5.8; 3. Cory Murray, Ramsey/Bryson Murray, Ramsey, 6.5; 4. Jerome Bell, Box Elder/John Bell, Box Elder, 7.7; 5. Raymond Guardipee, Cut Bank/Ray Champ, Cut Bank, 7.9; 6. Tate Depewolf, Worden/Taner Sorge, Billings, 11.2.
1. Stephaine Newman, Melston, 17.40; 2. Mandy Hamilton, Manhatten, 17.45; 3. Shelly Anzick, Livingston, 17.46; Deena Moekyns, Three Forks, 17.48; 5. Candi Zion, Havre, 17.49; 6. Katie Rassmussen, Choteau, 17.55; 7. Shai McDonald, Gardiner, 17.65; 8. Kassy Brough, Havre, 17.66; 9. Joleen Cox, Worden, 17.68; 10. Morgan Knudson, Great Falls; 17.72.
Lady Breakaway Roping
1. Traci Bolich, Belgrade, 2.9; 1. Cee Cee Tryan, Helena, 2.9; 3. Milee Malone, Livingston, 3.1; 3. Bailee Stovall, Helena, 3.1; 5. Mandy Newman, Melstone, 3.2; 6. Casey Solomon, Havre, 3.3; 7. Chelsea Brown, Big Sandy, 3.4; 8. Tanya Getton, Boulder, 3.8.
Rocky Boy's Jerod Coffee rides "Mellow Yellow" during Friday night's bull riding competition at the Great Northern Rodeo. The NRA Havre Rodeo featured many local competitors over the two-day event.