South Dakota native excited to win steer wrestling at Pro Rodeo | SteamboatToday.com

South Dakota native excited to win steer wrestling at Pro Rodeo

Luke Graham

— Clay Dahl experienced some of the highs and lows of rodeo in a 20-minute period Wednesday at the Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo series.

Dahl, a recent graduate of the University of Wyoming, wound up with the first draw in steer wrestling and admitted he thought he had zero chance of winning in the first slot.

Twenty minutes later, though, Dahl ended up with a first place finish and a check with a time of 6.5 seconds.

Mario Baleztena, of Loma, and Garrett Henry, of Douglas, Wyo., finished second and third respectively.

“I wasn’t happy to be the first one out,” Dahl said. “But it feels pretty good. It shocked the (heck) out of me.”

The South Dakota native was finishing up his fourth rodeo run through this summer’s Mountain States Rodeo Circuit and just happened to be in Steamboat.

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Coming into the event at the Brent Romick Rodeo Arena, Dahl said he thought a time of five seconds or faster would win. In what he called a lucky run with a steer he thought wouldn’t shoot out of the gates, Dahl and the steer surprised.

“The steer ran out hard and just took off,” said Dahl who stays at a ranch between Rock Springs and Rawlings, Wyo., during the rodeo season. “When I got it down it was stronger and slower. I made an average run and lucked out. Luckily they don’t judge you on how you do it just how fast you did it.”

For Dahl, whose goal is to make the Circuit finals and do well at the Cheyenne Frontier Days at the end of the month, the run wasn’t the smoothest but it still got the job done.

“I didn’t think the run was going to hold,” he said. “But a paycheck is a paycheck.”

The annual Fourth of July Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo lived up to the billing Wednesday, proving itself once again the most popular series event.

Char Mighton, an administrator for the Pro Rodeo series called the event spectacular.

“The weather was perfect, the crowd was perfect and the stock was perfect,” she said. “It all comes together for a great rodeo.”

For complete rodeo results see Friday’s Steamboat Today.

– To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229

or e-mail lgraham@steamboatpilot.com