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Patty Jo Burress & Zack Berger (Photo: Wrangler Team Roping)
Patty Jo Burress & Zack Berger (Photo: Wrangler Team Roping)

Big Loops -- Lake Sakakawea Classic

Tisa Peek
 July 26, 2022
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PARSHALL -- Fish were not the only thing getting caught this past weekend, July 23 and 24 on Lake Sakakawea. Healing Horse Ranch and Wrangler Team Roping Championships presented an estimated couple thousand teams of team ropers utilizing their loops to catch horns and hooves-- bringing home the grand award of a new 2022 Dodge dually pickup truck, saddles, buckles, and prize money.  

“The roping on Saturday was a little bit of a struggle, as roping can sometimes be, but I just kept looking forward. The mind can be so weak and then so strong if you just don’t give up,” explained Patty Jo Burress, champion team roping header and saddle winner of the 7.5 roping. 

A major contributing sponsor to the Lake Sakakawea Classic roping was the Jerrilane Lincoln family of New Town. Team roping jackpots, such as this, present a lot of comradery from the sponsors, producers and families that attend and compete. Opening entries began at nine a.m. on Saturday with the last roping, the 9.5 Truck Roping, about 800 teams, competing until the final short-go steer, close to midnight.  

When the dust had settled and accumulated points were tallied from the highest point earner of the 9.5 roping, Vernon Small, Montana, was announced the winner of the pickup.  

Vernon Small (Photo: Wrangler Team Roping)

Hayes Burress, Isabell, South Dakota, winner of the 10.5 roping said that he just took it one run at a time during the roping.  

“The best part of the day was being able to rope all day and hang out with my friends,” said Burress.  

Brother Sage, and Hayes Burress, and their mom, Patty Joe, made the trip from South Dakota. The family was entered in every roping event through the weekend, and all took home some big winnings. The Burress brothers team up consistently with their mother, but also pick and draw partners according to the ‘number’ roping they attend. Team roping jackpots, such as this, are based on a number system like golf. Headers and heelers are numbered based on ability, skill and money won, all playing a contributing factor.  

The spirit and comradery of the horse and people carried on, about three hours due east of Parshall in Ft. Totten. Rough Rider Rodeo and the community of Ft. Totten hosted their annual rodeo July 23 and 24 as well. With a thousand dollars in added money to the contestant purse, there was also a Pow Wow taking place near the rodeo arena. Many of the spectators, in attendance, were mounted bareback on their horses.  

The uniqueness of the community youth, warming up on their horses bareback with the Rough Rider contestants displays a special dynamic that isn’t always witnessed at other sporting events. 

Ft. Totten youth watching Sunday’s rodeo (Photo: Tisa Peek/The Dakotan)

Some of the youth noted that they love when the rodeo comes to Ft. Totten because they have a chance to paint and ride their horses with other people and watch the rodeo sitting on their horses. Along with an entertaining announcer and the Yum-Yum Concessions shack; Ft. Totten is a happening place the third weekend of July. 

For full results visit:  www.wranglerteamroping.com   and www.roughriderrodeo.com 

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