Rodeo brings people ‘home’ to compete

Sloan Olson, 12, competed in barrels during Flandreau Rodeo Days. Olson, who lives in Texas, is the granddaughter of Dan and Marda Olson, who live north of Flandreau. The Olsons bred and raised the horse she is riding, Zoom, who is 11 years old.

Grandparents Dan and Marda Olson of Flandreau watched their granddaughter, Sloan, guide her horse around the barrels at Flandreau Rodeo Days last weekend.
The Texas 12-year old – their son’s daughter – road a horse born and raised on their farm and competes in events all summer. She also competed with the Olson’s daughter-in-law, Bobbi Grann, who rode Hemi, 6.
It was great to have family come home for the event, the Olsons said. They enjoy watching them compete.
“It’s nice. That’s all they’ve done their whole lives, is rodeo,” he said.
Before the competition, Marda Olson said she was proud of the them, “because she and my granddaughter are going to ride, and they’re both riding horses we raised.”
Flandreau Rodeo Days was Friday and Saturday and was sponsored by the Royal River Casino and Hotel, a summer event started a few years ago. Rodeo days brings competitors from the region.
The Flandreau rodeos are well run, Dan Olson said. “This is very nice for the community here,” he said. “It’s a nice rodeo.”
The two-day event included slack competitions during the day, children’s activities, food and vendor booths, evening rodeos, concerts at the casino, plenty of cowgirls and cowboys and an intense heat, with temperatures in the high 90s.
Three young cowboy brothers from Avon looked at critters at a petting zoo – new this year – before the two older boys competed in the bareback event.
Grady Bartunek, 11, and his brothers, Hayes, 8, and Kolt, 3, love going to rodeos during the summer. It was the first time they attended the Flandreau events, and they looked forward to trying to stay on their horses for six seconds.
“It’s fun and you get to travel,” Grady said.

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