The Whitewood cowboy turned in a sparkling ride Tuesday night to finish second overall in the bull riding portion of the Dacotah Stampede Rodeo before a standing room only crowd at the Brown County Fairgrounds.
“It feels good. I haven’t been riding real good lately,” Auer said. “My dad chewed my butt the other day when I wasn’t at work. This is way easier than working in a machine shop for eight hours a day.”
Ah, what was that?
“It’s just the love of the game,” Auer explained. “You don’t get the chance every day to crawl on the back of an 1,800-pound bull for eight seconds and try to win as much money as you can. It’s a thrill. Traveling up and down the road, meeting new people and riding bulls is the greatest thing ever. I love it.”
Auer scored a 79 on the bull named Uno.
“I saw him in Sioux Falls a couple of days ago,” Auer said. “He was really good there. I talked to the stock contractor and he said he’s probably going to be the best one out tonight, so I was excited and couldn’t wait to nod my head. It worked out good.”
Auer knew Uno was a spinner and the bull spun wildly in a circle once again. The biggest question was which way he was going to turn.
“In Sioux Falls, he spun to the right, but the stock contractor said he’ll go either way, so I didn’t know which way he was going to plan on going,” Auer said. “He went right again. That was a big mistake on his part. I was ready for it and I rode him.”
Auer pocketed more than $700 for his eight seconds of work. At that rate, he may never get back to his dad’s machine shop.
“I probably will eventually have to go back,” Auer said with a smile, “once I get too old to be riding bulls.”
While none of Tuesday night’s performances were quite good enough to garner the top spot, some like Auer’s came close.
Kody Woodward of Dupree ended up second overall in the steer wrestling with a time of :7.6 seconds.
“This is a real tough pen of steers we had here,” Woodward noted. “These are the steers from Cheyenne (Wyo.). They’ve only been run there and not a lot of them got caught.”
Woodward said there are many things that have to work together in order to have success in steer wrestling.
“Especially in this event, there’s so many variables you can have,” he said. “Your hazer has to be there, you have to score sharp, both horses have to work good.”
And then there is the steer, which also has to cooperate.
“It is luck and having a good steer. I had a great steer tonight,” Woodward said.
Woodward’s brother, Jess, competed in the tie down roping on Tuesday. He agreed with his older brother that luck does have a role in the sport of rodeo.
“You have to have things go right,” Jess said. “Luck plays a big part of it.”