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Badlands Circuit Finals: South Dakota cowboy works towards year-end title

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breakaway roper lynn smith 2nd round badlands circuit finals by alaina stangle.jpg

Lynn Smith, Elfrida, Ariz., won the breakaway roping for the second round of the Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo on Oct. 9. The Arizona cowgirl chose to rodeo in the Badlands Circuit and rides the Badlands Circuit Breakaway Horse of the Year. 

The second night of the Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo took place on Sat., Oct. 9, with winners in each event one step closer to claiming the title of circuit champ and a berth to the National Circuit Finals Rodeo.

Rapid City’s Jade Blackwell won the second round and his second check of the weekend.

His 86-point ride on the Sutton Rodeo Co. horse South Point was a nostalgic moment for him.

It was the first time he’d been on the gelding after Julie Sutton, matriarch of the Sutton family, passed away in July of this year.

“It kind of meant a lot to me tonight,” he said, “because we lost Miss Julie this summer. Every time I’d see her, she’d say, I hope you draw South Point.”

Actually, he’s ridden the gelding eight or nine times and won checks on the horse at rodeos in Clear Lake and Mobridge, S.D., Gillette, Wyo. and New Town, N.D.

Blackwell, who is 28 years old, came into the circuit finals in first place and has never lost the lead. He won fourth place last night, and is tied with Dusty Hausauer for the lead in the average, the combined scores from the first and second rounds. Both men have an average score of 166 points on two head.

Blackwell has never won a Badlands year-end title, the most money won in the season in the circuit, but this might be his year.

“I try not to think about it,” he said. “I just try to do my job. I’m not good at math,” he joked, “so I let somebody else figure that out.”

Winning the season “has been one of my goals for a while, so I’ll do what I can tomorrow (in the third round). God has a plan, and however it turns out, I’ll be happy with it.”

A cowgirl from Arizona won the second round of the breakaway roping at the Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo.

Lynn Smith, Elfrida, Ariz., made a 3.0 second run to best the field, three-tenths of a second faster than the number two cowgirl, Sawyer Gilbert.

Smith usually rodeos closer to home, but because of the pandemic, last fall decided she would choose a circuit that hadn’t canceled rodeos due to Covid, so she chose the Badlands Circuit.

She and her husband Rick Smith used Cody, Wyo. as their home base, as Rick had been raised there, and she competed throughout North Dakota and South Dakota.

“I’ve come from border to border, basically,” she laughed, referring to her home near the Mexico border.

She entered the circuit finals in ninth place and added a bit over $1000 to her earnings with her first-place finish on Saturday night.

She is riding the Badlands Circuit Breakaway Horse of the Year, Handsome Jack Spratt, “Handsome.” She and her husband purchased the eleven-year-old red dun four years ago, and the horse is “all business,” she said. “He hates the bright lights (of rodeo) but when you back him in the box, he gives you the same throw every time, in the same position every time. He’s a damn good horse, and we’re thrilled to own him.”

Lynn’s husband Rick, a former saddle bronc rider, qualified for the National Finals Rodeo six times in the 1980s-90s.

Other second go-round winners include bareback rider Ty Breuer, Mandan, N.D. (87 points); steer wrestlers Riley Reiss, Manning, N.D. and Joe Wilson, Martin, S.D. (4.2 seconds each); team ropers Jr. Dees and Matt Zancanella, both of Aurora, S.D. and Cameron Irwin, Buffalo, Wyo. and Cash Hetzel, Lemmon, S.D. (4.3 seconds for each team); tie-down roper Trey Young, Dupree, S.D. (9.1 seconds); barrel racer Amanda Welsh, Gillette, Wyo. (13.39 seconds); and bull rider TJ Schmidt, Belle Fourche, S.D. (86 points).


Results - 2nd round of the Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo, Minot, N.D. – October 9, 2021

Bareback Riding

1. Ty Breuer, Mandan, N.D. 87 points on Fettig Pro Rodeo’s Adam’s Pet; 2. Nate McFadden, Elsmere, Neb. 80; 3. Andy Gingerich, Aberdeen, S.D. 79.

Steer Wrestling

1. (tie) Riley Reiss, Manning, N.D. and Joe Wilson Martin, S.D. 4.2 seconds each; 3. Sterling Lee, Rhame, N.D. 4.4; 4. Cameron Morman, Glen Ullin, N.D. 4.6.

Team Roping

1. (tie) Jr. Dees, Aurora, S.D./Matt Zancanella, Aurora, S.D. and Cameron Irwin, Buffalo, Wyo. and Cash Hetzel, Lemmon, S.D. 4.3 seconds each; 3. Braden Pirrung, Hartford, S.D./Coley Nicholls, Kinnear, Wyo. 4.4; 4. Guy Howell, Belle Fourche, S.D./Levi O’Keefe, Belle Fourche, S.D. 4.9.

Saddle bronc riding

1. Jade Blackwell, Rapid City, S.D. 86 points on Sutton Rodeo’s South Point; 2. Dusty Hausauer, Dickinson, N.D. 85; Taygen Schuelke, Onida, S.D. 84; Cole Elshere, Faith, S.D. 82.

Breakaway roping

1. Lynn Smith, Elfrida, Ariz. 3.0 seconds; 2. Sawyer Gilbert, Buffalo, S.D. 3.3; 3. (tie) Syerra (CY) Christensen, Kennebec, S.D. and Deven Robinson, Moorcroft, Wyo. 3.4 each.

Barrel racing

1. Amanda Welsh, Gillette, Wyo. 13.39 seconds; 2. Lisa Lockhart, Oelrichs, S.D. 13.48; 3. (tie) Ellie Bard, Sheridan, Wyo. and Allison Pauley, Honey Creek, Iowa 13.50 each.

Tie-down roping

1. Trey Young, Dupree, S.D. 9.1 seconds; 2. Jason Schaffer, Broadus, Mont. 10.1; 3. Rance Johnson, Philip, S.D. 10.2; 4. Tanner Stec, Bassett, Neb. 10.3.

Bull riding

1. TJ Schmidt, Belle Fourche, S.D. 86 points on Muddy Creek Rodeo’s Black Water; 2. Riggin Shippy, Colome, S.D 82; 3. Jeff Bertus, Avon, S.D. 80; no other qualified ride.

** All results are unofficial.  

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