DSU cowboy alums gear up for summer
By Dustin Monke, The Dickinson Press
Summer doesn’t officially begin until June 21.
But the summer rodeo season officially gets cracking this weekend when the North Dakota Rodeo Association kicks off its 2010 schedule and area pros hit the road for extended trips.
It’s enough to get typically reserved saddle bronc rider Dusty Hausauer a little giddy.
“When you don’t have any days off and you’re getting on one (bronc) every day, you can sure get on a roll,” said Hausauer, a Dickinson native and a former National Finals Rodeo qualifier. “It’s kind of a time of year you start looking forward too. All winter you look forward to hitting some every day instead of just one, two, three a weekend.”
Hausauer and Dickinson’s Shaun Stroh, last year’s NFR champion, head to Canada on Thursday for three weekend rodeos and then back down to the states for more action, including two days at the Reno (Nev.) Rodeo, before returning to Canada.
Both cowboys need the opportunities too.
While Stroh is fourth in the world standings with $43,175 earned this year, he’s still a good $27,500 behind leader Rod Hay. Hausauer, meanwhile, climbed back to 20th in the world over the weekend with $16,428 in earnings.
Hausauer said he feels like he can get in more of a groove when he’s on the road all the time. Last year, an injury set him back and sent him home, causing him to miss out on the NFR.
“Now we kind of get in the pickup and stay in there,” Hausauer said. “It seems like when you’re getting on every day, I seem to like it a lot better.”
While Hausauer and Stroh head to another country looking for cash, area cowboys and cowgirls will head to Elgin on Saturday and Sunday for the North Dakota Rodeo Association season opener.
Several area contestants compete in both the PRCA Badlands Circuit along with the several amateur rodeo associations.
High school contestants have the chance to take the weekend off and rest up for next weekend’s North Dakota High School Rodeo Association state finals. But that probably won’t happen since Elgin and the Roughrider Rodeo Association’s White Earth Rodeo in Tioga will likely draw several of them.
Former Dickinson State rodeo coach Scott Kleeman, who won the NDRA steer wrestling last season and competes in the Badlands Circuit, said he’s ready to immerse himself in the sport this summer.
“This is what you wait for all winter,” Kleeman said. “… I’m going to see if I can get back to the (PRCA) Circuit finals. It’d be nice to do that again. I’d like to get back to the circuit finals and have another shot at that.”
r Last weekend, Jori Gjermundson gained a little ground on her cousin Sadie Gjermundson in the NDHSRA girls all-around standings. Sadie still has the lead with 242.5 season points but Jori made a nine-point gain at the Central Dakota Rodeo in Bismarck at the New Salem Rodeo to move up to 232.5 points.
r Hailey Schaper of Grassy Butte moved into second place in the NDHSRA goat tying standings heading into next weekend’s state finals with a win in 8.02 seconds at Sunday’s New Salem Rodeo. She is four points behind leader Whitney Eckroth of Flasher.
Monke is the Sports Editor of The Dickinson Press. Read his blog at www.areavoices.com/monke. If you have any rodeo news or story tips, contact him at 701-456-1213 or through his e-mail address listed at the top of this story.