SDRA finals get under way on FridayThe South Dakota Rodeo Association Finals get under way Friday at the Event Center in Rapid City.
By: Brooke Cersosimo, The Daily Republic
The South Dakota Rodeo Association Finals get under way Friday at the Event Center in Rapid City.
There are 12 events in the final rodeo of the season. The rodeo season began at the end of March and the top 12 in each event, which have tallied the most points in each category throughout the season, earn a spot in the finals.
SDRA Vice President Larry Powell said the final rodeo is highly anticipated by rodeo lovers throughout the state.
“This kind of caps off the year of who’s done the best from the year,” Powell said. “People enjoy coming to watch the event and it’s a big deal.”
The first round begins at 7:30 p.m. Central time and the second round will follow at 7:30 p.m. Central time Saturday. The third and final round begins at 1 p.m. Central time Sunday.
The 12 events include; bareback, barrel racing, bull riding, calf roping, goat tying, ladies breakaway, mix team roping, saddle bronc, senior mens breakaway, steer wrestling, team penning and team roping.
Prize money is awarded to the top four in each round. Each person that earns first place in a round receives $440, second place earns $330, third place is given $220 and fourth place is awarded $110.
After the three rounds are complete, each person or team will have an average score from the weekend and additional prize money is given to the top four once again.
First place receives $660, second place is awarded $495, third place earns $330 and fourth place receives $165.
Colome’s Mary Pat Fawcett, a member of the SDRA board, has made the final rodeo in team penning for 29 years. This year, she is teamed up with her father Bart Blum, of Reliance, and Lennie Steffen, of Colome.
Fawcett said success is measured from year to year, but the one constant is her love for riding.
“After 30 years of amateur rodeo, the experience takes away from the pressure, but you still get the adrenaline rush,” said Fawcett, who won the event in 2006. “My dad is 76 years old and I feel fortunate to go with him for another year.”
Colome will be represented by another cowboy in Reed Petersek, who is entered in steer wrestling.
Wagner has three participants including Andrew Hall, who finished seventh in the bareback event last year; Duffy Ducheneaux II, who finished fourth in bull riding in the 2011 season; and Preston Kafka, who finished fifth in last year’s saddle bronc.
Plankinton’s Katie Anderson, Clinton Olinger and Jason Kriz are entered in the team penning event along with Platte’s John Dean, who is entered with Tom Jones, of Viborg, and Greg Hanson. Geddes’ Tom Varilek and Mick Varilek will compete in the team penning event with Steve Klein, of Sioux Falls. Tom and Mick finished third and fourth at the end of last season’s rankings in the team penning event.
Chamberlain has two riders in the barrel racing event in Jody Marone and Whitney Knippling. Last year, Knippling finished 12th in barrel racing at the end of the season, while Marone placed 14th.
Wessington Springs’ Lennis Fagerhaug, who qualified in the senior men’s breakaway event, said he expects to do well in his 10th finals rodeo.
“I want to do well, but all you can do is try to rope every steer and let the chips fall,” Fagerhaug said. “It’s a lot of fun to meet up with friends that you see every weekend during the season and it’s just a good family event.”