The Black Hills Stock Show (BHSS) & Rodeo is the second largest event in the state of South Dakota following the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. An estimated attendance of 331,000 people attended the ten day event held annually the last weekend in January to the first weekend in February in Rapid City.
Posted February 14, 2014
By Lori Kesinger
The Black Hills Stock Show (BHSS) & Rodeo is the second largest event in the state of South Dakota following the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. An estimated attendance of 331,000 people attended the ten day event held annually the last weekend in January to the first weekend in February in Rapid City. One of the stock show’s most popular events, the Ranch Rodeo, was held Feb. 4 and was won by a team from eastern Montana for the second year in a row.
The team, Draggin’ 3 Performance Horses, consists of the founder Don Selle, now retired, of Baker, Andy Selle of Baker, Spike Buffington of Miles City, Dusty Buffington of Miles City, and Jake Poppe of Fallon. They have competed at the Stock Show for many years and all over eastern Montana.
The Draggin’ 3 four-man team was automatically entered into the finals by their 2013 BHSS ranch rodeo win, but competed in three preliminary events against 63 other teams for prize money. The preliminary events included steer loading – where contestants had to load selected stock cattle into a stock trailer located in the center of the arena; range doctoring – teamwork of two horseback ropers, one teammate on the ground and a designated “doctor” had to sort out selected cattle, herd them across a timeline, rope them and give them a simulated vaccination; and stray gathering – four horseback riders had to rope two pre-selected steers and tie a bottom and front leg up on both head of cattle. The Draggin’ 3 team placed second in the preliminary round.
Twelve teams advanced to the finals to compete in five events. A trailer relay required four contestants to exit a pickup, mount horses for a relay race with each rounding the arena and reloading their horses. Time was called when all the contestants climbed into the pickup and flashed their headlights to signal time. Rope-mug-tying, like the range doctoring event, required contestants to rope, bulldog the pre-selected steer and tie three legs. In stray gathering, four horseback riders had to rope two pre-selected steers and tie a bottom and front leg up on both head of cattle. In wild cow milking, teams combined their talents of roping both the head and heels of a cow and milk it. The milker then removed the heel rope and sprinted to the judge with both the bottle of milk and the removed rope. The final event was the wild bronc ride in which contestants rode in a stock saddle rather than a bronc saddle. The rider was required to ride for six seconds, a mounted team member then caught the wild bronc and the remaining team members helped the rider dismount and unsaddle the horse. All events had a two minute time limit. The Draggin’ 3 team had the fastest accumulated time over the five events and placed first in rope-mug-tying and wild cow milking, second in bronc riding, third in the trailer race, and fourth in stray gathering.
The Draggin’ 3 Performance Horses team was crowned the 2014 BHSS Ranch Rodeo champion and won saddles, coats, hats, cash, and a traveling team trophy. With this year’s win, they will automatically go into the finals for 2015.