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Mandan Rodeo’s July 4 Crowd Watches Five Second-Place Finishes

MANDAN, N.D. – The 138th Mandan Rodeo Days Celebration ended with the final rodeo performance on July 4. After a record-setting 100-degree afternoon, just two hours before the rodeo began at 7:30 p.m., a much-needed rain moved through the drought-stricken area, settling the dust and leaving some mud in its wake.

The wet conditions didn’t faze either the contestants or the capacity crowd. Although they did not witness an overall event winner, Tuesday’s crowd watched cowboys take second place in five of the seven events.

Steer wrestler Tommy Cook of Waller, Texas, (a two-time qualifier for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in 1998-99) started the trend when he put his steer on the ground in 4 seconds flat, tying Nebraskan Jake Kraupie’s and South Dakotan Jace Melvin’s second-place times set on Monday night. Wyoming’s Aaron Vosler took first with a 3.7-second run.

In team roping Clayton Hass of Weatherford, Texas, and John Robertson of Polson, Mont., were the first duo to rope. Their time of 4.7 seconds took the number two position, earned them each about $2,500 and aided Hass’s number four standing in the all-around world championship standings. Kellan and Jhett Johnson of Casper, Wyo., roped the win in 4.5 seconds Monday night.

Chad Ferley, the two-time world champion saddle bronc rider from South Dakota, was the final saddle bronc rider to compete. Two nights earlier WNFR veteran Wade Sundell had set a Mandan Rodeo record with 90 points on Dakota Rodeo’s stallion Chirrikawa. Ferley competed on the same bronc, but the big paint didn’t have quite as strong an outing as he did on Monday. Ferley scored 85.5 points and won almost $2,500. Sundell’s first-place check was $3,167.

The next event was tie-down roping. Cody Quaney of Cheney, Kan., who is currently ranked 11th in the Weahterguard World Standings, roped and tied his calf in 8.2 seconds, just one-tenth behind winner Dane Kissack of Spearfish, S.D., who roped on Monday.

Barrel racers were at a disadvantage, since the rain and resulting mud slowed them down about a second and none of them moved into the overall placings. Sisters Nikki Hansen and Kristi Steffes, who competed Monday, finished first and second.

The bulls had been winning since the rodeo began, with 32 of 35 unridden during the first two performances. Three of the 16 cowboys were able to make eight-second rides Tuesday night. Cain Smith of Pendleton, Ore., was the first to get a score – 75 on Dakota Rodeo’s Battle Sirens.

With just three riders left, Trevor Reiste of Linden, Iowa, who’s current 10th in the world standings, rodeo Dakota Rodeo’s JC’s Special for 83.5 points. Then WNFR cowboy Brennon Eldred, the final cowboy to ride, took Dakota Rodeo’s Brown Sugar to the buzzer. Eldred, who’s currently ranked seventh in the world, scored 87 points for second place and nearly $4,700.

In the bareback riding, Lane McGehee of Victoria, Texas, the newly crowned college champion, had the highest-marked ride of the night. His 82 on Dakota Rodeo’s American Grafiti tied him for fourth overall. Wyoming’s Weston Garrett took first with his 87-point ride Sunday night.

The night ended with the Tribute to the Six-Pack Match Bronc Riding with six saddle bronc riders competing for a $1,000 winner-take-all check. Parker Kramer of Towner, N.D., who was representing the North Dakota High School Rodeo Association, scored 71 points to win the bonus.
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