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Invitational Matched Bronc Ride kicks off Festival Days

The fourth annual Philip Invitational Matched Bronc Ride, Friday, June 18, drew 1,550 at the gate. With spectators, contestants, their families and all the workers, over 2,500 people were in attendance.

The starting 25 cowboys were cut down to a continuing 12. The top bronc ride scorer of the first round was Jake Costello, Newell, who stayed on the bronc Miss Kitty for a score of 80. Hugh Connely, Golden Valley, N.D., scored 79 on the bronc Teddy Bear. Tying with a score of 78 were Louie Brunson, Interior, on Rainbow Stew and JJ Elshere, Quinn, on Arikara. Three cowboys earned a score of 76. Rollie Wilson, Buffalo, stayed until the buzzer on Grey Dawn. Ryan Elshere, Elm Springs, stayed on River Rat. And, Ty Manke, Hermosa, survived Friday. The first round score of 75 was also a three-way tie. Wade Yost, Ree Heights, rode Bloodwork, DJ Martin, Terry, Mont., rode Raylene, and Cole Elshere, Faith, rode Wing Clipper. Marty Hebb, Eagle Butte, scored a 74 on the bronc Free Sample. Ty Kennedy made the cut with a score of 73 on the bronc Banditos Gold.

The progressive round saw six of these men stay on in the competition and move into the final short round. Jerry Willuweit, a "good ol' cowboy" who passed away January 2010, was commemorated by the presentation of one of his cowboy hats and a certificate for a new cowboy hat to the winner of this progressive round. Earning these was R. Elshere, who stayed on the bronc Sin City for a score of 81. A score of 78 went to both C. Elshere and to Hebb. Manke made good a 77 point ride on Cork Screw. The judges gave Costello 76 for staying on G-Force. Kennedy rounded off the top six remaining cowboys for the final round with a 74 on Crank.

Four cowboys made scores in the short round. Manke survived on Holy Hoppin Hell for an 82. R. Elshere on Queenie and Hebb on Bob both received 85s from the judges. Costello rode Jim Dandy for a top score of 87.

Costello had earned specially made spurs, presented and sponsored by Jones Saddlery Bottle and Vet and made by John Bauman.