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Bucking Badlands

Tisa Peek
 August 16, 2022

MEDORA-- Majestic Medora, heart of the Badlands, was home to tourists, rough stock, cattle, cowboys, and cowgirls August 12-13. The arena hosted a record sixty-two runs during Ranchorama Rodeo Days performance Saturday night alone. 

“This place is always packed with tourists, and they come intrigued and excited. It’s not just a business they see-- it’s a lifestyle,” explained Kami Kling of Kling Rodeo, LLC. 

Ranchorama Arena Club was founded five years ago with the motto to restore western traditions and inspire future generations. With about twenty active members, the club meets once a month planning and working on their annual rodeo that is North Dakota Rodeo Association sanctioned. The Medora Rodeo Arena was built in 1965, and the rodeo grounds are a historical piece of North Dakota. 

Not only were the broncs bucking, but the youth had a chance to kick off their boots in the annual boot race. The arena and breathtaking views of the Badlands hosted a special tribute to Naomi Rossow, one of the founding committee members, on Saturday night to close the rodeo. Rossow passed last year, a month after the annual rodeo. Her memory is cherished by the family and people she touched. 

Championship buckles were awarded to the first-place winner in each rodeo event.  

“The Medora Rodeo one of my favorite rodeos of the entire year. The Badlands and the scenery and the tourists’ excitement doesn’t get any better,” said Cayden Kling, this year’s Medora bareback riding champion. 

Having some confidence and momentum from the night before competing at the Coy Hepper Memorial Rodeo, Kling was excited to keep the chaps flying. After riding a five-year old gelding from Kling Rodeo to the pay window at Medora, he said, “It’s just fun to show the tourists visiting North Dakota what rodeo and our way of life is all about.” 

Kling Rodeo is a family run rodeo company based in Belfield and originated by Russ and Kami Kling. Their slogan is “The buck starts here.” The family enjoys every minute of what they are doing-- highlighting the western way of life culture-- raising a family and raising bucking horses in western North Dakota.  
Following a trailer full of horses and hearts, you’ll find Russ, Kami, Cayden, Chance, Chase, and Camree at various rodeos, bronc matches, bronc futurities, and events across the Dakota’s and beyond throughout the year. 


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