GREAT FALLS, Mont. – Chase Erickson hit the trifecta at the RAM Montana Circuit Finals Rodeo when he won the bareback riding average title on Jan. 18. It’s the third consecutive year the Helena, Mont., cowboy had won the prestigious rodeo.
“Montana’s the best circuit out there,” Erickson said. “This time of year, you’re itching to go rodeo and get rolling. It’s always great to come to this rodeo, because the fans in Great Falls are just the best; they get rocking for you. The sponsors are really great up here, too, and everything they do just makes it a terrific event.”
Erickson won the first round Friday and Jessy Davis won the second round, leaving them tied going into the final round.
“Jess and I are great friends, and he had a big lead in the year-end, so I knew I had to gun for the average,” Erickson said. “We both drew good horses for the final round, but my horse did a little better.”
Erickson rode Sankey Rodeo Company’s Music for 84 points to win the round and also the average title, with 248 points on three head. Davis took third in the round and ended up six points behind in the average.
“Music is a young horse, kind of wild, but he had a good ride,” Erickson said. “I knew what I had to do today, and it worked out.”
Erickson, 31, earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Montana Western (Dillon). He and his wife, Michelle, have a son, Coy, who celebrated his first birthday Dec. 20.
Erickson was 22nd in the Windham Weaponry High Performance PRCA World Standings in 2013, when he earned $45,075. He was 39th last year with $18,290, and is looking forward to having a successful 2015.
“It feels great to start the year off like this,” he said. “It gives you a really positive feeling, and gets the ball rolling.”
He’s also excited to earn the chance to compete at his third RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo, and at the first that will take place in Kissimmee, Fla., on March 25-28.
“I’m real excited to go to this new deal in Florida,” Erickson said. “The money will be really good at that rodeo. I went to the RNCFR in Oklahoma the last two years, but I’m excited for something new, and it looks like (the PRCA) has taken steps to make it even better.”
Erickson’s younger brother, Mac, is also a PRCA bareback rider who won the 2011 Ram Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo.
Other winners at the $148,461 rodeo were all-around cowboy Hank Hollenbeck ($9,691 in tie-down roping and team roping), steer wrestler Levi Guenzler (15.8 seconds on three head), team ropers Jason Carlson and Sam Levine (25.9 seconds on three head), saddle bronc rider Zeke Thurston (164 points on two head), tie-down roper Hollenbeck (28.8 seconds on three head) and bull rider Parker Breding (167 points on two head).
Courtesy of PRCA