September 9, 2009

NDRA Championship Rodeo rides into town this weekend

By Tina Foreman
Farmer Staff Writer

It’s coming. Polish your boots and grab your hats, the rodeo is coming to Watford City!
McKenzie County residents are in for a special treat when the NDRA Championship Rodeo rides into Watford City on Sept. 11 and 12 with nightly performances at 7 p.m. This isn’t just another rodeo. It’s the best of the best competing to see who will be crowned the 2009 NDRA Champion.
Even if you’re not a big rodeo fan, you won’t want to miss the local cowboys and cowgirls as they head into their last ride before the champions are announced.
“This is my eighth time qualifying for the finals and it’s a good feeling,” says Ian Pennington, Squaw Gap Bull Rider. “Being in an arena close to home makes things more exciting. I tend to do better when I know the crowd is full of people I know, because falling off in front of people you know is a lot harder then doing it when only a few people in the crowd know you.”
North Dakota cowboys and cowgirls from Barrel Racers to Bull Riders have been working hard all year to qualify for this rodeo. The top 10 participants in each NDRA category will compete each night with the champions being crowned after Saturday night’s performance.
“It’s been a pretty good year, but I’m not ranked that high up in the standings,” says Steven Johnston, Watford City bronc rider. “I’m hoping to have fun and draw some good horses and put on some good rides.”
While the NDRA Championship Rodeo is the main event of the weekend, it’s not the only rodeo event. Championship Team Roping will be held on Saturday, Sept. 12 at the fairgrounds outdoor arena with registration at 9 a.m. and roping action beginning at 10. If that’s not enough to keep you busy, you can also check out the High School Rodeo in the Multi-Purpose Building on Saturday at 8 a.m.
And, don’t forget your dancing shoes, because ‘Lonesome Willy’ will be playing both nights following the rodeo performances.
Tickets for the NDRA Finals can be purchased at the door for $35 a family or adults $12. Tickets for children nine to 16 are $8 while children eight and under are free.