This last weekend concluded with the annual two-day Harding County Bulldogging School in Bowman, ND at the All Seasons Arena.
While that might not seem like much, it is a pretty big deal, as it is free. You heard right! In this day and age, that does not seem possible. About 25 kids took advantage of it. This year’s students were from Montana, South Dakota, and North Dakota and included: Nolen Smith, Jakob Long, Dylan Long, Tayson Jones, Slater Tople, Drew Ellingson, Bodie Mattson, Garrett Brewer, Brennan Graham, Sam Adams, Braden Routier, Ira Glade, Kolter Clark, Teigen Robertson, Matthew Heathershaw, Bridger Amiotte, Cayden Floyd, Cody Barnett, Victor Dennis, Tee McAmis, Chase Bickerdyke, Bradey Labrier, Tegan Spring, Gage Gilbert, & Dawson Kautzman. Steers were provided by Jace Jenson, JD Bubel, and Colt Floyd. Donations were given by The Bank of Baker, Graham Welding Service, and several parents, without anyone having to ask them. The donations are greatly appreciated and went to the barn fee, feeding the kids, and stock charges. Hazers were Taz Olson, Trig Olson, Colt Floyd, Sierra Lee, and Chuck Graham.
In the morning, the students would begin by “sliding the stick” and wrestling the “steer saver” followed by chute dogging and jumping off of the “iron horse.” After dinner the students who are ready would jump off of horses of their own or ones provided by volunteers, and the others continued chute dogging.
This school is headed up by Colt Floyd, who does it because he loves the event and loves helping others learn the correct form. Colt is a former Badlands Circuit Rodeo Champion himself. He makes sure there is enough cattle, hazers, horses, helpers, equipment, and a facility to do it in. Although he heads it up now, this free school was started many years ago when he was younger and where he got his start. Colt resides in Buffalo, SD with his wife, Robyn and three boys. This year was extra special for Colt as it was the first year his oldest son jumped off a horse.
This year’s instructors included Colt’s brother, Chason Floyd, 2017 NFR Steer Wrestling qualifier, Colt’s brother-in-law, Rollie Wilson, 7x INFR All Around Champion, Badlands Circuit Finals Champions, Brad Johnson, Taz Olson, & Matt Gilbert, as well as high school standout, Trig Olson. Doug Doll was one of the first to start this school and still brought in the iron horse and lended his great expertise. Those are just a few of those there this year. Over the years a vast amount of champions come back to help. This school gives everyone the same opportunity no matter what. Harding County is the home of many talented steer wrestlers who give credit to each other for the learning of this sport. Monkey see, monkey do, right? They don’t ask for much just a thank you and to see their students succeed by getting better year after year, which is the best payment possible. There is nothing better than a group of bulldoggers cheering as a young man wrestles his first steer to the ground. Some traditions never die and never will. Thank you to all involved in years past and this year.