'The people of Wessington Springs love to see the rodeo'
WESSINGTON SPRINGS -- Wessington Springs native Lennis Fagerhaug said competing in rodeo events in his hometown brings added pressure. "It's more nerve-wracking when you compete at home," he said. "You know everybody, so if you don't do well you'...
WESSINGTON SPRINGS -- Wessington Springs native Lennis Fagerhaug said competing in rodeo events in his hometown brings added pressure.
"It's more nerve-wracking when you compete at home," he said. "You know everybody, so if you don't do well you're more embarrassed."
The nerves didn't get to the 61-year-old cowboy last weekend when he took first place in the Senior Men's Breakaway competition at the 10th annual Wessington Springs Foothills Rodeo, a South Dakota Rodeo Association event, Saturday and Sunday in Wessington Springs.
Fagerhaug won $487.20 after finishing the event with a time of 2.6 seconds.
"I just got lucky and that's what rodeo is," Fagerhaug said. "It's an event of luck, you have to draw the right critter and get lucky when you compete."
Fagerhaug's win put him in fourth place in the SDRA standings on the season. Marty Burress of Piedmont leads with $527.27.
Along with competing in the rodeo, Fagerhaug is also a member of the committee which helps to put on the event.
Fagerhaug said he's unsure of official numbers but had heard estimates of 500 plus fans at the event each day and said he thought that was accurate.
"We have tremendous community support," Fagerhaug said. "We all like to compete and we enjoy doing it knowing the community appreciates it.
"The people of Wessington Springs love to see the rodeo."
Fagerhaug said the sponsors for the small-town event are tremendous.
"You can't put a rodeo on and make it work without sponsorships and ours are exceptional," he said. "I go to rodeos all over the state and many of them don't have near the backing we do."
Fagerhaug said the committee that puts on the event gets no capital gain for putting the competition on.
"Any profits we make we put back into the facility," he said. "We're doing it for the community 100 percent."
Along with competing and helping to promote the rodeo, Fagerhaug also takes time to be a spectator. Fagerhaug said he enjoys watching his two sons, Tyler and Owen, compete as well.
"It's a real family sport," he said. "I'm always rooting for my kids and watching them is as much fun as competing myself."
Tyler Fagerhaug took third place over the weekend in calf roping with a time of 11.3 seconds. That time earned him $428.64.
"I was hoping for first place but I competed as well as I could have," Tyler said.
Travis Cowan of Highmore beat Tyler's mark with a time of 10.1 seconds.
As for competing in the same rodeo as his dad and brother, Tyler said it's nice to bring the family together.
"It's a neat experience," he said. "It's fun to have the whole family together and it's something we've enjoyed doing for a long time."
The highest payout for a single competition over the weekend went to Jill Moody, of Letcher.
Moody won the barrel racing event with a time of 14.4 seconds and collected $821.28.
Moody leads the SDRA in the event with $1,122.47 in earnings this year.