Sainsbury Rides Last-Second Mount to Badlands Circuit Title


MINOT, N.D. – Moments before the RAM Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo was about to start Oct. 9, winning was the last thing on steer wrestler Forest Sainsbury’s mind.

The Camp Crook, S.D., cowboy was in the midst of a frantic search to find a horse to ride. He found out less than an hour before the rodeo that his horse, Honey, could not go due to a tendon injury in her left leg.

“We found out about 30 minutes before the first round that I couldn’t ride (Honey),” Sainsbury said about his 15-year-old horse. “I was scrambling around, and I ran and looked and asked Jason Reiss if I could ride his horse. He has a real good bulldogging horse (Scooter) and he said I could ride his horse. I know him (Reiss) from rodeoing with him over the years.”

Reiss was in Minot because two other cowboys were also riding his horse and he was hazing.

Although Sainsbury had never ridden Scooter before, the two gelled immediately as he won the average with a time of 16.0 seconds on four head at the State Fair Center.

“I knew he was a pretty good horse,” said Sainsbury, 27. “When you’re backed in the corner, you have to have the mindset you’re going to win first no matter what.”

Heading into the final round, Sainsbury was the last steer wrestler out and he was well aware of his task.

“I knew I just needed a good, solid run,” Sainsbury said. “I didn’t need to do anything special. I knew I needed around a 7-second run. I caught him pretty quick, and I was 4-flat on him. It worked out a lot better than I planned.”

Sainsbury tied his friend Sheldon Portwine for first place in the final round. Sainsbury left Minot with $4,933 in prize money.

That performance also powered Sainsbury to his second RAM Badlands Circuit Finals year-end championship – to go along with the one he won in 2012 while on his PRCA permit.

“This (performance) has to rank right there at the top,” Sainsbury said.

Thanks to winning the average and year-end Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo, Sainsbury qualified for his second RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo, March 25-28 in Kissimmee, Fla.

Other winners at the $131,578 rodeo were all-around cowboy Justin Scofield ($1,919, tie-down roping and team roping), bareback rider Ty Breuer (321 points on four head), team ropers Clint Gorrell/Levi O’Keeffe (28.1 seconds on four head), saddle bronc rider Jeremy Meeks (317 points on four head), tie-down roper Riley Pruitt (36.9 seconds on four head), barrel racer Bobbi Grann (56.99 seconds on four runs) and bull rider Jeff Bertus (318 points on four head).

  • Ryle Smith has a nice bit of momentum on his side as he seeks to regain his California Circuit all-around title Oct. 17-18 at the RAM California Circuit Finals Rodeo in Lancaster. Smith won the steer wrestling (5.0 seconds), the tie-down roping (9.0 seconds) and the all-around titles ($3,435) at the Oct. 11-12 Industry Hills Charity Pro Rodeo in Industry, Calif. While that money counts toward the 2015 standings and doesn’t help him in his current quest, that kind of success can only help to lift his confidence as he tries to hold onto his $1,747 lead over Blake Hirdes in the all-around standings; Smith won the title in 2012 and was unseated by Hirdes last year.

Courtesy of PRCA