Phillips County News - One Nation, Under God

By Mark Hebert

Boots and chaps and cowboy hats

Phillips County Fair Youth Rodeo gave little buckaroos time to shine


August 15, 2018

Mark Hebert

Roan Ereaux's mutton busting attempt at the Youth Rodeo. Ereaux would end up going rear-end over teakettle on the ride, landing him with bumps and bruises and inside a Phillips County ambulance where he told the PCN "it was fun" while being bandaged up.

Of the 17 events held at the Youth Rodeo on Thursday night of the Phillips County Fair, none got the rodeo fans on-hand out of their seats as much as the mutton busting competition, and arguably no ride was as dramatic - nor successful - as Roan Ereaux's.

"I was doing good, going straight and then (the sheep) flipped over and I got a whole bunch of dirt in my mouth," the 6-year-old, Hays, Mont., said. Ereaux, who conducted his interview from the back of a Phillips County Ambulance while EMT Justin Lamb cleaned a cut on his face, said that the night's dirt was not the first he had ever eaten as he is an old-hand at mutton busting.

"I've been doing this since I was three and I have won five buckles," Ereaux said.

Ereaux scored the first-place ride at the Youth Rodeo ahead of the mutton flipping over and on top of him. Ereaux told the PCN that the best rodeo he has competed in was Oklahoma and said his trip to the ambulance was his first ever.

Two bareback races were held ahead of the scheduled events on the night and Malta's Charlee Rhodes competed in the later, but ahead of the event, she wasn't sure how she would fare at the fair.

"This is the first time I have been in this kind of race, and I have been practicing, but mostly I just want to have fun," she said.

When the racers neared the finish line, the lead horse shied away from finishing and Dodson's Caleb Ditmar raced to a dramatic first-place finish.

"The girl's horse spooked-off, slowed another horse down while I was fighting for second and third," Ditmar said. "I thought I was going to get blown away ... then I caught up and I was going for a second, but that's God's plan right there."

As the first night of the Phillips County Fair came to a close, the Junior Bull Riding portion of the night revved up. Dodson's Alex Werk has found success at several similar events across Montana this summer, so it was with high hopes that he crawled atop his bull in his hometown. Werk, who has been bull riding for the past four years, has won the last five competitions he's entered before earning the only score on the night for the win in Dodson.

"I just hang on and keep winning," Werk said. "Tonight, he didn't buck too much."

Werk, who enters the eighth-grade next year at Dodson School, said the key to his success is simple.

"I just clear my mind and do it," he said.

Rodeo Stats:

Mutton Busting: 1st Roan Ereaux, $75. 2nd KJ Fetter. $45. 3rd Derek Stiffarm, $30.

Barrel Racing 14-18: 1st Brittney Cox, $98. 2nd Kylee Mikoski, $59. 3rd Danie Rhodes, $39.

Pony Race: 1st Kale Ereaux, $50 (only first place took a purse.)

Pole Bending: 1st Kashlynn Speakthunder, $78. 2nd Tearia Sunchild, $46. 3rd Blake Ozark, $31.

Break Away Roping Girls 8-13. No winners.

Open Horse Race: 1st Caleb Ditmar, $60. 2nd Kylee McKrasky, $20. 3rd Charlee Rhodes, $20.

Pole Bending: 14-18: 1st Kylie Mikoski, $88. 2nd Brittney Cox, $52. 3rd Danie Rhodes, $35.

Break Away Roping Girls 14-18: 1st Rebecca Strohl, $155.

Break Away Roping Boys 8-13: 1st Karsen Campell, $140.

Steer Riding 8-13: Alex Werk, $125.

Chute Dogging 14-18: 1st Ty Murphy, $195.

Break Away Roping Boys 14-18: 1st Caleb Cole, $105. 2nd Kyan Young, $70.

Ranch Bronc Riding 14-18: 1st Sam Malmend, $84. 2nd Les Jones, $56.

Junior Bull Riding: Ken Hoops Main, $160.

Barrel racing 8-13: 1st Morgan McEwen, $93. Blake Ozark, $55. 3rd Mattie McEwen, $37.


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