Shaun Stroh said he heard the mare he hopped on during the Home of Champions rodeo Saturday at Red Lodge, Mont., was a good one. He had learned that in her previous outing, the 5-year-old rookie horse helped Clay Gruel, a young cowboy from Great Falls, Mont., score an 87-point ride and a victory at a PRCA rodeo in Chinook, Mont.
Still, Stroh had no idea that the bronc, listed on the draw sheet as simply “Brookman Rodeo Company No. D24,” was in only her second PRCA event. He also didn’t know the bronc, which he’d later find out is named Joy Ride, would give him the ride of his life.
The 37-year-old Dickinson saddle bronc rider and Joy Ride marked down a 91-point ride, a career-best for Stroh, and a score that caused Brookman owner Dave Wieferich to cautiously optimistic about the young bronc’s chances at becoming a livestock superstar.
“It’s kind of scary,” Wieferich said. “You never know what’s going to happen that early in the game. She could quit or she could be world champion.”
Stroh, who at the time of his interview didn’t remember that the bronc was a mare, said Joy Ride started out great and before he knew it, she was taking him for one heck of a ride.
“I kind of knew he was supposed to be good, I just didn’t know how good I guess,” said Stroh, whose previous career-high ride was a 90. “He was bucking really good and the further he went he started getting higher in the air and a little more exotic. It was just all I could do to stay there.”
That unexpected ride earned Stroh the win and $2,713.
Up next for Joy Ride is the Wolf Point Wild Horse Stampede rodeo this weekend.
Stroh and Wieferich say they don’t know for certain who drew the mare, but they believe it’s another local — Golden Valley’s Hugh Connelly.
Stroh’s message to Connelly: hang on a wild ride.