They are going to the Rose Bowl of college rodeo. They qualified for the 65th annual College National Finals Rodeo on June 9-15 at the Casper Events Center in Wyoming.
They are the first to have qualified for the finals since Northern State restarted its club program in 2006. In announcing the addition in 2005, NSU officials said the school had a strong tradition in rodeo dating back to the 1960s.
Just how many national finals qualifiers the school has had is unknown. But Worth — a senior from Gettysburg — and Lily’s appearance will be a nice boost for NSU and its rodeo program.
The NSU duo will compete in barrel racing. Several area athletes qualified for the finals from South Dakota State and Black Hills State as well.
The top three individuals in each event and top two teams from each of the 11 regions qualify for the finals. Worth was third in barrel racing in the Great Plains Region while SDSU’s Taryn Sippel of Pierpont was second. Sippel was also second in breakaway roping.
Meanwhile, Black Hills State’s Wyatt Treeby of Hecla was third in tie-down roping; South Dakota State’s Ross Odde of Mound City was second in saddle bronc; and Black Hills State’s Hallie Ann Fulton of Miller was third in women’s all-around.
The SDSU men won the Great Plain Region while the Black Hills State won the women’s division with SDSU second.
More than 400 cowboys and cowgirls from more than 100 universities and colleges will be competing in Casper next month.
Here are some other rodeo things I know:
Sutton release album: Former South Dakota rodeo performer Rehme Sutton released her debut album Tuesday.
Sutton, who grew up on the family ranch near Burke but is not related to the Sutton rodeo family of Onida, will hold a promotional party for her “Long Road Home” album Friday at the City Limits nightclub in Stephenville, Texas. The album features a couple of rodeo-themed tracks, including one about her brother, a former Pro Rodeo Cowboy Association saddle bronc rider.
Billie Sutton, D-Burke, is now assistant minority leader in the South Dakota Senate when he isn’t working on the family ranch. Billie Sutton was paralyzed from the waist down in an injury that ended his rodeo career in 2007.
His sister’s song — Billie’s Song — focuses on the way he has responded and bounced back from the injury. She can be heard on country radio and you can preview her songs at iTunes.
Gone, not forgotten: The PRCA reported that former circuit steer roping champion George Richmond of Idaho has died at age 93. Richmond, who competed in PRCA rodeos well into his 80s, made his first appearance in a PRCA rodeo in 1942 in Belle Fourche. He was the 14th cowboy to join the PRCA.
Riding high: Four of the top 14 ranked saddle bronc riders in the world are from South Dakota: 6, Cole Elshere of Faith ($21,025 earned this season); 10, Troy Crowser of Whitewood ($16,554); 11, Dawson Jandreau of Kennebec ($15,658); and 14, Chad Ferley of Oelrichs ($14,354).
Fort Pierre upgrade: After 40 years of service, the bucking chutes at the Casey Tibbs Arena in Fort Pierre are being replaced as part of a $100,000 renovation that will include a new crow’s nest for the announcer and new pens for holding stock. All the work will be done in time for the South Dakota Capitol Legends PRCA Rodeo over the Fourth of July weekend, Tom Brown of the Casey Tibbs Foundation told the PRCA.
John Papendick is the managing news-sports editor for the American News: email@example.com.