Badlands Circuit bucking horses, bulls honored for their athletic ability | Local sports


MINOT, ND – The 2021 Badlands Tour’s Stock of the Year was chosen for his ability in the rodeo arena.

The Bareback Bronc of the Year went to # 41 Pop A Top, owned by Fettig Pro Rodeo. The Saddle Bronc of the Year was awarded to # 747 South Point, of Sutton Rodeo Co., and the Bull of the Year honors were split between two animals: # 86C Rock N Roll Fantasy, Sutton Rodeo Co .; and # 55 Flanigan, from Bailey Pro Rodeo.

Pop A Top is a ranch-bred bay stallion bred at Waagen Ranch near Bottineau, North Dakota. Fettig Pro Rodeo, Killdeer, ND

This year was the third time the stud has been selected to compete in the Badlands Circuit Finals rodeo, and in December it will be their second participation in the Wrangler National Finals rodeo. At Wrangler NFR 2021, Tim O’Connell won the fourth round over him.

“It makes a nice big circle to the left,” Fettig said. The judges often award him 21 or 22 points out of 25 possible. “He’s flashy,” she said. “He’s just a beautiful horse” that does the same bucking pattern every time.

Pop A Top is a bit arrogant, Fettig said, but when he goes up in the bucking chute he gets to work. “His ears are clicking and he waits for this door to open.”

In saddle horse riding, a Sutton horse is repeated as the winner of the Badlands Circuit award.

No. 747 South Point won the award for the fifth time.

The 14 year old gelding, a bay, has led saddle bronc riders to over 90 points and has won Extreme Bronc matches in recent years.

Former bareback bronc, Steve Sutton, Onida, SD, said the horse has never had a bad turn. “You wait for a horse to have a bad trip, and we haven’t seen it in 14 years yet,” he said of South Point.

Like Pop a Top, South Point is a deal and a stalemate, Sutton said, although it has improved a bit. “There were a few years you had to be a really good cowboy to put a halter on him in the bucking chute. There are cowboys who attacked him four or five times, and they said they still didn’t have a good measure (on the reins.) He never lets them.

Two sires tied for the Badlands Sire of the Year honor.

No. 55 Flanigan, owned by Bailey Pro Rodeo, Karlsruhe, ND; and # 86C Rock N Roll Fantasy, owned by Sutton Rodeo Co., shared the victory.

Flanigan, a 6-year-old red bull, has fought off all but three of the riders this year, and of those three, two of them won first place over him.

The bull spins to the left every time, and if a cowboy can get the buzz on him, “they’ll make money on him,” said Shane Gunderson, co-owner of Bailey Pro Rodeo.

The bull is not difficult to manage in the paddocks, Gunderson said. “It’s pretty cool to be there, and if you have a feed bucket you can’t keep it out of your pocket.”

Flanigan was raised at Weinberger Ranch near Breien, North Dakota. It was the second time that the bull had been chosen to fight at the Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo.

Sutton’s Rock N Roll Fantasy was purchased by Steve Sutton at the Benny Binion Bucking Horse and Bull sale at the age of 3.

Now 8 years old, the black bull does not allow many riders to take qualified walks. “In the last couple of years he’s really found a pattern and he’s catching up to about 80 percent (of bull riders). He’s not the type to go upstairs; it’s just fast. If you fall behind him, he will push you back.

In the paddocks or in the pasture, Rock N Roll Fantasy always seems to have its eyes on whoever is there, Sutton said. “He always had an attitude. Every time you look at him, he looks at you. He’s looking at you. “

The 2021 Badlands Circuit Finals rodeo took place in Minot from October 8-10, with the Badlands Circuit champions crowned and RAM National Circuit Finals rodeo qualifiers determined. You can find more information at

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