Mitchell's Samantha Ford posts strong weekend as South Dakota high school regional rodeos begin

Regional rodeos began in Highmore and Huron in buildup to state finals.

In this file photo, Samantha Ford, of Mitchell, is pictured during the 2021 Corn Palace Stampede Rodeo Jr. Queen contest at the Horseman's Sports Arena in Mitchell.
Mitchell Republic file photo
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HURON — The race to the South Dakota High School Finals Rodeo and beyond got underway over the weekend at the South Dakota High School Rodeo Association’s regional rodeos, with the East Region in action at Huron.

Mitchell’s Samantha Ford led the way in the reined cow horse competition, with a pair of top scores in the two performances. She posted a score of 135 in the first event and 138.5 in the second event for a perfect two-day point total of 20. Ford was also fourth on points in the pole bending event, with a top time of 21.570 seconds.

In barrel racing, Raylee Fagerhaug, of Wessington Springs, had the top time in two performances, winning the first go in a time of 16.859 seconds and the second in 17.034 seconds. Wagner’s Shada Beeson was third in the event with 13 total points, powered by a fourth-place finish in the second go (17.293), while Ford was third in the second go (17.244 seconds) and was tied for fifth in points after the weekend.

Tierney Breen, of Woonsocket, had two top performances and tied for the points lead in the breakaway roping event with Colman’s Josie Mousel. Each scored 16 points, with Mousel winning the second go in a time of 2.78 seconds and Breen in second (2.94 seconds). Beeson was third on points in pole bending, with a top time of 22.414 seconds, and was also fourth in points in breakaway roping (10 points) after having the top time in the first go (2.75 seconds).

Huron’s Tate Meyer led the bull riding points after rides of 70 and 62 in the first two performances. Mason Moody, of Letcher, had the top overall ride of the weekend, scoring a 75, and was second in overall points.


In girl’s cutting, Kimball’s Sydney Stahl won the second-go with a score of 66 points. She was second overall on the weekend in points with 18, just behind Victoriah Buffington, of Huron, who won the first-go (68 points) and was second in the other performance (65 points) for a two-day total of 19 points.

In steer wrestling, Kade Odens, of Scotland, scored 10 points with a winning performance in the second-go with a time of 12.16 seconds. Christopher Nelson, of Lake Andes, had the only scored ride in the saddle bronc event, with a score of 54, leading the participants after the first weekend. In tiedown roping, Royce Bruns, of Plankinton, scored in the top-five for the weekend, powered by a third-place finish in the first-go.

Contestants can compete at their two regional rodeos, which are split up around the state based on geography, giving contestants four rodeos to gather points from. The lowest-point rodeo is thrown out and the three-best rodeos in each event count towards the state. Therefore, 30 points is the maximum in each event that can be carried into the state finals, while contestants with three points in an event qualify for the state rodeo.

Another round of regional rodeos will be held June 10-12, with the East Region gathering in Watertown, and the River Region in Winner. The South Dakota High School Rodeo State Finals will be held June 14-18 in Fort Pierre and The National High School Finals Rodeo is in Gillette, Wyoming from July 17-23.

Talsma, Hood, Shippy lead scoring in River Region

HIGHMORE, S.D. — A number of area cowboys and cowgirls are in the lead in their respective events after the first weekend of SDHSRA regional rodeo action in the River Region.

In steer wrestling, Terran Talsma, of Springfield, leads all scorers with 17 points after winning the second-go in a time of 7.06 seconds. Swade Reis, of Reliance, was third overall after winning the first-go with the weekend’s best time of 6.16 seconds.

Mason Hood, of Burke, was the only competitor in the two competitions to score qualifying rides in the saddle bronc, posting scores of 65 and 67 to score 20 points in the event.

In bull riding, Colome’s Riley Shippy had the top overall ride of the weekend, scoring a 73. Trail City’s Mark Sandquist led all riders on points with 19 after rides of 63 and 66 for the weekend. Winner’s Garret Phillips is tied for second in the boys cutting competition after scoring 17 points for the weekend, and he also finished fourth in the reined cow horse competition.


On the pole bending course, Kimball’s Kate Havlik had the second-best point total of the weekend, scoring 13 points, with a top time of 22.256 seconds in the first go. Orient’s Tricia Lammers leads after a weekend-best 21.780 seconds to win the second-go and score 19 points. Colome’s Ashlyn Hoffine scored nine points to be in fourth place, while Caysen Gran, of Kennebec, is fifth with eight points.

Burke’s Piper Hanson had the third-best performance in the second-go in the breakaway roping in a time of 3.5 seconds, putting her fifth on event points after the first weekend. Addison Salverson, of Mound City, leads all ropers with 19 points. Hanson was also fourth on points in the girls’ cutting event.

In team roping, Reis and teammate Colton Michalek, of Chamberlain, were second overall after winning the second-go with a time of 9.11 seconds. Phillips and Dalton Moore, of Lower Brule, and Peyton Haugen and Prestyn Haugen, both of Reliance, were tied for third place after scoring second place in performances to score nine points each overall.

Reis also had a second-place finish in tie-down roping, including the top time of the weekend in 9.940 seconds to win the first go. He scored 14 points overall, with Kadoka’s Dalton Porch in first place with 18 points.

Traxler is the assistant editor and sports editor for the Mitchell Republic. He's worked for the newspaper since 2014 and has covered a wide variety of topics. He can be reached at
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