Sentinel Butte, ND: The Champions Ride Saddle Bronc Match is celebrating its 63rd Anniversary this year! For more than six decades, the Match has been the premier saddle bronc competition. This event has a history of promoting the top-rated cowboys and broncs. Past champions are a Who’s Who in saddle bronc riding, including Jim Tescher, Alvin Nelson, Larry Mahan, Butch Small, Lewis Field, Brad Gjermundson, Robert Etbauer, Dan Mortensen, Ty Murray, Rod Hay, Cody Wright and Wade Sundell. Last year, Allen Boore won the Champions Ride. This was his second year in a row at claiming the title.
The Match is celebrating its 5th year as a sanctioned “extreme bronc riding” event by the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association (PRCA). Thirty-two cowboys ride a bronc and compete in the long-go round. The top 12 highest scores advance to the short-round to compete for the title and money. The prize money that a cowboy wins counts towards their earnings to qualify for the Wrangler National Finals in Las Vegas.
Special guest this year is Amberley Snyder. Amberley was born in California and competed in barrel racing, pole bending, breakaway roping and goat tying. In 2009, she qualified for the National High School Finals. She was planning a college career and on her way to the Denver Stock Show, she was in a terrible auto accident. She underwent five hours of emergency surgery, but the doctors said she would never regain the use of her legs. Amberley went on to graduate from college and earned her Master’s Degree. Amberley felt compelled to reach out and inspire people. She not only performs everyday tasks from a wheel chair, but even gets on her horse. Amberley, and her story, is an inspiration to everyone!
The Champions Ride not only has a rich history of cowboys, but also as a major fundraiser for the organization Home On The Range (HOTR). HOTR is a nonprofit organization which helps abused, neglected and traumatized teenage boys and girls. In 1957, the fledging HOTR relied heavily upon donations to care for the children. A group of cowboys got together to create the Match of Champions to raise money for Home On The Range. 63 years later, this is still the main intent of the Champions Ride.
For those who like games of chance, there’s some of that too. A live Calcutta will be Friday, August 2nd at the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame in Medora, ND. Guests will have an opportunity to bid on a cowboy’s chance of winning at the Match. If you are the winning bid on that cowboy, and he places in the top eight at the Match, you win some money back! A second Calcutta takes place during the intermission of the Match on Saturday. At this time, guests will have an opportunity to bid on the top cowboys and their skills that make the qualifying short round.
All this takes place at the Home On The Range outdoor rodeo arena. There is plenty of hillside seating so feel free to bring a blanket or lawn chair. There is some bleacher seating available. Concessions selling burgers, hot dogs, tacos in a bag, cold drinks, candy, snow cones, etc. are open from 11:00 – 3:00. Just take the Home On The Range exit, Exit #7 on Interstate 94, near Sentinel Butte, ND. The gates open at 10:00am with admission charged at the gate. For more information or advance tickets, call 701-872-3745 or visit www.hotrnd.com.
Congratulations to our 2018 Champion Allen Boore! Two years in a row!
Thank you to all our 2018 Champions Ride Sponsors:
Tee Bench Roustabouts
Blue Beacon International
4 Bears Casino
First State Bank
Western Frontier Insurance
Dakota Community Bank
Fred C. Sorenson
Edward H. Schwartz Construction
Real Presence Radio
MBI Energy Services
Bell State Bank & Trust
Farm Credit Services
Farmers Union Oil Co.
Bar JV Angus
Bank of the West
Benz Oil Company, Inc.
Special Cowboy Moments
Medora Boot & Western Wear
Western Cooperative Credit Union
Baranko Bros, Inc.
It’s wild! It’s woolly It’s western! Home On The Range has been sponsoring this unique fundraiser for over 60 years and it is going strong! The Saddle Bronc Match is a premiere event that features thirty-two of the top professional cowboys mounted on some of pro rodeo’s toughest stock from contractors in the United States and Canada. It is truly entertainment at its finest, and many have ranked it right up there with a performance of the saddle bronc riding at the National Finals Rodeo! In fact, every world champion saddle bronc rider except one has ridden at Champions Ride. The Saddle Bronc Match has now been sanctioned by PRCA for it’s 5th year!
Annually, on the first Saturday in August, spectators gather in the natural amphitheater to watch “champions ride” to benefit the children who call the ranch home. The rustic arena is nestled on the grounds of HOTR in the serene beauty of western North Dakota. Fans are truly “up close and personal” with many of the rodeo personalities they follow on TV. Champion’s Ride gives them a great opportunity to get autographs and meet many of their cowboy heroes.
The Ranch and the Rodeo have grown up together and it would be nearly impossible to separate the two and the strong western heritage they share. In 2000, Champion’s Ride was honored with the prestigious Special Achievement Award from the ND Cowboy Hall of Fame and was inducted into its ranks – only the third such event to have been honored in this way.
The rodeo itself is truly a class act, but more importantly, it brings people to Home On The Range, to see the working ranch dedicated to helping homeless, troubled, neglected and traumatized children.
Champion’s Ride is an affordable quality entertainment event for all ages. All proceeds from the event go to support the children that call Home On The Range home.
Join us for the 63rd Champion’s Ride Match on Saturday, August 3, 2019 at 1:00pm!
Websites of interest in our area:
Beach, ND www.beachnd.com
Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation www.medora.com
Medora Chamber of Commerce www.medorandchamber.com
Beach Area Chamber of Commerce www.beachndchamber.com
Dickinson Chamber of Commerce www.dickinsonchamber.org
North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame www.northdakotacowboy.com
Fraternal Order of Eagles www.foe.com
ND Knights of Columbus www.nd-kofc.org
ND Cowboy Association/Gathering Cowboy History www.gatheringcowboyhistory.com