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Battling It Out
N.D. Winter Show hosts high school rodeo contest between North Dakota, Minnesota competitors
Valley City, N.D. (March 7, 2020) – It was a battle between neighboring states’ high school rodeo athletes at the annual N.D. Winter Show.
The Battle of the Border High School Rodeo pitted North Dakota high school contestants against Minnesota high school contestants in ten events, and at the end, North Dakota won.
North Dakotans won the breakaway roping (Haley Vollmer, Wing); the tie-down roping (Cael Hilzendeger, Baldwin); the barrel racing (Breanna Benson, West Fargo); the steer wrestling (Ken Hagen, Mandan); the goat tying (Haley Vollmer); the team roping (Trevor Sorge, Bismarck/Riley Staton, Hickson); and the bull riding (Kasen Johnson, Mandaree).
Minnesota took two events: the bareback riding (Cody Cole, Warroad, Minn.); and the pole bending (Austyn Tobey, Bemidji, Minn.). In the saddle bronc riding, there were no qualified rides.
To be invited to participate, the cowboys and cowgirls had to be ranked in the top ten in their respective events.
Vollmer entered the Battle in first place in the breakaway roping and seventh in the goat tying and won both. A senior at Wing High School, she is a member of the National Honor Society and is on the honor roll. She won the breakaway with a time of 2.06 seconds and the goat tying with a time of 7.65 seconds.
At the Winter Show, she rode her sister’s horse Wrangler in the breakaway roping. The horse did well. “I have a good breakaway horse,” she said, “but I wanted to try him out and this is a nice weekend to do it. He’s awesome. I really, really love him.”
This fall, Vollmer will work towards an ag marketing degree in college. In high school, she is a member of the National Honor Society, is student council president, a member of the Academic Olympics team and in choir.
Her senior class has five people in it, and she appreciates that. “Everybody is very close to each other,” she said. “We have tight-knit relationships.”
She is the daughter of Troy and Sara Vollmer.
Austyn Tobey was one of two Minnesota champions in the inaugural Battle of the Border.
Tobey, a resident of Bemidji, Minn., won the pole bending with a time of 20.025 seconds.
She was aboard her thirteen-year-old mare named Buttons, who is also her barrel racing horse. It was the first time Buttons had practiced on the pole bending pattern since the fall rodeo season. But the mare did well. “I’m happy with my horse,” she said. “She’s great. She’s consistent with everything she does.”
Tobey would have won the barrel racing but she hit a barrel, adding a five second penalty to her time. Buttons rarely knocks down barrels, Tobey said. “That’s the first one in a year. It doesn’t happen very often.”
A senior in high school, she will attend Bemidji State University this fall, majoring in pre-medicine. Her dream is to become a radiologist. She’s had firsthand experience in the field.
When she spent two weeks in the hospital four years ago for a ruptured appendix, the radiologist helped her read the image taken of her. But the hospital stay became serious; she was so full of infection that the doctors couldn’t take her appendix out. She still has it; the doctors never did remove it.
Tobey played four years of high school hockey, is a member of the National Honor Society, is on her school’s honor Roll and is a member of the Link Leadership team at her school.
Tobey also competed in the PRCA rodeo on Saturday evening and finished in tenth place (12.70 seconds.)
She is the daughter of Gary and Amy Tobey.
Another Minnesotan proudly won his event in Valley City.
Cody Cole made a 68 point ride in the bareback riding to best the field.
The Warroad, Minn. cowboy entered the Battle of the Border in third place in the Minnesota rankings after suffering what could have been a career-ending injury.
Last spring, he fractured four vertebrae and bruised another one and was out of rodeo for eight weeks, returning just as the fall season started up. “I made a strong comeback,” he said.
He loves riding bareback horses. “I love doing it. It’s so much fun, so much adrenaline.”
This fall, he will be a student at Iowa Central Community College, where he will compete collegiately and work towards his associates degree in business management. After two years of college rodeo, he’ll get his PRCA membership. “I’ll climb the ladder a little before I pro rodeo,” he said.
He is the son of Kelly and Sarah Cole.
Unofficial results from the Battle of the Border High School Rodeo follow.
The 83rd annual North Dakota Winter Show concluded on March 7. Dates for the 2021 event are tentatively set for Feb. 28-March 6.
For more information, visit www.NorthDakotaWinterShow.com or call 701.845.1401.
Unofficial Results, Battle of the Border High School Rodeo, March 7, 2020 –N.D. Winter Show
1. Cody Cole, Warroad, Minn. 68 points; 2. Chance Isaak, Richardton, N.D 62; 3. Seth Berg, Mandan, N.D. 55.
1. Haley Vollmer, Wing, N.D. 2.06 seconds; 2. Danielle Fladeland, Minot, N.D. 3.70; 3. Jordan Vanvickle, Pillager, Minn. 6.05.
1. CaelHilzendeger, Baldwin, N.D. 13.54 seconds;2. Chase Heim, Bismarck, N.D. 16.34; 3. Riley Staton, Hickson, N.D. 16.66.
1. Breanne Benson, West Fargo, N.D. 12.839 seconds; 2. Austyn Schafer, Wilton, N.D. 13.026; 3.Jaida Hagen-Marben, Elk River, Minn. 13.105.
1. Ken Hagen, Mandan, N.D. 6.41 seconds; 2.Justin Inglis, Regan, N.D. 9.91; 3.Caydon Roshau, Bismarck, N.D. 12.49.
1. Haley Vollmer, Wing, N.D. 7.65 seconds; 2. Jayda Miller, Bowman, N.D. 8.53; 3. Victoria Skiba, Cambridge, Minn. 9.45.
1. Trevor Sorge, Bismarck, N.D./Riley Staton, Hickson, N.D. 13.43 seconds; 2. Lathan DeMontigny, Ruby, N.D./Chance Mickelson, Foxholm, N.D. 17.39; 3. Weston Klatt, Dickinson, N.D./Sam Andrews, Bowman, N.D. 22.47.
1. Austyn Tobey, Bemidji, Minn. 20.025 seconds; 2. Danielle Fladeland, Minot, N.D. 20.134; 3. Austyn Schafer, Wilton, N.D. 20.197.
1. Kasen Johnson, Mandaree, N.D. 77 points; 2. Lane Wilkens, Bismarck, N.D. 68; no other qualified rides.