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Rodeo finals could bring thousands here

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Greg Carlson's ranch is just about filled up with horses taking part in the North Dakota Roughrider Association Rodeo State Finals next week.

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The finals are Sept. 27-29 at the Jamestown Civic Center.

Carlson and Marlyn Bertsch, members of the RRA, are offering space on their ranches for rodeo contestants to keep their horses. Contestants have already dropped off horses at Carlson's ranch, and others have called to reserve a space.

"I am pretty much overflowing with horses," Carlson said. "We'll find places for everyone's horses."

Carlson will compete in the calf roping event Sept. 27-29 and will also compete in the mixed team roping event with his son, Colton, during the optional event finals on Sept. 28.

"My daughters will also be competing during the optional events," he said.

Carlson said the RRA events are popular because they are family oriented.

"We try to have events where everyone in the family can be involved," he said.

Standard events include bareback and junior bareback, saddle bronc and junior saddle bronc, bull riding and junior bull riding, calf roping, steer wrestling, team roping, barrel race, goat tying, breakaway and junior breakaway. The optional events are senior breakaway, mixed team roping, junior calf roping, junior steer wrestling, junior barrel race, junior goat tying and novice barrel race.

Jamestown Civic Center Director Pam Fosse said in a report to the Buffalo City Tourism Foundation Executive Committee earlier this year that the RRA state finals brought a larger-than-expected crowd. She estimated that the rodeo finals brought in around 3,000 people. Fosse wasn't available for comment on this story.

Mary Carlson, secretary for the RRA, said 200 participants are registered for the standard events and another 99 are registered for the optional events.

"They all come with at least one or two other people," she said.

Buffalo City Tourism Foundation Executive Director Searle Swedlund said he isn't surprised the rodeo state finals brings in a lot of people to Jamestown.

"I know the James River Rodeo group has worked very hard to bring events like this to Jamestown," he said.

Sun reporter Chris Olson can be reached at 701-952-8454 or by email at colson@jamestownsun.com

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