MINOT, N.D. —  The best pro rodeo cowboys and cowgirls in the Dakotas competed Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the PRCA’s RAM Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo, in Minot, N.D.

Over 100 contestants, the top 12 in each of eight events, competed for two titles: the year-end championship (the most money won over the season), and the average, or finals championship, the most money won in Minot.

In the bareback riding, a North Dakota man made a clean sweep at this year’s circuit finals bareback titiles.

Jordan Pelton had never won a check in the last four times he’s qualified for the finals, but this year he won first place for each performance, and the average, with 258 points on three head.

In fact, he’s enjoying rodeo more than ever, after a mental “switch.”

“My focus has changed to just riding,” said Pelton. “Rather than focusing on winning, which takes away from your job. It’s been a fun year, dang sure a lot of fun.”

Jamie Howlett, of Rapid City, competed on Sunday after pulling a hamstring during Saturday night’s ride.

He finished as year-end bareback champ, for the second consecutive year.

In the steer wrestling, Riley Reiss, Manning, N.D., entered the finals in first place and finished in the same spot, even though he didn’t win any money.

“I had a lot of luck this summer,” Reiss said, but his luck ran out at the fairgrounds. “I’ve struggled in this building. I don’t know what it is. This year, I couldn’t capitalize. Next year I’ll be prepared for it.”

The year-end winner was Eli Lord, of Sturgis.

The winning team ropers came north to Minot in first place and never looked back.

Brothers Tucker and Cooper White, Hershey, Neb., had an excellent season, and a finals as well, winning one first place check and two second place checks to also win the average (16.4 seconds on three head).

In the saddle bronc riding, a veteran cowboy won the finals.

Chuck Schmidt, Keldron, tied for first in the first round (83 points) and first place in the second round (81), with an average of 242 points on three head.

Jacob Kammerer, of Philip, was the year-end winner.

For the barrel racers, it came down to a bit more than a half-second in the average between the top three cowgirls: Amanda Welsh, with 40.83 seconds on three runs, Heidi Gunderson, 41.29, and Molly Otto, 41.37.

Welsh finished the 2020 pro rodeo season in 36th place in the world standings

The year-end title went to Jessica Routier, of Buffalo.

Both tie-down roping titles went to Trey Young, of Dupree.

In the women’s breakaway, Cora Borman, Backus, Minn., won the average title (29.4 seconds on three head) and Katie Mundorf, Mullen, Neb., won the year-end title.

Out of a field of 12 bull riders, only four men rode two of three bulls, and no one rode all three.

Thunder Boomer, TJ Schmidt, Ardie Maier, and Chance Schott made qualified rides on two bulls, but it was Schott who wrapped up both titles.

Schott qualified for the circuit finals in first place, and also won the finals with 173 points on two head, seven and a half points ahead of the number two man, Maier, of Timber Lake.

The all-around winner, the cowboy competing in more than one event, was Eli Lord, from Sturgis.

The rookie of the year went to Riley Reiss, Manning, N.D.

Badlands champs will go on to compete at the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo, to be held in Kissimmee, Florida next spring.

Points from the Badlands Circuit Finals count towards the 2021 National Finals Rodeo.

The winners from each event of the first three go-rounds follow.

All-around Champion: Eli Lord, Sturgis.

All-around champion for the Finals: Eli Lord, Sturgis.

Bareback Riding Year End Champion: Jamie Howlett, Rapid City.

Bareback Riding Average Champion: Jordan Pelton, Halliday, N.D.

Bareback final go-round: 1. Jordan Pelton, Halliday, N.D. 85 points on Mosbrucker Rodeo’s War Chick; 2. Nate McFadden, Elsmere, Neb. 84; 3. Shane O’Connell, Rapid City, S.D. 81; 4. Jamie Howlett, Rapid City, 80.5

Average results: 1. Jordan Pelton, Halliday, N.D. 258 points on three head; 2. Shane O’Connell, Rapid City, 249; 3. Jamie Howlett, Rapid City, 248.5; 4. Ben Kramer, Max, N.D. 225.

Team Roping Year End Champion Header: Cooper White, Hershey, Neb.; Heeler: Tucker White, Hershey, Neb.

Team Roping Average Champion Header: Cooper White, Hershey, Neb.; Heeler: Tucker White, Hershey, Neb.

Saddle Bronc Year End Champion: Jacob Kammerer, Philip.

Saddle Bronc Average Champion: Chuck Schmidt, Keldron.

Saddle Bronc final go-round results: 1. JJ Elshere, Hereford, 89 points on Sutton Rodeo’s Prom Night; 2. Dusty Hausauer, Dickinson, N.D. 88; 3. Jacob Kammerer, 87; 4. Jade Blackwell, Rapid City, 83.5.

Saddle Bronc average results: 1. Chuck Schmidt, Keldron, 242 points on three head; 2. Jacob Kammerer, Philip, 241.5; 3. (tie) Dusty Hausauer, Dickinson, N.D. and Jade Blackwell, Rapid City, 239 each.

Steer Wrestling Year End Champion:  Riley Reiss, Manning, N.D.

Steer Wrestling Average Champion: Eli Lord, Sturgis.

Steer Wrestling final go-round results: 1. Carson Good, Long Valley, 4.1 seconds; 2. Billy Boldon, Oglala, 4.3; 3. Eli Lord, Sturgis, 4.4; 4. Jason Reiss, Manning, N.D. 4.5.

Steer wrestling average results: 1. Eli Lord, Sturgis, 14.1 seconds on three head; 2. Joe Nelson, Watford City, N.D. 14.7; 3. Jason Reiss, Manning, N.D. 15.2; 4. Jake Kraupie, Bridgeport, Neb. 23.8.

Team Roping final go-round results: 1. Jared Odens, Pierre/Matt Zancanella, Aurora, 5.0 seconds; 2. Cooper White, Hershey, Neb./Tucker White, Hershey, Neb. 5.6; 3. (tie) Cody Hilzendeger, Bismarck, N.D./Ty Talsma, Avon, Jade Schmidt, Box Elder/Jade Nelson, Midland, and JB Lord, Valentine, Neb./Jesse Dale, Timber Lake, 5.7 each.

Team Roping average results: 1. Cooper White, Hershey, Neb./Tucker White, Hershey, Neb. 16.4 seconds on three head; 2. Cameron Irwin, Buffalo, Wyo./Rory Brown, Edgemont. 23.9; 3. Brent McInerney, Alzada, Mont./Tanner McInerney, Alzada, Mont. 26.0; 4. Jared Odens, Pierre/Matt Zancanella, Aurora, 11.2 on two head.

Barrel Racing Year End Champion: Jessica Routier, Buffalo.

Barrel Racing Average Champion:  Amanda Welsh, Gillette, Wyo.

Barrel Racing final go-round results: 1. Jessica Routier, Buffalo, 13.51 seconds; 2. Molly Otto, Grand Forks, N.D. 13.58; 3. (tie) Carey Rivinius, Carson, N.D. and Amanda Welsh, Gillette, Wyo. 13.73 each.

Barrel Racing average results: 1. Amanda Welsh, Gillette, Wyo. 40.83 seconds on three head; 2. Heidi Gunderson, Murdock, Minn. 41.29; 3. Molly Otto, Grand Forks, N.D. 41.37; 4. Carey Rivinius, Carson, N.D. 41.82.

Tie Down Roping Year End Champion: Trey Young, Dupree.

Tie Down Roping Average Champion: Trey Young, Dupree.

Tie Down Roping final go-round results: 1. J.T. Adamson, Cody, Neb. 8.3 seconds; 2. Trey Young, Dupree, 8.4; 3. Myles Kenzy, Iona, 8.5; 4. Rex Treeby, Hecla, 9.3.

Tie Down Roping average results: 1. Trey Young, Dupree, 26.3 seconds on three head; 2. JT Adamson, Cody, Neb. 27.6; 3. Cody Rood, Bengough, Sask. 29.6; 4. Myles Kenzy, Iona, 30.9.

Women’s Breakaway Roping Year End Champion: Katie Mundorf, Mullen, Neb.

Average Champion: Cora Borman, Backus, Minn.

Women’s Breakaway Roping final go-round results:

1. Tanegai Zilverberg, Holabird, S.D. 1.7 seconds; 2. Cora Borman, Backus, Minn. 12.3; no other qualified runs.

Women’s Breakaway Roping average results: 1. Cora Borman, Backus, Minn. 29.4 seconds on 3 head; 2. Samantha Fulton, Watford City, N.D. 5.5 on two head; 3. Kirby Eppert, Seneca, Neb. 5.6; 4. Katie Mundorf, Mullen, Neb. 5.9.

Bull Riding Year End Champion: Chance Schott, McLaughlin.

Bull Riding Average Champion: Chance Schott, McLaughlin.

Bull Riding final go round results: 1. Chance Schott, McLaughlin, 86 points on Korkow Rodeo’s Jambalaya; 2. Ardie Maier, Timber Lake, 85.5; 3. Ethan Lesiak, Clarks, Neb. 84.5; 4. TJ Schmidt, Belle Fourche, 84.

Bull Riding average results: 1. Chance Schott, McLaughlin, 173 points on 2 head; 2. Ardie Maier, Timber Lake, 165.5; 3. TJ Schmidt, Belle Fourche, 159; 4. Thunder Boomer, Interior, 152.

For full results fom all three performances at the 2020 Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo visit www.ProRodeo.com.

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