PRCA Rodeo in Bigfork Crowns Winners

Cole Wagner top bull rider, Chad Johnson best overall cowboy

By Andy Viano

Dozens of cowboys and cowgirls competed at the Bigfork Summer ProRodeo July 6-7, the successful culmination of a tumultuous few months for the Flathead Valley’s newest Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association event.

The two-day competition was sanctioned by the PRCA in February, reversing an earlier decision that had sidelined the event because of objections from the Flathead County Fair Board. That group and its president, Mark Campbell, had complained that the Bigfork rodeo would negatively impact the annual Northwest Montana Fair rodeo in August, an event that has been sanctioned by the PRCA for 65 years. Campbell and the fair board later reversed their position, paving the way for the event to take place last weekend.

At the Bigfork rodeo, Cole Wagner rode Blackberry Smoke for 86 points to win the bull riding title, besting Parker Breding (82) and Gerald Eash (78). Chad Johnson took home $2,136 and the top all-around cowboy award behind third-place finishes in team roping and tie-down roping.

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