The Perkins County Fair and Rodeo Ropes in Family Fun (VIDEO)

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With the new school season upon us, the Perkins County Fair and Rodeo gave families something fun to do before going back to the back to school routines.

By JENNIFER GARREAU

Record Editor

The Perkins County Fair and Rodeo was held Aug. 15th through the 17th in Bison.

“This is the big finale of summer before school starts,” said Tarina Kopren, Perkins County Fair Board member. “It’s an opportunity for the kids to see their friends that they haven’t seen all summer.”

Highlights of the Fair included 4-H and open class livestock and static exhibits and a free 4-H appreciation supper sponsored by Grand Electric and West River Telephone with a talent show following topping off Fridays events.

“There were fewer 4-H exhibits than we have had in the past,” said Tarina Kopren, who has served on the Fair Board for the last 20 years. “The ones we did have did a very good job.”

Kopren said the Fair Board has strived to make improvements every year to the Fair Grounds. In the last three years they have built new grandstands and made them handicapped accessible with a boardwalk and put in new bucking chutes. Their plans for next year are to make improvements to the restrooms.

Saturdays events included a horse show with stick horse races for the children following the event. A quilt show was on display in the Bentley Building and a family fun horseback play day was held in the arena. Supper was served in the Fair Building with a carcass and pie auction following the meal.

The first round of rodeo action was held Saturday evening with a Tough Enough to Wear Pink Rodeo performance which offered Mutton Busting and Steer Riding for area youth. Following the rodeo the crowd danced to Bader Horse.  A dollar of each admission for both the Rodeo performances and for the dance went to support breast cancer awareness.

“We had a very good sized crowd for the Saturday night rodeo performance,” said T.W. Schalesky, Fair Board President. “It was a much better turn out than we expected, doubling attendance from previous years. It was a beautiful night with the rodeo that started at 7 p.m. ending around 12:30 a.m.”

Sunday morning breakfast was served with a Christian Cowboy Church service following. The afternoon Rodeo performance honoring area veterans and also featured Mutton Busting and Steer Riding.

Local hero, 98 year-old, Bob Hanson, who served in the Army Calvary in World War II was honored at the performance wearing his Army Calvary hat. During his time in the Service he was taken as a prisoner of war and suffered severe injuries to his legs. Hanson was also recently honored at the Buffalo Chip during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally this year and the Buffalo Chip named their Freedom Celebration Distinguished Service Award after him.

Leismeister Bucking Stock kept the crowd on the edge of their seats. Mark Kenyon, of Hayti, S.D. won the bareback event with a score of 73 in Saturday’s performance. Bull riding contestants Jade Nixon, of Belle Fourche, S.D. and Jacob Kopp, of Mandan, N.D. both rode for a score of 74 points, tying in the event. Nixon rode in the Sunday performance and Kopp on Saturday. Travis Schroth, of Buffalo Gap, S.D. won the saddle bronc event with a high score of 74 on Sunday.

The barrel racing was a tight race with Lexus Kelsch, of McLaughlin, S.D. taking the win with a time of 16.55 seconds, but Tisa Kraft, of Berthold, N.D. was hot on her tail, taking the second place payout with a time of 16.56. Both ladies rode in the Sunday performance.

Jon Peek, of Williston, N.D. won the calf roping on Sunday, with a time of 8.10 seconds. Rickie Engesser, of Spearfish, S.D. won the goat tying also on Sunday, with a 6.50 second run. Cati Stanko, of Gordon, Neb. had a great day of roping on Saturday, winning the ladies breakaway with a quick 2.6 second time. Stanko and her mixed team roping partner Levi Tyan, of Wallace, Neb. also had the fastest time in that event, with a 5.90 second time and Tyan a time of 6.10 seconds. Elizabeth Baker, of Box Elder, S.D. shared the ladies breakaway title with Stanko, also with a 2.60 second run. Ty Thybo, of Reva, S.D. tied Tyan in the mixed team roping, also with a time of 6.10. Mike Nelson, of Phillip, S.D. won the senior men’s breakaway with a time of 2.50 seconds on Saturday. Header, Tim Nelson, of Midland, S.D. and heeler, Dalton Richter, of Quinn, S.D. won the team roping with a time of 5.90 seconds.

Lyle Smith, of Lantry, S.D. won the steer wrestling on Saturday with a 4.90 second time.

Watch videos from the Perkins County Rodeo: