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Youth Rodeo Series returns to Standing Rock

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FORT YATES, N.D. – In association with the Sitting Bull College Horsemanship program, the college’s Rodeo Club has established a Youth Rodeo Association that organizes and hosts an annual Youth Rodeo Series.

Joe Dunn is director of the Horsemanship program and advisor to the SBC Rodeo Club.

“The goal of the Youth Rodeo Association has two parts,” Dunn said. “The first is to bring intercollegiate rodeo events to the Fort Yates area and the second is to provide Sitting Bull College students with an opportunity to participate in a nationally sanctioned rodeo event.”

The rodeo series is comprised of five age divisions, including age 6 and under (Pee-Wee), ages 7-10 (Junior), ages 11-14 (Junior-Junior), ages 15-18 (Senior) and college students 18 and over (Collegiate).

Some of the events included in each rodeo are Dummy Roping, Barrel Racing, Breakaway Roping, Goat Tying, Pole Bending, Calf Roping, Team Roping, Bareback, Saddle Bronc and Bull Riding (seniors only).

“There is one special thing about this rodeo series,” Dunn said. “Our college students help organize and host the event, including the fundraising effort.”

Currently, the SBC Rodeo Club has 50 members, with a mix of community members and students who pay $25 a year for membership dues.

“The membership dues help offset the event costs,” Dunn said. “Other funders or sponsors include the Sitting Bull College Horsemanship program, Sitting Bull College Tribal Business Information Center, Luger Ranch, Chuck Bailey Ranch, Clayton Hagel, Robert Gayton, Cindy Dunn and Doug Lesher.”

In conjunction with the Rodeo Series, Dunn said the college’s Horsemanship program sponsors and hosts equine clinics throughout the year, including a colt starting workshop, ferrier clinic, a cutting clinic and a riding academy for parents and children.

“I don’t know of any other college rodeo club where students are providing rodeo activities and programs for the youth,” Dunn said. “Our rodeos attract youth from many of the surrounding communities, including Bismarck, Mandan, N.D. and Eagle Butte, Timber Lake and Mobridge S.D.”

According to Dunn, in the summer and early fall of 2009, the SBC Rodeo Club sponsored a series of four rodeos, averaging about 50 participants per rodeo.

This summer the SBC Rodeo Club hosted three rodeos, one on June 4, another on July 9, and one on Aug. 6. One more is scheduled for Sept. 3.

Each scheduled rodeo for the 2010 Youth Rodeo Series will be held at the Wild Horse Stampede Arena in Fort Yates, N.D.