Rodeo families compete and place in national finals
Local families competed in The National Little Britches Rodeo Association Finals, held July 4-9 at the Lazy E Arena in Guthrie, Okla.
Logan and Lathan DeMontigny, Mika and Kami Guty, and Dani Christianson competed in their respective events during the six-day long finals.
Logan competed in Team Roping, Calf Roping and Ribbon Roping in the Finals, placing ninth in the world in Ribbon Roping.
Lathan competed in Bareback Riding, Goat Tying, Breakaway, and Ribbon Roping, placing third in the world in Bareback Riding.
Between the two of them, Logan and Lathan won five buckles and a pair of spurs. “When they won the first buckle, I told them, if that’s all [they] do, that’s a huge accomplishment. Lathan had already won third in the world, and that’s not something that just happens,” the Demontignys’ mother, Lisa, said. Lathan also won a scholarship for placing.
In each event, there were 150-200 qualifying kids.
Mika competed in Barrel Racing and Goat Tying, while her sister, Kami, competed in Barrel Racing, Pole Bending, Goat Tying and Flag Racing.
Dani competed in Barrel Racing and Pole Bending.
According to Lisa, this was the first year North Dakota has had an official team in the Finals. “I was impressed with the way North Dakota went down there. Everyone says down south is harder [to compete in], but we kept up,” she said.
With a total of 1400 contestants, there were two rodeo performances per day, one at 9 a.m. and the other at 5 p.m., in order to accommodate every contestant in each event.
“You were constantly busy,” Lisa said. “It was nonstop, but it was worth it. It was a fun time.”
The Lazy E Arena is the biggest venue the kids have ever competed in, which was a little overwhelming for them at first. The main arena floor is 400 feet-by-160 feet, making it the largest indoor rodeo arena in the world.
“The first day was chaos [inside the arena]. There was so much going on and announcers were everywhere, but you eventually got used to it. The whole arena was the size of Rugby,” Logan said.
“I didn’t know how my horse was going to react,” Lathan added.
The arena is host to many rodeo national finals and Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association championships, which was exciting for the DeMontignys, Gutys and Christianson, who were able to ride the same track that their favorite Pros have been on.
“It’s quite a facility. Competing at that arena was really cool,” Lisa said.
Kindra Guty, mother to Mika and Kami, agreed, saying, “It was cool to see the complex where all the pros compete.”
Besides the fun of competition, Kami said her favorite part of the experience was meeting new friends. Lathan enjoyed participating in Goat Roping Jackpots and getting help in his events by Pros, and Logan liked traveling to Oklahoma and hanging out with everyone.
“You go with the expectation of getting this great experience,” Lisa said. “[This competition] was bigger than any of these kids have ever been apart of, and there are definitely opportunities for the future too. That’s why you do it. You go there for the experience.”
Overall, everyone had a great time and all of the kids who competed this year want to return next year.
“The goal is to qualify again next year,” Kindra said. “They were a bit nervous [this time], but it will be easier if they qualify again next year. It’s cool for them, at this age, to experience all that.”
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