By Ruth Nicolaus/for the RAM Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo committee
MINOT, N.D. – The third round of the RAM Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo hosted by the Minot Y’s Men’s Rodeo took place on Oct. 10 at the N. D. State Fair Center, and the race for Badlands buckles and a chance to qualify for the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo in Kissimmee, Fla. next April narrowed.
Berthold, N.D.’s Jon and Tisa Peek spent the summer rodeoing together, and continued it when both qualified for the Badlands Circuit Finals. And Jon, a tie-down roper, won the third round Oct. 10 with a time of 7.9 seconds.
He credited much of the success for the run to his 16-year-old horse, Saul. “It’s a testament to the horse,” he said. “We were really tight on the barrier tonight, and we’d been working on that.”
Jon spent part of the day practicing with his dad. The horse “worked really well. You can’t say much more than that.”
The sorrel horse is owned by Jon’s brother, Josh Peek, and Josh’s wife’s family; Jon, Josh, and youngest brother, Jeremiah, all share tie-down roping horses. Saul started out as Josh’s horse, but soon became a North Dakota resident.
“What Josh and I have been able to do really well is bounce horses back and forth because we have two different roping styles,” Jon Peek said. “He was really needing something different in the winter at the indoor rodeos, to handle cattle with his style. I got to roping really good with this horse, and I sent him my gray and buckskin horses.”
Swapping horses between the three brothers has its benefits. “Circulating the horses has kept them honest and true, and kept us competitive,” Jon Peek said.
Saul won the Badlands Circuit Tie-down Roping Horse of the Year. “He’s a nice, solid horse. He’s sound, he’s solid, he’s consistent,” Jon said.
Jon was the 2014 Badlands Circuit year-end champion, and this year he entered the Finals in sixth place. “This season’s been a real blessing,” he said. “I actually got to rodeo with my wife” (Tisa Kraft-Peek.) The couple married in November, and Jon moved from Williston, N.D. to Berthold. “It was a big blessing. We learned a lot about each other.”
This was Tisa’s first time to qualify for the RAM Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo. They have a seven year old son named Blu.
Other third round winners were bareback rider Casey Breuer, Mandan, N.D. (83 points), steer wrestler Evan Entze, Golden Valley, N.D. (3.9 seconds), team ropers Drew Gartner, Killdeer, N.D., and Paul Griemsman, Piedmont, S.D. (4.8 seconds), barrel racer Kaylee Gallino, Wasta, S.D. (13.89 seconds), saddle bronc rider Jesse Bail (83 points), and bull riders Abe Dillman, Grassy Butte, N.D., and Drew Antone, New Underwood, S.D. (84 points each.)
The final performance of the Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo wraps up on Sunday afternoon with a 1:30 pm matinee, with the 2016 Miss Rodeo North Dakota coronation at 1:15 pm. Badlands Circuit champions for the year-end and the average will be crowned and will qualify for the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo in Kissimmee, Florida April 7-10, 2015. For full results, visit ProRodeo.com. For rodeo information, visit MinotYsMensRodeo.com.