2,650 watch bull-riding at Corn PalaceCity, promoter happy with first rodeo event.
By: Ross Dolan, The Daily Republic
The first indoor bull-riding event at the Corn Palace in Mitchell was a greater success than even its promoters hoped. “It really went well,” said Corn Palace Director Mark Schilling.
He noted that the Corn Palace floor suffered no damage from the event, known as the Wilbur Ellis Corn Palace Challenge.
“You would never know anything happened in the Corn Palace,” Schilling said. “The floor looked exactly as it did before.”
According to final attendance counts, the first round of bull riding on Friday drew about 1,100 spectators, and the second round Sunday attracted 1,550, for a total attendance of 2,650. Schilling said the city of Mitchell will earn between $10,000 and $12,000 from rental and concession income. Independent promoter Sheldon Tobin, of Plankinton, said response to the Championship Bull Riding series event has been overwhelming.
“I’ve had at least 100 texts since the weekend,” said Tobin, who sells WW Livestock Systems rodeo equipment from his Plankinton farm.
“It has that special atmosphere,” Tobin said of the Corn Palace. “Since Saturday, I’ve had calls from many prominent Mitchell folks telling me how awesome it was and telling me they want to be a part of it next year.”
Bull-rider injuries were limited to one minor concussion, Tobin said.
Top finishers shared about $15,000 in prize money.
The overall winner was Tate Harris, of Palestine, Texas, who earned $5,000 by scoring a combined 177.50 points on two rides.
Remaining purse totals were not immediately available.
Top South Dakota riders were secondplace finisher Rorey Maier, of Timber Lake, who earned 176.5 points; and sixth-place Shawn Coleman, of Springfield, who earned 89.5 points.