Abe Dillman entered the Y's Men's PRCA Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo hoping to land a spot at the National Circuit Finals in Oklahoma City.
The bull rider from Grassy Butte did that and more Sunday at the All Seasons Arena.
Dillman's ride of 86 points on Transformer not only gave him the average title at the Minot rodeo, but the year-end championship as well.
Abe Dillman completes his ride on Transformer during the final go-round at the Y’s Men’s PRCA Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo Sunday at the All Seasons Arena.
Dillman, a 20-year-old rookie, rode three of the four bulls. He was one of only two to accomplish that feat.
"I came here and just wanted to place in the top four each night," Dillman said. "I knew I'd be good with the money and I'd really like to go to the Circuit Finals in Oklahoma City, so I was pretty excited to cover that third one."
Dillman's ride atop Transformer, a Korkow-produced stock, was the first time he'd been on top of that particular bull.
"I didn't even know the bull," Dillman said. "I like it better when I don't know what I'm getting on. I just like having a clear mind and go (with the bull) jump for jump."
Dillman was surprised to hear that he won the year-end title, edging Tater Hins for that title. His main goal entering the weekend was to win the average, earning him a trip to Oklahoma City.
"I wasn't going to let it go," he said. "I wanted the average really bad. I just gave it my best and even if I fell off I still tried 110 percent."
Dillman said his season started looking up after a mid-summer swoon.
"It's really exciting," he said. "It's been a really good year for me. Around fouth of July weekend for about three weeks it started going downhill and then it picked up and has been going well. It feels really good."
Another North Dakota rookie cowboy had a big weekend at the Circuit Finals.
Seth Murphy of South Heart took the year end steer wrestling, the average in the tie-down roping, as well as the all-around title in that event.
Grady Lockhart of Oelrichs, S.D., won the year end championship in the tie-down. Scott Montague continued his domination of the bareback event, taking a sixth-straight title as champ of the year end and average.
Sam Nordick of Mohall pushed Montague, but couldn't quite knock off the reigning champ.
The Elshere name runs deep in rodeo in the Dakotas. Cole and J.J. Elshere both won saddle bronc titles on Sunday, with Cole taking the year end and J.J. earning the average.
Jeff Johnston and Quincy Opela, both of Nebraska, earned the team roping title.
After four runner-up finishes, Jessica Routier earned the top spot in the barrel racing event on Sunday.