The Bowman Rodeo Club has been around for several decades, but about 10 to 12 years ago, there was a revival into the program. At that time, the club consisted of four members and is now back up to over 25 members. With constant growth still on the horizon, after 30+ years, the club continues to put on the North Dakota High School Rodeo Finals each year in Bowman. They had also been active with a local North Dakota Junior High Rodeo in which Bowman will host the finals for, for the first time this spring.
Scott Lardy Bowman Rodeo Club board member and adult advisor is proud that they have been able to expand the club and expand what they are able to do in the Bowman area. Some of those expansions have included placing funding into fairground improvements for updated cattle sorting pens, roping chutes, and alley ways in the arena. During the state finals, the club usually borrowed panels from farmers and ranchers in the area or businesses to set up and tear down each year. It got to be a lot of work and man hours. From that, Lardy mentions that, “This fall we took on a big project. Along with the All Seasons Arena board, we decided we wanted to put up some permanent stalls for horses. We got bids on a 24×200 covered building with 40 individual stalls and another 120 outdoor stalls right east of our indoor arena. We should now be able to accommodate everything without having to set up additional pens.”
Dakota Community Bank & Trust (DCB&T) provided a sponsorship check to assist funds needed for the new covered building. “Dakota Community Bank & Trust has always been a huge supporter of rodeo, whether it’s been high school, amateur, or professional ranks. They have always been very good to us down here,” says Lardy. The rodeo club knows that the community support, from both individuals and businesses, surrounding this project helped to propel it forward and get it done. He states that along with the monetary donations, there were numerous in-kind donations as well including welding, gravel, water trenching, and dirt work as well as many volunteer hours from community members, club members and their parents.
Lardy notes how the building makes planning these rodeos and events a lot simpler. “Before we were spread out around the whole fairgrounds, now we are within just feet of where both the indoor and outdoor arena are. It makes it a lot simpler and it will be a lot handier. We have water right there now too when we used to have to carry buckets of water. This addition consolidates everything.”
Along with the rodeo finals, the Bowman Rodeo Club also helps to run the County Fair through volunteer hours. DCB&T has also sponsored the County Fair Rodeo through monetary donations. “Dakota Community has always been there. They have always been a huge supporter of agriculture and rodeo and basically anything community wise that we need here,” closes Lardy.
To assist the youth in the community, the rodeo club is very proud of the stalls that were put up the fall of 2019. Lardy, having been involved for 14 years, is personally most proud of having the Bowman Rodeo Club kids succeed as well as seeing them pitch in and give back to their community. “It takes everybody to make a community work.” He urges locals to continue their support by coming out to support the kids in it. “You don’t have to have kids or grandkids in it to come out and support it. It’s fun to watch either way.”
Written by Lindsey Hefta, Marketing Director