KILLDEER, N.D. – When Ty Breuer left his home Friday afternoon, he said goodbye to his wife, Kelli, and three children, knowing full well that he won’t see them much, if at all, for the rest of the month.
He had put his name in the hat to compete at 24 rodeos in 29 days, so his month of September means many miles and a lot of time on the road. He has a goal to qualify for the National Finals Rodeo for the seventh time in his career – he earned his sixth bid last year but was unable to compete at ProRodeo’s grand finale because of an injury.
Now, though, the Mandan, North Dakota, cowboy has a bit of work to do. He entered this week of rodeo 22nd in the world standings, but only the top 15 on the money list at the conclusion of the regular season on Sept. 30 will advance to the NFR, set for Dec. 1-11 in Las Vegas.
He took a step forward Friday night by winning the bareback riding title at the Wild Rides Rodeo Killdeer with an 87-point ride on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Roxanne. That was worth $1,415 and helped close the gap to earn his spot.
“I’m doubled up here and there, so I’m going to have to pick and choose (which horse to ride) at some of them, but I’m going to try to make the rest that I can,” said Breuer, who pushed his season earnings past $44,000.
With just four weeks left in the regular season, he sits on the bubble, knowing it’s make-it-or-break-it time if he’s going to advance to the richest rodeo in the world, which features a $10 million purse and pays go-round winners more than $27,000 per night for 10 rounds.
“I’ve been in this situation a couple of times, and every time it’s come out to work in my favor,” he said. “Hopefully it does again this year. The main thing is that there are so many highs and lows this month that a guy can’t get on the lows, because if you get on that low spell, you’ll keep going down. You’ve got to stay on that high spell even if you don’t do good. You’ve just to go on to the next one and give it everything you’ve got.
“I think if a guy can keep placing and drawing good horses at the rest of these rodeos, he’s going to have a shot to get in there, but it’s going to take some luck, too.”
This rodeo is also unique in that it’s the last event for the Badlands Circuit’s regular season, so earnings here can help Breuer collect all-important cash to try to win the year-end championship again; he’s done it several times over the years. The circuit is made up of cowboys and events primarily in the region, which consists of North Dakota and South Dakota.
“It seems like if a guy can get within $1,000 of the leader going into the circuit finals, you can catch them once you get there,” Breuer said, noting the Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo will take place Oct. 8-10 in Minot, North Dakota. “I think I’m pretty close to that now.
“It’s always nice to come to a rodeo close to home.”
Killdeer, a community of less than 1,000 people in western North Dakota, is just two hours from the cowboy’s home. He may have said goodbye to his wife and kids that afternoon, but he was allowed a little more time with his parents and grandfather while in Dunn County.
“It was actually pretty fun,” he said. “My dad, my grandpa and me drove up here in the van together and visited the whole way up and never even turned the radio on. That’s what I enjoyed the most about it.”
Over the next four weeks, those visits will be done with phone calls or FaceTime chats, so he may as well enjoy whatever he can get, and it may have been the perfect thing to spark a solid run of competition.
Wild Rides Rodeo Killdeer
Sept. 3, 2021
Killdeer, North Dakota
Bareback riding: 1. Ty Breuer, 87 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Roxanne, $1,415; 2. Tanner Aus, 86, $1,072; 3. Nate McFadden, 81, $772; 4. Clay Jorgenson, 85, $515; 5. Tyler Berghuis, 74, $300; 6. Tucker Zingg, 73, $214.
Breakaway roping: 1. (tie) Morgan Foss and Talli Pokomy, 2.1 seconds, $1,475 each; 3. (tie) Amber Carson, Lacey Hewitt and Jackie Crawford, 2.2, $961 each; 6. (tie) Sarah Verhelist, Brooklyn Berg, Rickie Engesser and Taylor Munsell, 2.3, $257 each.
Steer wrestling: 1. Sterling Lee, 3.9 seconds, $1,247; 2. (tie) Logan Lemmel and Tyler Thorson, 4.0, $925 each; 4. Tyler Byrne, 4.2, $602; 5. (tie) Carson Good, Colby Anders and Danger Wheeler, 4.3, $201 each.
Team roping: 1. Braden Pirrung/Coley Nicholis, 5.7 seconds, $1,663; 2. Caden Camp/Delon Parker, 5.8, $1,376; 3. Reece Weber/Matt Kasner, 6.1, $1,089; 4. Chasyn Ystaas/Chad Ystaas, 7.7, $803; 4. Brady Tryan/Justin Viles, 9.8, $516; 6. (tie) Cooper Brott/Riley Wakefield and Guy Howell/Levi O’Keeffe, 10.7, $145 each.
Saddle bronc riding: 1. Cole Elshere, 83 points on Fettig pro Rodeo’s U B Rockin, $1,740; 2. (tie) Ty Manke, Tate Thybo and Jacob Kammerer, 79.5, $967 each; 5. Cash Wilson, 77, $369; 6. Chuck Schmidt, 76.5, $264.
Tie-down roping: 1. Cody Darnell, 7.0 seconds, $1,329; 2. Myles Kenzy, 7.6, $1,100; 3. Kane Gjermundson, 8.0, $871; 4. Thane Lockhart, 8.2, $642; 5. Lane Day, 8.5, $412; 6. Trey Young, 9.0, $229.
Barrel racing: 1. Kailee Webb, 17.05 seconds, $889; 2. Jessica Routier, 17.26, $762; 3. Summer Kosel, 17.34, $635; 4. Terri Kaye Kirkland, 17.37, $551; 5. Lindsay Kruse, 17.41, $423; 6. Lakken Bie, 17.48, $339; 7. Ashley Day, 17.69, $254; 8. Ellie Bard, 17.70, $169; 9. Lindsey Horner, 17.74, $127; 10. (tie) Kristi Steffis and TK Leibrand, 17.75, $42 each. Bull riding: 1. Jeff Bertus, 82 points on Macza Pro Rodeo’s Who Done It, $2,634; 2. Corey Maier, 81, $2,244; no other qualified rides.