For the Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo, hosted by the Minot Y’s Men’s Rodeo
WHY NOT MINOT
Rodeo bucking bull promoted the city of Minot, the state, and the sport of rodeo across
Minot, N.D. (September 8, 2020) – A special bucking bull used to represent the state of
North Dakota, and the Minot Y’s Men’s Rodeo.
Why Not Minot, a small red bull, was North Dakota born and a good rodeo bull.
In 1994, the Y’s Men’s chairman, Ken Anderson, had the idea to buy a bull and name it
with the unique name, in order to promote the rodeo, the city and the state.
Anderson approached stock contractor Harry Vold, who, at that time, was contracted to
provide the bucking horses and bulls for the Y’s Men’s Rodeo, and was a well-respected
businessman in the industry. Vold thought a quality bull would cost $10,000, and he’d be
willing to pay half of the amount.
Within an hour, the Minot Y’s Men, either personally or through their businesses, had
raised $5,000 towards the price of a bull.
Vold went to a North Dakota stock contractor, Wayne Eckroth, of Flasher, N.D. Eckroth
was known for good bucking bulls, and had one, #311, who was named Paranoid. As a
three-year-old, the bull was selected to buck at the N.D. Rodeo Association (NDRA)
Finals, and a year later, was the Rough Rodeo Association Bull of the Year and the
NDRA Co-Bull of the Year.
Vold bought #311 and renamed him Why Not Minot. He took him to rodeos across the
nation, and every time the announcer listed his name, the animal promoted his home
The bull qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo four years (1998-2001), and
could be a tough ride, but if the bull rider made the eight seconds, he could be a lot of
points. In the 1998 WNFR’s first round, Tony Mendes finished second place on Why Not
Minot, with a score of 85 points. In the 2000 WNFR, Lee Akin was 88 points to win the
The bull also bucked at other big rodeos, like the Cheyenne Frontier Days, where, in
1994, he and rider Brian Herman, also a North Dakotan, scored 94 points, an arena record
which still stands today. He bucked at PBR events, where his rider often scored in the
upper eighties and lower nineties, and at the Y’s Men’s Rodeo as well.
The bull did a good job of promoting the state, said Max Weppler, Y’s Men’s Rodeo
committee member. “He represented the Y’s Men and Harry Vold well, but he also did a
fine job of representing the state of North Dakota and the sport of rodeo.”
Harry Vold passed away three years ago, but his daughter, Kirsten, remembers her dad
telling her the bull was probably the best bull they’d ever hauled. Rodeo producer
Bradley Brettin saw the bull buck multiple times, and said, “he was outstanding. Wayne
(Eckroth) has raised several good bulls, but Why Not Minot was one of the best, if not
the best, Wayne had ever raised.”
The bull had a big heart, Weppler said. “There was no denying the fact, that, come rain or
shine, with thousands of miles underneath him, you could still count on him bucking,” he
In 2002, the bull bucked for the last time, at the Y’s Men’s Rodeo. His last trip was like
many of his other trips: the cowboy was dumped on the second or third jump, and Why
Not Minot trotted to the end of the arena, turned and came back halfway, stopped to look
around, as if to say, “how about that!” and trotted back to the pen.
Vold had his own ties to North Dakota; the Canadian, who settled in Colorado as an
adult, had parents who were raised in Ellendale, N.D.
The bull passed away in 2003.
Weppler has nominated the bull for the N.D. Cowboy Hall of Fame.
This year’s Minot Y’s Men’s Rodeo is October 9-11 at the N.D. State Fair Center. It is
three performances, with the first on Fri., Oct. 9 at 7 pm, the second on Sat., Oct. 10 at 6
pm, and the final performance on Sunday, Oct. 11 at 2 pm.
Tickets are available online at www.MinotYsMensRodeo.com. For more information,
visit the website.
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An unidentified cowboy rides Why Not Minot at the Cheyenne (Wyo.) Frontier Days.
The bull, owned first by Wayne Eckroth of Flasher, N.D., was purchased by PRCA stock
contractor Harry Vold and renamed Why Not Minot, to promote the city, the state, and
the sport of rodeo.