For the Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo, hosted by the Minot Y’s Men’s RodeoMinot rodeo ensures safe ground conditions for horses, bulls at Y’s Men’s Rodeo
Minot, N.D. (September 28, 2020) – Blood is thicker than water, they say, and horses and
rodeo is thicker than most… or at least stronger in holding family members together.
Among the 113 cowboys and cowgirls competing at the 2020 RAM Badlands Circuit
Finals in Minot, there are six groups of family members: brothers, fathers and sons, a
cousin, nephew and uncle, and husband and wife.
For bull riding brothers Ardie and Corey Maier, of Timber Lake, S.D., they’ve been
traveling to rodeos together, along with younger brother Rorey, for all of their adult lives.
Brothers don’t mince words, Corey said, noting they spur each other on to a higher level
of competition. Brothers “aren’t going to let you get lazy on the road,” he said. “They
hold you to a higher standard. If you don’t ride up to par, you’re going to hear about it.”
The brothers are very competitive, especially with each other. “You’re always going to
try to outride them,” he said. “You darn sure don’t want to win second anytime, but with
a brother, you definitely don’t want to end up second to your brother.”
Ardie, who is forty years old, has qualified for the Badlands Circuit Finals at least eight
times and the Texas Circuit Finals a couple of times. The brothers lived together in
Brock, Texas, for a few years. Corey, who is 35 years old, has been to the Badlands
Circuit Finals six times.
Another brother team comes into Minot in first place in their event.
Brothers Tucker and Cooper White, Hershey, Neb., team rope together. They’re having
the best season of their rodeo careers, having cemented their lead with wins at Fourth of
July circuit rodeos.
Tucker, who is 27, and Cooper, who is four years younger, roped together as kids and
fought like kids do. Now they may argue, but it ends when they’re in the arena. “We can
dicker back and forth, but when the gates crack, we both see blood,” Cooper said. “When
you win with your brother, it’s pretty special.”
Tucker is a graduate of Hastings (Neb.) College. Cooper is in his last year of college at
Otero Junior College in La Junta, Colo.
It’s a father/son duo for steer wrestlers Jason and Riley Reiss.
Jason has competed at about a dozen circuit finals, he estimates, and son Riley has
traveled with him since he was a kid, and has learned from his dad. “It’s good traveling
with Riley because he takes everything in, and he learns,” Jason said. “He’s been
traveling with me since he could walk, and he loves it.”
Last year, the two traveled together a lot, competing at North Dakota Rodeo Association
rodeos, and finishing the year as champion (Jason) and reserve champion (Riley). This
year, Riley didn’t go to as many NDRA rodeos because he was competing in college
rodeos. He’s in his second year at Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne,
Wyo., studying business and entrepreneurship. If Jason is around, he hazes for his son.
“I’m really comfortable with him (as a hazer),” Riley said. “He’s hazed more steers for
me than anyone else.”
The entire Reiss clan will make the trip from Manning, N.D. to Minot: Jason’s wife (and
Riley’s mom) Tina, their older daughter and her three daughters. The hotel swimming
pool is a big draw, Jason said. The granddaughters “can’t wait to go.”
Team ropers Jade Nelson, his dad Tim Nelson, and Jake Nelson, Jade’s cousin and Tim’s
nephew, will also be in Minot. Jade and Tim hail from Midland, S.D.; Jake is from
Jake will team rope with his uncle; Jade will rope with Jade Schmidt.
Family is a great encouragement, Jake said. “We damn sure cheer each other on,” he said,
“and hang out together. It’s a nice vacation for all of us.” Jake and his wife Trista have
three daughters, ages eleven, six and four, “so we spend a lot of time at the pool.” Tim’s
wife Denise will also be at circuit finals.
Other family members competing together in Minot October 9-11 include father and son
J.B. and Eli Lord, Sturgis, S.D., both in the team roping and Eli in the steer wrestling; and
husband and wife Matt and Kristen Zancanella, Aurora, S.D., he in the team roping and
she in the barrel racing.
The Minot Y’s Men’s Rodeo hosts the Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo October 9-11 at the
State Fair Center in Minot. Performances begin at 7 pm on Oct. 9, at 6 pm on Oct. 10,
and at 1:30 pm on Oct. 11. The Sunday matinee is Military Appreciation and First
Responders Day, sponsored by EPIC Companies, Spicy Pie, Bud Light, Pepsi and the
North Dakota State Fair. Discounted tickets are available at Spicy Pie in Minot.
Tickets are available online at www.MinotYsMensRodeo.com. For more information,
visit the website.
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Brothers Cooper (on the left) and Tucker White will team rope together at the 66th annual
Minot Y’s Men’s Rodeo. The Nebraska men enter the rodeo in first place in the Badlands
Circuit standings. Photo courtesy Tucker White.
Eli Lord (left) and his dad, J.B., will both compete at the Minot Y’s Men’s Rodeo Oct. 9th – 11th. The men, both from Sturgis, S.D., are perennial competitors at the rodeo. Photo
courtesy JB Lord.
Jason Reiss (on the left) and his son Riley will both steer wrestle at the upcoming Minot
Y’s Men’s Rodeo, to be held Oct. 9th-11th. The father-son duo is from Manning, N.D. Photo
courtesy Craig Maley