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First Time is a Charm: Nebraska Cowboy executes well at Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo

MINOT, N.D. – For his first trip to a PRCA championship rodeo, Austin Hurlburt didn’t waste any time.

The Norfolk, Neb. cowboy won the tie-down roping and tied for second in the steer wrestling at the Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo in Minot on Friday night in the first round.

His tie-down roping run was 8.5 seconds, to win the first round; his steer wrestling time was 4.1 seconds, a split for second place.

It’s not the first time for him to qualify for a circuit finals but it’s the first time for him to compete at one. He’s had enough money won in past years, but college obligations at the University of Wyoming kept him from coming to Minot.

In high school in Nebraska, he was a tie-down roper and team roper.

In college, Hurlburt added the steer wrestling, thanks to a good coach and a generous Montanan. Dean Wang, the father of one of the rodeo team members, lent his steer wrestling horses to the team, to give them a chance to learn on good mounts.

Tie-down roping is Hurlburt’s first love, but the steer wrestling is a close second.

“I love the tie-down,” he said, “but there’s something about the steer wrestling. There’s an adrenaline rush (in the steer wrestling). It’s dang sure a toss-up.”

The all-around title is given to the cowboy who wins the most money in two or more events, and it’s a highly desirable title, because it acknowledges the cowboy’s multiple skills.

Hurlburt is the only cowboy at this year’s circuit finals to be competing in two events, and because he’s won checks in both, he’s unofficially sewn up the finals all-around title.

Winning the all-around is a big deal to him.

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, growing up, and watching (26-time world champion) Trevor Brazile, the King of the Cowboys.”

South Dakota’s Shorty Garrett wins the saddle bronc riding at the first performance of the Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo in Minot. Photo by Alaina Stangle Photography.

In the saddle bronc riding, a South Dakota man won the first round.

Shorty Garrett, Dupree, S.D., made an 82-point ride on the Bailey Pro Rodeo horse Big Casino to take the win.

“That’s a really nice horse,” he said, “one that everybody would like to have in their backyard,” he joked. “He feels good every time, kicks all the way through (the ride) and I didn’t stumble.”

It was the second time for Garrett to be matched up with the twelve-year-old gelding. He won rodeos in Valley City, N.D. and Guthrie on the horse.

Garrett, the 2019 average winner for the circuit finals, sits second in the circuit standings, behind Cole Elshere, going into the second performance.

Other first go-round winners include bareback rider Ty Breuer, Mandan, N.D. (87 points); steer wrestler Eli Lord, Sturgis, S.D. (3.8 seconds); team ropers Tucker McDaniel, Midland, S.D. and Clint Cobb, Red Owl, S.D. (5.3 seconds); breakaway roper Sloan Anderson, Whitehorse, S.D. (2.2 seconds); barrel racer Nikki Hansen, Dickinson, N.D. (13.91 seconds) and bull rider Jeff Bertus, Avon, S.D. (81 points.)

The second and third rounds of the Circuit Finals continue Oct. 15-16 with a performance on Saturday night at 7 pm and a Sunday matinee at 1 pm. For more information on the rodeo, visit RodeoMinot.com.

Results, 1st Go-Round, Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo, Minot, North Dakota

October 14, 2022

Bareback Riding

1. Ty Breuer, Mandan, N.D. 87 points on Muddy Creek Pro Rodeo’s Pejuta Haka;

2. Clay Jorgenson, Watford City, N.D. 81.5; 3. Andy Gingerich, Aberdeen, S.D. 80; 4. Ben Kramer, Max, N.D. 79.

Steer Wrestling

1. Eli Lord, Sturgis, S.D. 3.8 seconds; 2. (tie) Austin Hurlburt, Norfolk, Neb. and Logan Lemmel, Whitewood, S.D. 4.1 each; 4. (tie) Reed Kraeger, Waco, Neb. and Cameron Morman, Glen Ullin, N.D. 4.4 each.

Team Roping

1. Tucker McDaniel, Midland, S.D./Clint Cobb, Red Owl, S.D. 5.3 seconds; 2. Clay Ullery, Valleyview, Alb./Matt Zancanella, Aurora, S.D. 6.5; 3. (tie) Braden Pirrung, Hartford, S.D./Trevor Schnaufer, Pueblo, Colo. and Shaw Loiseau, Flandreau, S.D./Dylan Hart, Flandreau, S.D. 6.6 each.

Saddle Bronc Riding

1. Shorty Garrett, Dupree, S.D. 82 points on Bailey Pro Rodeo’s Big Casino; 2. Lane Schuelke, Newell, S.D. 80; 3. (tie) Chuck Schmidt, Keldron, S.D. and Cole Elshere, Faith, S.D. 79.5 each.

Breakaway Roping

1. Sloan Anderson, Whitehorse, S.D. 2.2 seconds; 2. Syerra Christensen, Kennebec, S.D. 2.3; 3. Samantha Fulton, Miller, S.D. 2.7; 4. Brandy Schaack, Chadron, Neb. 2.8.

Tie-Down Roping

1. Austin Hurlburt, Norfolk, Neb. 8.5 seconds; 2. Myles Kenzy, Iona, S.D. 9.1; 3. Trey Young, Dupree, S.D. 9.2; 4. Ty Moser, Volga, S.D. 10.7.

Barrel Racing

1. Nikki Hansen, Dickinson, N.D. 13.91 seconds; 2. Cydney Peterson, Minot, N.D. 14.04; 3. Fonda Melby, Backus, Minn. 14.05; 4. Lisa Lockhart, Oelrichs, S.D. 14.07.

Bull Riding

1. Jeff Bertus, Avon, S.D. 81 points on Bailey Pro Rodeo’s Candy Man; no other qualified rides.

** All results are unofficial. 

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