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South Dakota Places Top Ten In National Rodeo Competition

South Dakota National qualifiers prepared for the National High School Rodeo Finals.


South Dakota has one of the top-10 high school rodeo teams in the country.?The National High School Rodeo Finals recently concluded?in Lincoln, Nebraska.? 


In addition to South Dakota’s overall 10th-place showing,?the boys’?team placed?seventh?and the girls’?team placed 22nd.?? 


South Dakota’s top individual finisher Talon?Elshere, placed second in saddle-bronc riding.?? 

“When I got off and heard my score and I was a little disappointed when I heard I was sitting second, but I would have liked to win it for sure but it was a lot better than I did last year so I’ll take it,” he said.? 


Elshere?comes from a long?line?of professional rodeo competitors, so it is only natural that he holds a pro card already. He?will attend?Clarendon?College in Texas?on a full-ride rodeo scholarship.? 


National Director of the South Dakota High School Rodeo Association Dale Christensen said the state?has some of the best rodeo athletes.?? 


“We’re not just a bunch of rough?neck cowboy hicks who are out roping and riding,” he said. “We’re good people and they’re smart kids and this is the future of America.”? 


Christensen said the athletes are building skills for the future.?? 


“They’re up at five, six in the morning feeding their horses, practicing you know. They’re in the practice pen, the team roping pen down there, the goat tying pen and they work at it.


That’s a work ethic that we’re losing I believe so that’s why I’m so excited about rodeo.”? 


There were?around?1,500?competitors at the national finals rodeo with?61?from South Dakota.??