story by Lillian Landreth Thayne Elshere represented South Dakota and his family’s favorite event of saddle bronc riding at the 2022 NHSFR this summer, where […]
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Meet the Member Dylan Rice
story by Lily Weinacht
Dylan Rice achieved one of his longtime goals last summer, qualifying for the NHSFR in 2016. The 17-year-old bull rider from Flandreau, South Dakota, finished third at state finals and punched his ticket for Gillette, Wyoming. “My friends and I played a lot of pool, and we ran around on golf carts and visited the vendors – that was real cool,” says Dylan, who competed in two rounds at Nationals. He found his newest pair of chaps at the NHSFR, and he’ll don them for the 20X Extreme Showcase Rodeo, where he’s representing the East Region.
Inspired by his dad, who rode bulls for a summer, Dylan started riding steers with a friend when he was eight. “It kind of stuck, and I love the adrenaline rush. Nothing else compares to it!” He’s gone to several of Korkow Rodeo’s bull riding schools, coached by Badlands PRCA Bull Riding Champion, Casey Gates. “I want to be the best, and Casey instilled in me that rodeo is about trying, especially in bull riding. You try until you hit the ground,” Dylan explains. “Another big inspiration is my friend Tucker Easton. He passed away in a car accident last summer, and he was always really positive and helped me to never get down on myself after getting bucked off.”
Though Dylan enters primarily bull riding, he enjoys team roping at home with his dad and friends. “I usually heel, but I do a little heading too. We live in town, so we keep our horses at a friend’s house and ride in their arena.” Dylan and his 15-year-old sister, Allison, share a rope horse, Leo. She competes in breakaway roping, barrel racing, and goat tying. They also have an older sister, Kaitlin. Depending on the rodeo, Dylan will haul with his friends, and his parents, Duane and Tamra, will travel with Allison.
Dylan leased several bucking bulls last summer to practice on, setting up a chute and working in the arena with his dad. He goes to several practice pens in the area, and also works on the drop barrel he welded last year. Welding is his favorite class at Flandreau Public High School. A senior, he also plays football and wrestles. The Flandreau Fliers made it to the first round of playoffs at state, while another of Dylan’s goals is to win state in wrestling this February. “I was runner-up two years ago, and last year I tore up my knee and couldn’t go, so hopefully this year it will happen.”
Since he’s on a diet of fruits and vegetables through wrestling season, Dylan comes home from school and enjoys listening to music, or heading out to hunt pheasants. “I have a pretty good hunting dog, Storm, that I got about three years ago and trained,” he says. “I’m not a big fan of eating pheasant, but I give them to my grandparents and anyone else that wants them. I like deer a lot better, and I filled my doe tag this season.”
He’s considering college and college rodeo following graduation this spring, but also hopes to help the Easton family with their fencing company through the summer. “I want to make it to Nationals again and do better than last year,” Dylan finishes. “I’d really like to make it to the short go and place in the top ten in the average.”