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74th Stampede had impressive scores

In front of packed Mobridge Rodeo Grounds, Jade Blackwell of Rapid City scored 87 points atop South Point to win the saddle bronc riding title at the 74th annual Sitting Bull Stampede, held July 2, 3 and 4.
Blackwell earned $2,504 for the crowd pleasing effort.
Shorty Garrett of Eagle Butte finished second and won $1,892. Garrett rode Pretty Crazy for 82 points during the July 2 performance. It looked like the local cowboy’s score was going to hold up until Blackwell left the chute as the second to last saddle bronc rider of the Stampede.
Three more South Dakota cowboys got in the money. Chet Smith of Rapid City, 2013 winner, took fifth, Ty Manke of Rapid City took sixth and Jeremy Meeks of Scenic tied for seventh.
Tyler Berguis of Atwater, Minn., won bareback riding with a 79.5-point ride on July 2 to pocket $2,075. Jamie Howlett was the first cowboy to ride in this year’s stampede. He scored 78 points on Knobs and made $1,591. Howlett was the only South Dakotan to earn a bareback riding check.
The bulls sent more cowboys to the dirt (and mud on July 4) than they let anyone ride for eight seconds. When it was all said and done, Tyrell Van Fist of Rozet, Wyo., and Gray Essary III of Somerville, Tenn., tied for the title. Van Fisk scored his 82 points on Smokin’ Cat. Essary rode Mississippi Mud for his 82 points. The co-champs won $2,573 each. After winning the title last July, Rorey Maier of Timber Lake rode Bounty Hunter to 80 points and finished third. Maier won $1,133 for a two-year total of $3,812. Two-time Stampede champion, Riley Blankenship of Killdeer, N.D., took sixth place. Blankenship won the 2014 and 2017 titles.
Tee Burress of Piedmont and formerly of Isabel won the steer wrestling. Burress put his steer in the dirt in 4.6 seconds on July 2. The event title was worth $2,227. South Dakotans dominated the event. Cyler Dowling of Newell took second, Eli Lord of Sturgis third and Ace Berry of Rapid City tied for fourth.
Lord earned a second Stampede payout when he and Cash Hetzel of Lemmon took sixth in team roping. They were the only South Dakota cowboys to place. Britt and Jake Smith of Broken Bow, Okla., won team roping where a time of 5 seconds flat was good for $2,476.
Chance Offtedahl of Pemberton, Minn., used an 8.2-second run on July 4 to win the tie-down roping and collect $2,313. Trey Young of Dupree kept some of the calf roping money in South Dakota, taking sixth with a time of 9.3 seconds and earning $804.
The ladies had their biggest showing ever in the Stampede, not only with 91 barrel racers, but also with the debut of breakaway roping.
Nikki Hansen of Dickinson, N.D., won the barrel racing title. Hansen crossed the finish line at 17.62 seconds and made a rodeo-best $3,010 with her July 3 race. Six South Dakota cowgirls made the top 12 and earned cash, led by defending and 2012 champion Lisa Lockhart, who took eighth. Hallie Fulton of Wessington Springs took third, Emilee Pauley of Wall tied for fifth, Amanda Harris of Spearfish took seventh, Kelly Wheelhouse of Pierre 11th and Sarah Christensen of Beresford, 12th.
Tanegai Zilverberg of Holabird became the first WPRA breakaway roping champion at the Sitting Bull Stampede and she did it with style. Zilverberg wowed the Independence Day crowd by looping her calf in a super-quick 1.9 seconds. She earned $983. South Dakotans took six of the eight places with Jennifer Belkham of Blunt tying for second, Alyssa Lockhart of Oelrichs taking fourth. Hallie Fulton added to her barrel racing earnings with a sixth-place finish. Carole Hollers of Sturgis took seventh and Brenda White of Oelrichs took eighth.