The Best Extreme Saddle Bronc in North Dakota!
Sentinel Butte, ND: The Champions Ride Saddle Bronc Match is celebrating its 66th Anniversary this year! For more than six decades, the Match has been the premier saddle bronc competition. This event has a history of promoting the top-rated cowboys and broncs. Past champions are a Who’s Who in saddle bronc riding, including Jim Tescher, Alvin Nelson, Larry Mahan, Butch Small, Lewis Field, Brad Gjermundson, Robert Etbauer, Dan Mortensen, Ty Murray, Rod Hay, Cody Wright. Last year, Zeke Thurston won the Champions Ride.
The Match is celebrating its 8th year as a sanctioned “extreme bronc riding” event by the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association (PRCA). Thirty-two cowboys ride a bronc and compete in the long-go round. The top 12 highest scores advance to the short-round to compete for the title and money. The prize money that a cowboy wins counts towards their earnings to qualify for the Wrangler National Finals in Las Vegas.
The Champions Ride not only has a rich history of cowboys, but also as a major fundraiser for the organization Home On The Range (HOTR). HOTR is a nonprofit organization which helps abused, neglected and traumatized teenage boys and girls. In 1957, the fledging HOTR relied heavily upon donations to care for the children. A group of cowboys got together to create the Match of Champions to raise money for Home On The Range. 66 years later, this is still the main intent of the Champions Ride.
It’s wild! It’s woolly It’s western! Home On The Range has been sponsoring this unique fundraiser for over 65 years and it is going strong! The Saddle Bronc Match is a premiere event that features thirty-two of the top professional cowboys mounted on some of pro rodeo’s toughest stock from contractors in the United States and Canada. It is truly entertainment at its finest, and many have ranked it right up there with a performance of the saddle bronc riding at the National Finals Rodeo! In fact, every world champion saddle bronc rider except one has ridden at Champions Ride.
Annually, on the first Saturday in August, spectators gather in the natural amphitheater to watch “champions ride” to benefit the children who call the ranch home. The rustic arena is nestled on the grounds of HOTR in the serene beauty of western North Dakota.
The Ranch and the Rodeo have grown up together and it would be nearly impossible to separate the two and the strong western heritage they share. In 2000, Champion’s Ride was honored with the prestigious Special Achievement Award from the ND Cowboy Hall of Fame and was inducted into its ranks – only the third such event to have been honored in this way.
The rodeo itself is truly a class act, but more importantly, it brings people to Home On The Range, to see the working ranch dedicated to helping homeless, troubled, neglected and traumatized children.
Champion’s Ride is an affordable quality entertainment event for all ages. All proceeds from the event go to support the children that call Home On The Range home.