Fans in Killdeer, Dickinson will get a glimpse of it in September
KILLDEER, N.D. – When Alicia Fettig looks across the pasture at her herd of bucking horses, she smiles a bit and knows she’s in the right place.
Only the best stock contractors in the sport of rodeo test the talents of their animal athletes at the PRCA level, and Fettig is there. She takes tremendous pride in what she has, whether they’re palomino or bay, whether they’re mares, geldings or stallions.
They’ve bucked all across the country, from Houston and San Angelo in Texas to Denver and the National Finals Rodeo. If all goes well, there will be more Fettig broncs bucking at rodeos all across this land and on the biggest stages of the game.
Many of those animals will be put into action at the Badlands Iron Cowboy Rodeo, set for 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 2, or the Wild Rides Rodeo Killdeer, which takes place at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 3. Both events will take place at the Killdeer Rodeo Grounds. There’s also a great chance a number of those bucking beasts will return to action for the Wild Rides Rodeo Dickinson, set for 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 18, at the Stark County Fairgrounds in Dickinson.
“I think, overall, we’ve got a really nice herd of horses, and I think we’re just going to keep getting stronger,” said Fettig, owner of Killdeer-based Fettig Pro Rodeo. “For the two events in Killdeer, I’m going to bring in Macza Pro Rodeo and Pete Carr Pro Rodeo as sub-contractors just because I want to have the very best animals for those two nights.
“I think even for people from around here, those that know rodeo so well, they’re really going to enjoy the horsepower we’ll have in Killdeer.”
Like all great teams, there are a few that stand out. For Fettig, that includes bareback horses Colorado Bulldog and Pop A Top, two animals that have been selected to perform at the NFR. It’s a particularly high honor, since the top 15 bareback riders select the 100 horses they believe are the best in the PRCA that year.
Colorado Bulldog has been to the NFR for a few years already.
“When I looked at the list of horses for our first-round pen, that horse stood out,” Mason Clements said in 2018 after he matched moves with the buckskin gelding for 86.5 points to finish second in the first of 10 rounds. “I was pleased to get on him, and it turned out well.”
Pop A Top has been exceptional over the last dozen months. In April, Garrett Shadboldt rode the bay stallion for 85 points to place at the San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo.
“That was definitely the horse you wanted to have, and I was excited to see my name next to his (on the random draw),” Shadbolt said. “That horse is really well built. Just looking at him, you know he’s going to be fun to ride.”
“When he went straight across the arena, I was just having fun. When he made the corner, his speed picked up but was still just as strong. That does increase the degree of difficulty.”
In Pop A Top’s first trip to the NFR last December, three-time world champion Tim O’Connell handled all the difficulty the horse could muster. The two danced across the Globe Life Field dirt for 90.5 points to win the fourth round in Arlington, Texas, the one-time home of ProRodeo’s grand finale.
“I had a great horse underneath me,” he said. “It gave me an opportunity to show off and show out, and that’s exactly what I wanted. I knew he was going to be a shot, especially when I saw him. He’s a really built, thicker stud with a shorter back and a little bit smaller. I’d seen him buck, and he’s so electric. He really gave it to me that first jump out of the chute. He fed it right back to me, and I fed it right back to him.
“After about that second spur stroke, I knew he was going to take the spur stroke I was going to put to him, so I just let it go after that.” There’s one thing the cowboys have learned; when it comes quality bucking horses, the Fettig brand is in a good place.