North Dakota rodeo reaches six decades with co-op support


Zeke Thurston, Big Valley, Alberta, Canada, won this years’s Champions Ride Match Rodeo with an 87-point ride. (Photo by Robin Blankenship)

The Home on the Range Champions Ride Match Rodeo is in its 60th year.

Goldenwest Electric Cooperative, a Class C member of Basin Electric headquartered in Wibaux, MT, is happy to be along for the ride.

About 1,500 people attended this year’s Champions Ride Match Rodeo Aug. 6 in Sentinel Butte, ND. Zeke Thurston, Big Valley, Alberta, Canada, came out on top with an 87-point ride.

The rodeo, which raises funds for the Home on the Range working ranch for disadvantaged youth, has always been a big deal to the locals, but its significance grew after being named a Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association main event.

The distinction means it draws the top 30 cowboys and bucking stock in the nation and has a big say in which of the top 15 saddle bronc riders go to the National Finals Rodeo.

Goldenwest Electric is a longtime sponsor of the Champions Ride Match Rodeo. Manager John Sokoloski also served six years on the Home on the Range board of directors, and supports other Home on the Range fundraising events held throughout the year.

According to Sokoloski, it’s a way for Goldenwest to support one of its key accounts and live the cooperative principle of commitment to community.

“We try to help when we can and are proud to sponsor a chute-gate at the rodeo,” Sokoloski said. “Home on the Range is one of the biggest employers in Golden Valley County (ND) and a lot of its employees are members of Goldenwest Electric. We wholeheartedly support Home on the Range and what it stands for.”

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