MANDAN, N.D. – A surprise announcement on Tuesday gave a boost to fan anticipation for the 138th Mandan Rodeo Days Celebration which begins on Saturday and runs through July 4.
Dakota Community Bank will present a $20,000 bull riding match between three-time Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) World Champion Bull Rider Sage Kimzey of Strong City, Oklahoma, and the legendary bucking bull Pearl Harbor, owned by Dakota Rodeo’s Chad Berger of Mandan. The eight-second challenge will be the finale of Mandan Rodeo Days’ Xtreme Bulls performance which kicks off the four-day celebration at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 1.
Pearl Harbor, currently the top-ranked bucking bull in the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) rankings, bucks off just under 91% of the cowboys who attempt to ride him. In his four-year career, the white-faced bovine has been ridden only once per year. His 2017 scoring average is 46.125 of a possible 50 points. He is fresh off a win of a match with J.B. Mauney, two-time PBR champion, less than two weeks ago.
Kimzey, the current Xtreme Bulls standings leader, was the first bull rider to earn a share of the $1 million bonus in February at The American, the world’s richest one-day rodeo. He won his first world championship in his rookie season along with the National Finals Rodeo bull riding title.
Forty of the top bull riders in the PRCA will compete July 1 for $24,000 in prize money and world championship points. The list of cowboys scheduled to ride includes Kimzey along with former world champions Cody Teel and Shane Proctor. Proctor is the only cowboy to make a qualified ride on Pearl Harbor this year, when he scored 93.5 points at a PBR event in Tacoma, Washington, in April.
Also in the Xtreme Bulls field are 13 riders ranked in both the PRCA and the Xtreme Bulls standings, six others who are ranked in one or the other and several more who are among the best in the Badlands Circuit.
The bull riding competition during the three rodeo performances will be bigger than ever as well. Nearly 60 bull riders, almost triple last year’s total, will vie for another $25,000+ as they try to conquer the rugged herd of bulls from Dakota Rodeo.
No matter the outcome of Saturday’s recently announced match bull ride, Mandan Rodeo Days action continues Sunday with timed event competition beginning at 8 a.m. More than 260 barrel racers, team ropers, steer wrestlers and tie-down ropers have their chance at a share of the $120,000+ rodeo prize money during this “slack” section.
The rest of the 589 entrants, including timed events, plus bareback, saddle bronc and bull riders, will compete throughout the three performances, presented by Dakota Community Bank, at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.
Heading the list of rodeo athletes is Caleb Smidt of Bellville, Texas, 2017’s leading all-around cowboy and 2015’s world champion tie-down roper. Multi-time world champion all-around cowboy and tie-down roper Joe Beaver, reigning world champion barrel racer Mary Burger, former bareback riding world champ Justin McDaniel, former steer wrestling world champion Stockton Graves, legendary team roping world champions Rich Skelton, Clay O’Brien Cooper and Alan Bach, two-time saddle bronc riding world champ Chad Ferley and two-time world champion barrel racer Lindsay Sears highlight the field.
Three newly crowned College National Finals Rodeo Champions – steer wrestler Denver Berry, bareback ride Lane McGehee and barrel racer Hailey Kinsel – will compete along with more than 70 individuals who have qualified for the National Finals Rodeo or are likely to qualify this year.
Added to the mix are cowboys and cowgirls from 30 states, two Canadian provinces and New Zealand and top-ranked individuals from the Badlands Circuit of North and South Dakota.
In addition to the world-class rodeo competition, fans can enjoy special Family and Patriot Night activities July 2 and 3, huge fireworks displays July 3 and 4, nightly chuckwagon races, daredevil Roman riding, the Remarkable Kids Rodeo, the huge Independence Day Parade, Art in the Park and much more.
A complete schedule and ticket information are available online at www.MandanRodeo.com.