by Jim Bainbridge | Oct 10, 2014
By Ruth Nicolaus/for the RAM Badland Circuit Finals Rodeo
MINOT, N.D. – The first night of the RAM Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo kicked off with four North Dakotans winning first place in their respective events.
Competing in their home state, at the annual event hosted by the Minot Y’s Men’s Rodeo, bareback rider Ty Breuer of Mandan, team ropers Preston Billadeau of Parshall and Jesse Fredrickson of Upham, and barrel racer Bobbi Grann of Sheyenne, won their respective events.
For Breuer, it’s been a year of rebuilding. The 24-year-old cowboy didn’t begin his rodeo season until July, after having surgery on an elbow last December. He qualified for his first National Finals Rodeo last year, but in the third round tore a tendon in the elbow and broke two bones.
After surgery, he made sure it healed, holding off on his rodeo until halfway through the season.
“I knew I’d have to rodeo hard if I’d even have a chance (of qualifying for the National Finals Rodeo), so instead of coming back early and hurting it again and having to sit out, I decided to give it time.”
Even with only three months left in the rodeo year (the season ends on September 30), he still finished eighteenth in the world. He’s come into this weekend’s RAM Badland Circuit Finals Rodeo in fourth place in the circuit standings, with $9,300, about $4,200 behind the number one man, Joe Gunderson.
At the State Fair Center on Thursday night, Breuer scored 84 points on Sutton Rodeo Company’s Time Rental. His younger brother, Casey, also a bareback rider, missed his horse out in the first performance, causing him to have a zero score for the round.
In the team roping, Billadeau and Fredrickson roped their steer in 5.6 seconds, a half-second faster than the number two team, Clint Gorrell, Beach, N.D., and Levi O’Keefe, Mohall, N.D. Billadeau and Fredrickson hadn’t roped together for four years, after qualifying for the Badlands Circuit Finals from 2008 through 2010. The partnership has worked well. They came into the RBCFR in third and fourth place, respectively, and after their win tonight, have made a move upwards since the number one team, J.B. Lord and his son Levi Lord, missed their steer.
Billadeau and his wife Leann have a six-month-old daughter, Braylee, and between her and his work as a farmer, he limits his travel to rodeos in the Badlands Circuit.
“We tried to stay closer to home,” he said. “We had pretty good luck. We had a good summer.”
Other first go-round winners were steer wrestler Reed Petersek, Colome, S.D. (3.7 seconds), saddle bronc rider Cole Elshere, Faith, S.D., (85 points), barrel racer Grann (14.09), tie-down roper Riley Pruitt, Gering, Neb. (7.9 seconds), and bull rider Jeff Bertus, Avon, S.D. (82 points).
The second, third and fourth rounds of the Circuit Finals continue Oct. 10-12. Tomorrow night’s rodeo is the annual Tough Enough to Wear Pink performance, with monies raised going to benefit cancer patients through the Trinity Health Exercise Rehab Program in Minot. Over the past seven years, over $400,000 has been raised. For more information on the rodeo, visit MinotYsMensRodeo.com.
Courtesy of PRCA