01 Oct Y’s Men’s Rodeo
The Y’s Men’s Rodeo is an annual event in Minot, ND, but there is more to it than just a rodeo. The Y’s Men are a service organization, dedicated to raising funds to support the Triangle Y Camp in Garrison, N.D., near Lake Sakakawea. Since the Y’s Men started in 1947, they have donated several million dollars to the camp. Those dollars are also used for scholarships for students to attend camp. The Y’s Men believe that there is a great benefit for youth to be able to spend time at camp, learning a variety of things, and kids from financially challenged families should have those opportunities.
In 1954, the Minot Y’s men were approached about hosting an indoor rodeo in October, to wind up the rodeo season. The men responded to the challenge and thus was born the first indoor rodeo in the state. Since then, the rodeo has strengthened and grown, but not without some struggles. For example, in 1959, an early fall snowstorm brought sixteen inches of snow to Minot, which made for empty stands. The rodeo started out as a final championship event for the North Dakota Rodeo Association (NDRA) and continued with that organization for several years. The rodeo was initially held in the Minot Auditorium. In 1975, it moved to its present location, the All Seasons Arena at the North Dakota State Fair Center. Fifteen years ago, the Minot Y’s Men’s Rodeo was inducted into the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame, which is located in Medora, ND.
The Y’s Men’s Rodeo has a particular color that is associated with it, PINK. That is because of the nation-wide Tough Enough to Wear Pink Campaign, which raises money for breast cancer research and to help those going through breast cancer treatment. The Y’s Men’s Rodeo takes place in October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In Minot, it takes the form of raising funds for the Trinity Health Cancer Exercise Rehab program at the Minot Family YMCA. T-shirts are sold, with proceeds going towards the exercise rehab program. The program matches a personal trainer with people undergoing cancer treatment, allowing them to gain strength and improve their quality of life through exercise and conditioning. At the rodeo, October 5 is designated as Tough Enough to Wear Pink night. Fans, cowboys and cowgirls, and rodeo personnel will be in pink, to bring awareness to cancer and to those fighting it.
This year, there will be seven competition events during the rodeo: the bareback riding, tie-down roping, steer wrestling, saddle bronc riding, team roping, barrel racing, and bull riding. Cowboys (and cowgirls in the barrel racing) compete for the fastest time or highest score, with monies paid to the winners. In addition, there is plenty of entertainment during the rodeo. Mutton bustin’ kicks off each show and rodeo clown Cody Sosebee will provide the laughs and giggles during each performance.