Badlands Circuit championship begins in Minot

South Dakota steer wrestler sets goal to win circuit title; starts with a win in the first round

Submitted Photo Sturgis, South Dakota’s Eli Lord wins the first round of the steer wrestling for the 2019 Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo in Minot. The second and third rounds will be held Sat., Oct. 5, with the fourth round on Sun., Oct. 6. Photo by Cowboy Images/Peggy Gander.

Eli Lord has been the bridesmaid, never the bride, several times.

This year it might be different.

The Sturgis, S.D. man has finished as Badlands Circuit reserve champion twice in the steer wrestling and three times in the team roping.

He won the first round of the steer wrestling on Oct. 4 at the Minot Y’s Men’s Rodeo hosting the Badlands Circuit Finals, to pad his lead by more than $4,900 over the No. 2 man, Reed Kraeger, Elwood, Neb.

He made a good run. “Man, I had a good steer, and I was fortunate enough to get a real good start, and everything came together. When your horse works good, and when your hazer works good, it’s easy.”

Lord was aboard his blue roan, a mare named Commander who was purchased by his cousin, Mike Wrage of Florida, in March of last year. Wrage, a team roper who appreciated good horses, bought the horse and allowed Lord to ride him. But in November, Wrage, who was in his 50s, died of a heart attack. The horse is even more special to Lord now. “When we found this horse,” he said, “he wanted to buy him, and he wanted me to ride him.” The Wrage family still owns the horse, and when Commander is done steer wrestling, he’ll retire to Florida. “I’ll never sell him,” Lord said.

The 25-year-old did things a bit differently this year: he wrote his goals down on a notecard and wore it inside his cowboy hat all year. The first thing on his list was to qualify for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, which didn’t happen, but another thing on the list was to win the Badlands Circuit. He has three more rounds before that happens, but he’s on the way. Writing his goals down worked. “This is the best year I’ve ever had,” he said.

Lord is also competing in the team roping, heading for Cash Hetzel, Lemmon, S.D. He is a graduate of Eastern New Mexico State University in Portales. His dad, J.B., also is competing at the circuit finals in the team roping.

Jeff Johnston, Thedford, Neb., hazed for Lord.

Other first go-round winners were bareback rider Ty Breuer, Mandan,N.D., (82.5); team ropers Jon Peterson, Belle Fourche, S.D. and Trae Smith, Georgetown, Ida.; saddle bronc riders Shorty Garrett, Eagle Butte, S.D. and Jade Blackwell, Rapid City, S.D. (83 points each); barrel racer Jessica Router, Buffalo, S.D. (13.54 seconds); tie-down roper Myles Kenzy, Iona, S.D. (7.9 seconds); bull rider Coleman Entze, Golden Valley, N.D. (78); and breakaway roper Brandi Guttormson-White, Hazen, N.D. (1.9 seconds).

Before the rodeo started, a big check made out for $36,420 was presented to the Tough Enough to Wear Pink campaign. That amount recognizes the monies raised for this year of the campaign, with all funds going to the Trinity Health Cancer Exercise Rehab Center. Cancer survivors who rode in the truck during the check presentation were Kristie Abrahamson, Connie Sundby, Laura Volk, Alexa Louser, Rae Jurick and Loni Steele. Trinity Health representatives were Russ Gust and Dr. Joon Lee. Corporate sponsors of the Tough Enough to Wear Pink campaign include SRT, radio stations WGO, the Zoo, and Sunny 101.9, and Trinity Health. Since the Y’s Men began the Tough Enough to Wear Pink campaign in 2007, $753,759 has been raised.

The next rounds of the Circuit Finals continue Oct. 5-6. Two performances take place on Saturday, Oct. 5, at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., with a chili cook-off, activities and a trade show during the day. The final round of the rodeo is Sunday, Oct. 6, at 1:30 p.m.

Results of 1st Go-Round Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo:

Bareback Riding

1.Ty Breuer, Mandan, N.D., on Korkow’s Onion Ring 82.50 points; 2. Jamie Howlett, Rapid City, S.D., 78.5; 3. Blake Smith, Zap, N.D., 73.5; 4. Jake Carmody, Mobridge, S.D., 72.

Steer Wrestling

1. Eli Lord, Sturgis, S.D., 3.5 seconds; 2. Cameron Morman, Glen Ullin, N.D. 3.9; 3. Taz Olson, Prairie City, S.D. 4.2; 4. Kody Woodward, Dupree S.D. 4.3.

Team Roping

1. Jon Peterson, Belle Fourche, S.D./Trae Smith, Georgetown, Ida. 5.5 seconds; 2. Turner Harris, Killdeer, N.D./Jade Nelson, Midland, S.D., 6.1; 3. Jeff Johnston, Thedford, Neb./Dustin DanHarris, O’Neill, Neb. 6.7; 4. J.B. Lord, Sturgis, S.D./Jake Beard Menoken, N.D. 7.1.

Saddle bronc riding

1. (tie) Shorty Garrett, Eagle Butte, S.D., on Sutton’s Little Wolfy and Jade Blackwell, Rapid City, S.D. on Mosbrucker’s War Spirit 83 points each; 3. Ty Manke, Rapid City, S.D. 82.5; 4. Louie Brunson, New Underwood, S.D. 82.

Barrel racing

1. Jessica Routier, Buffalo, S.D. 13.54 seconds; 2. Nikki Hansen, Dickinson, N.D. 13.69; 3. Amanda Harris, Spearfish, S.D.13.73; 4. Carey Rivinius, Carson, N.D. 13.76.

Tie-down Roping

1. Myles Kenzy, Iona, S.D. 7.9 seconds; 2. Trey Young, Dupree, S.D. 8.2; 3. Rex Treeby, Hecla, S.D. 9.1; 4. (tie) Jason Vohs, Dickinson, N.D. and Tanner Stec, Bassett, Neb. 9.4 each.

Bull Riding

1. Coleman Entze, Golden Valley, N.D. 78 points on Fettig Pro Rodeo’s Mudd Cricket; no other qualified rides.

Women’s Breakaway roping

1. Brandi Guttormson-White, Hazen, N.D. 1.9 seconds; 2. Jacque Peterson, Isabel, S.D. 2.1; 3. (tie) Brooke Howell, Belle Fourche, S.D. and Tanegai Zilverberg, Holabird, S.D., 2.2 each.

– All results are unofficial. For more information, visit www.MinotYsMensRodeo.com.