Bronc power key to local rodeo

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Jade Blackwell, one of the top saddle bronc riders in the Badlands Circuit, rides Fettig Pro Rodeo’s On the Bay in Killdeer, North Dakota, on Sept. 3. He is one of 24 bronc riders who have put their names in the hat to compete at the Wild Rides Rodeo Dickinson on Saturday.

DICKINSON, N.D. – This part of the country knows a thing or two about rodeo.

It’s part of the fabric that makes up western North Dakota, where ranchlands and agriculture are everyday life. It stems from 4H and FFA programs and builds into a passion, a dream and a sport, the most popular of all Western sports.

This is where Fettig Pro Rodeo was founded decades ago and why Alicia Fettig still carries the flag and a large herd of incredible bucking animals. She’s ready to show it all off during the Wild Rides Rodeo Dickinson, set for 2:30 pm. Saturday, Sept. 18, at the Stark County Fairgrounds in Dickinson.

“This is special to me because this is where I’m from,” said Fettig, who owns a ranch just outside of Killdeer and also runs horses on her family’s property just south of Golden Valley, North Dakota. “This is what my grandfather founded so many years ago, and I’m glad that I can carry on that tradition.”

Wild Rides Rodeo Dickinson is a one-day rodeo, with competition beginning Saturday morning. There are hundreds of cowboys and cowgirls who have tossed their names in the hat to compete for the prize money available.

That money is vital. In rodeo, dollars equal points, and only the top 15 on the money list in each event when the regular season concludes Sept. 30 will advance to the National Finals Rodeo, the sport’s grand finale that takes place at Las Vegas and December; it’s where the world champions for 2021 will be crowned.

The Dakotas is well known for its prowess in rodeo, especially saddle bronc riding, which will feature 24 cowboys all battling for that Dickinson title. They’ll be matched with an impressive squadron of Fettig horses, but the contractor is doing one better: Fettig is also bringing in Alberta-based Macza Pro Rodeo, which has been recognized for having some of the best horses in ProRodeo.

In fact, Macza’s Get Smart was named the 2019 Saddle Bronc of the Year, just a few months removed from being named the top bronc at the 2018 NFR.

“I’m really thankful that Ward (Macza) was able to come here and stay here to bring horses to these rodeos,” Fettig said, noting that Macza and Pete Carr Pro Rodeo had animals featured at the two days of rodeo in Killdeer earlier in the month. “He’s got some really great bucking horses, and that just helps make our rodeo better.”

The combined forces and bronc power is a big reason so many top contenders in saddle bronc riding will make their way to Dickinson on Saturday. That includes Dusty Hausauer, an NFR qualifier, who has a great chance to win his hometown rodeo.


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