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Wild Ride: Locals shine in Chinook


Eric Seidle

Austin Malek wrestles down a steer during Friday night's performance of the 2014 Bear Paw Roundup PRCA Rodeo in Chinook.

CHINOOK — A week of bad weather let up just in time for the first day of summer. And just in time for the first big rodeo of the summer.

Friday and Saturday, Chinook was the sight of the annual Bear Paw Roundup PRCA Rodeo. And with two nights of action-packed fun in the Blaine County Fairgrounds arena, the Bear Paw Roundup was once again a big success.

Several local cowboys made big paychecks this weekend in Chinook, led by Havre’s own Josh Granell. Granell, a Montana PRCA Circuit Finals contender each year, finished first in the steer wrestling with a blazing 5.5 time. Granell picked up $789 for his efforts and also got a leg up in the early season standings.

In the tie-down roping, Big Sandy’s Weston Brown got into the money, scoring a time of 15.2 to fourth in the average. Meanwhile, team roper Jordan Handy of Chinook was right at home in the arena, and he and partner Shayne Bishop of Malta finished fifth in the average with a clean run of 11.9.

The Bear Paw Roundup is a big event on the PRCA circuit, so cowboys from all over Montana, and the west for that matter, flock to Chinook each summer, and this past weekend was no different. Power’s Jessy Davis, a star on the Montana circuit, won the bareback riding with a score of 80, while Cole Elshere of Faith, South Dakota, was first in the saddle bronc riding with a 79. Orry Fruit of Ekalaka was tops in the tie-down roping with a 10.8, while Chris Witcher of Miles City and Dustin Ostrum of Huntley were first in the team roping with a 7.0. Shelby Blixt of Helena won the barrel racing with a time of 17.93, and West Glacier’s Beau Hill took the bull riding with a huge score of 80.

Next up on the local rodeo circuit is the NRA sanctioned Great Northern Stampede, which runs July 18-19 in Havre.

PRCA Bear Paw Roundup

Bareback -- Jessy Davis, Power, 80, $511; Dantan Bertsch, Eastend, SK, 79, 319; Heath Ford, Slocum, Texas, 79, 319; Chase Redfield, Opheim, 76, 63; Troy Vaira, Richey, 76, 63.

Saddle bronc -- Cole Elshere, Faith, S.D., 79, 782; Wyatt Hurst, Rigby, Idaho, 78, 488; Clay Gruel, Stockett, 78, 488; Josh Reynolds, Ekalaka, 77, 97; Dusty Hausauer, Dickinson, N.D., 77, 97.

Bull riding -- Beau Hill, West Glacier, 80, 691; Chris Roundy, Spanish Fork, Utah, 76, 518; A.J. Crasco, Malta, 74, 345.

Tie-down roping -- Orry Fruit, Ekalaka, 10.8, 808; Brant Davis, Sand Coulee, 12.1, 606; Hank Hollenbeck, Molt, 13.5, 404; Weston Brown, Big Sandy, 15.2, 202.

Eric Seidle

Havre's Kassy Brough races the barrels during Friday night's performance of the 2014 Bear Paw Roundup in Chinook.

Steer wrestling -- Josh Granell, Havre, 5.5, 789; Ben Ayre, Glendive, 5.9, 592; Beau Clark, Belgrade, 6.4, 394; Levi Paul Guenzler, Bynum, 7.2, 197.

Team roping -- Chris Witcher, Miles City/Dustin Ostrum, Huntley, 7.0, 954; B.J. Brown/Jack Brown, Whitlash, 7.2, 789; Bill Parker/Jace Crabb, 7.6, 625; Travis Winters, Joliet/Kyle DeSaveur, Roberts, 8.2, 460; Shayne Bishop, Malta/Jordan Handy, Chinook, 11.9, 296; Eddy Getten, Helena/Mike Gollaher, Cascade, 13.5, 164.

Barrel racing -- Shelby Blixt, Helena, 17.93, 715; Dilllon McPherson, Wolf Point, 18.02, 622; Gayleen Malone, Pray, 18.04, 482; Carmel Wright, Roy, 18.04, 482; Sandra McGinnis, Bassano, AB, 18.27, 342; Becky Fuson, Conrad, 18.29, 248; Tammy Carpenter, Kalispell, 18.34, 155; Milee Dalley, Pray, 18.46, 62.


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