The only losers Friday night were those who stayed home because of the early evening rain in the Mining City.
Well, them and almost every bull rider who competed during the first two and a half hours of the Butte Vigilante Rodeo in front of a crowd of 300 plus at the Don Harrington Rodeo Arena.
Only Busby cowboy Casey Fredericks went the full 8 seconds against the stock provided by Red Eye Rodeo Co. from Deer Lodge. Fredricks scored a 71 on his ride.
The night, though, was young. With contestants numbering in the hundreds, a “monstrous” amount of slack competition was expected to go past 2 a.m.
The cool, dry conditions following the rain provided perfect conditions for the first night of the annual event that dates back to 1938.
“Those folks who stayed home, they missed a dandy,” rodeo announcer Joe Warner told the crowd.
The rodeo concludes Saturday, when action begins at 7 p.m. at the Vigilante Rodeo Grounds. Gates open at 6.
Friday night’s show stopper was a young cowgirl from Butte.
Riding in the junior barrel racing competition, Butte’s Braleigh Garrett, who recently finished eighth grade, got probably the loudest ovation from the crowd as she completed the course in 19.62 seconds.
Just before her ride, Brityn Garrett ran in 18.34.
“That ride right there was worth your price of admission,” Waren told the crowd. “We’ll throw the rest of the rodeo in for free.”
The Garretts are some of a handful of area athletes competing in the rodeo.
Butte’s Jay Hubber was one of the bull riders cursing at the Red Eye bulls riding during the regular rodeo.
Lacey Davidson of Butte posted a 4.6 seconds in the breakaway roping competition. Diana Morris of Silver Bow competed in the barrel racing Friday night.
Other Butte contestants entered in the rodeo are bull riders Dawon Huff and Leighton Carpenter, saddle bronc rider Jeb Loney and bull rider Randi Carpenter.
Champions for the Vigilante Rodeo won’t be crowned until after Saturday’s competition.
Cost is $12. Children 12 and under are free.2 comments