Tis the rodeo season……
One more dose of recognition for the Sheridan College Rodeo Team that had its best-ever finish in the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper in June. The SC team finished fourth in the nation, competing against 60 schools, many of them four-year institutions.
Taygen Schuelke’s two top-five finishes in saddle bronc riding and bull riding gave him 415 points, an all-around national champion. Schuelke, 21, from Newell, South Dakota, is only the fourth national champion in the history of SC and the first in almost 20 years.
• Chris LeDoux: 1969, bareback bronc riding.
• Wally Badget: 1971, bull riding.
• Paul Sandal: 1995, saddle bronc riding.
• Taygen Schuelke: 2014, all-around.
Teammate Zeke Thurston, 19, from Hyannis, Nebraska, finished second in the saddle bronc riding and together with Schuelke, earned 690 points, just 65 points behind the national champion team, the University of Tennessee-Martin.
“This is a big deal for the college,” said Zane Garstad, director of the Sheridan WYO Rodeo, director of SC admissions and a former professional rodeo cowboy. “It lifts the SC rodeo program and the community.”
Both Schuelke and Thurston, along with Devan Reilly of Sheridan are signed up to compete in the forthcoming Sheridan WYO Rodeo. Reilly is a member of the Gillette College rodeo team.
The SC rodeo team is coached by Marc Gilkerson, himself a competitor at the CNFR in 1994. “I told them (Schuelke and Thurston) to do what got them there,” Gilkerson told The Sheridan Press June 24. “These are good kids. To them, it was just another rodeo.”
The Sheridan WYO Rodeo is July 5 to July 13 at the Sheridan County Fairgrounds. This year’s theme: “Where the West is 1.”
Bill Bradshaw stopped in Tuesday at the Press offices. Bill’s the longtime mover-and-shaker at one of the best music events around, the Big Horn Mountain Music Festival, now in its 10th year. Top bluegrass talent always perform, including a favorite, Houston Jones. To see the entire lineup of talent: www.bighornmusicfestival.com. It’s also where you can get tickets, or at the gate — single day tickets, or a three-day pass ($85).
There will be a slew of activities for the family, the kids, various banjo, mandolin and fiddle competitions, jam sessions — the whole magilla. Good stuff, this. (Bring a lawn chair.)
It’s July 11-13 at the Johnson County Fairgrounds in Buffalo.
It’s a busy July, eh? Fourth of July activities. Rodeo. Bluegrass festival. Longmire Days in Buffalo (July 18-20).