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Solen’s Britany Diaz Blazes to Mandan Rodeo Barrel Racing Lead

Britnay Diaz of Soldan, N.D., races to the lead at the 136th Mandan Rodeo Days in Mandan, N.D., July 3. Photo by Jackie Jensen.

Britnay Diaz of Soldan, N.D., races to the lead at the 136th Mandan Rodeo Days in Mandan, N.D., July 3. Photo by Jackie Jensen.

MANDAN, N.D. — Britany Diaz may spend most of her time in Texas these days, but she still declares Solen, N.D., home for her competition in the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA). Friday night the two-time National Finals Rodeo (NFR) barrel racer was the final cowgirl to compete at her hometown rodeo and she brought the crowd to their feet with a time of 15.25 seconds to take the lead.

Diaz worked at a bank just across the Missouri River from Mandan in Bismarck until she hit the rodeo trail full time in 2010. She still rides a black mare, Dasher Dude (nicknamed Rootie), that she bought from a ranch to break for college credit.

Her time was two-tenths of a second faster than Cassidy Kruse of Gillette, Wyo., and earned Diaz a $100 bonus from the Ryan Dodge Winner’s Circle at the Mandan Rodeo. She also holds the lead to win the overall event with just 12 of 86 barrel racers left to compete.

Les Shepperson of Midwest, Wyo., showed the form that earned him the 2012 NFR Steer Wrestling Championship, with a 3.7-second run to take the lead in steer wrestling. The lead also changed in both tie-down and team roping. Trey Young of Dupree, S.D., leads tie-down with 9.6, the only run under 10 seconds. A 5.4-second time put Garrett Tonozzi of Fruita, Colo., and Matt Kasner of Cody, Neb., ahead in the team roping.

The cowboys in the bronc riding events were not able to bump the leaders but they did the next best thing. Jake Smith of Rapid City, S.D., rode Dakota Rodeo’s Buckin Muffin to tie for the bareback riding lead with 81 points and Newell, S.D.’s Taygen Schuelke also scored 81 points on Dakota Rodeo’s Smoke Cloud to match the lead in saddle bronc riding.

Unofficial leaders from the 136th Mandan Rodeo Days after Friday, July 3 in Mandan, N.D.

Bareback Bronc Riding: 1. (tie) Jake Smith, Rapid City, S.D., on Dakota Rodeo’s Buckin Muffin and Bee Jay Scott, Otley, Iowa, on Dakota Rodeo’s Blueberry Buckle, 81 points each. 3. Ty Breuer, Mandan, N.D., 79. 4. (tie) Tate Schwagler, Mandan, N.D., and Mac Erickson, Sundance, Wyo., 76 each.

Steer Wrestling: 1. Les Shepperson, Midwest, Wyo., 3.7 seconds. 2. Jayce Doan, McKenzie, N.D., 4.0. 3. Dean Gorsuch, Gering, Neb., 4.1. 4. Blake Mindemann, Blanchard, Okla., 4.2 seconds.

Tie-down Roping: 1. Trey Young, Dupress, S.D., 9.5 seconds. 2. Logan Hofer, Magrath, Alberta, Canada, 9.6. 3. Clayton Collmorgen, Lufkin, Texas, 10.2. 4. Newt Bruley, Willow Lake, S.D., 10.4.

Saddle Bronc Riding: 1. (tie) Taygen Schuelke, Newell, S.D., on Dakota Rodeo’s Smoke Cloud and JJ Elshere, Hereford, S.D., on Dakota Rodeo’s Hermit, 81 points each. 3. (tie) Weston Pierschbacher, Kellerton, Iowa, and Tayte Clark, Meadow, S.D., 79 each.

Team Roping: 1. Garrett Tonozzi, Fruita, Colo., and Matt Kasner, Cody, Wyo., 5.4 seconds. 2. Clayton Miller, Billings, Mont., and Hank Hollenbeck, Molt, Mont., 5.5. 3. Brent McInerney, Alzada, Mont., and Cody Hutchison, Moorecroft, Wyo., 5.8 seconds. 4. Gibbs Keeton, Tulip, Texas, and Clay Burnham, Graham. Texas, 6.0.

Women’s Barrel Racing: 1. Britany Diaz, Solen, N.D., 15.25 seconds. 2. Cassidy Kruse, Gillette, Wyo., 15.48. 3. Megan Williams-Mariluch, Daingerfield Texas, 15.87 seconds. 4. Fonda Galbreath, Oakes N.D., 16.04.

Bull Riding: (one qualified ride) 1. Jimmy Maten, Donahue, Iowa, 80 points on Dakota Rodeo’s Rock River Red. (No qualified rides on Friday night.)