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Not her first rodeo: Sentinel Butte woman attends all 65 Home on the Range Champions Ride matches

Published: Aug. 9, 2021 at 2:54 PM CDT
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SENTINEL BUTTE, N.D. - Every year since 1956, some of the world’s best saddle bronc riders have gathered in Sentinel Butte, North Dakota for the Champions Ride.

The bronc riding event has been designed to raise money and awareness of the kids living at Home on the Range.

Over the weekend, nearly two thousand people attended the 65th Annual Champions Ride.

Among those in attendance: Carol Tescher Obrigewitch. And it isn’t her first rodeo.

“It’s in our blood,” she said.

Her dad, Tom Tescher, and his brother, Jim, started the Champions Ride at Home on the Range in 1956.

“When my dad got the idea, I was seven. That was the first one I went to,” said Obrigewitch.

And she’s been to every one since.

“I’ve never missed,” she added.

That’s 65 altogether.

“We had to go,” Obrigewitch recalled. “But put ‘had’ in parentheses because it was never a ‘had’ thing with me. I would have wanted to be there.”

As a kid, Obrigewitch remembers the Champions Ride being a day spent with her cousins.

“They’d announce Dad’s name and we’d stop and watch him ride and then just take off again and then introduce Uncle Jim and we’d stop and watch him ride and then we take off again,” she said. “We were just playing mostly. It was a big family outing.”

As she got older, she started paying more attention.

“I watched more of the rodeo and I really, really liked the broncs,” said Obrigewitch.

Those broncs still keep her captivated. But it’s also a chance to see friends and family.

“It’s always been family gathering,” said Obrigewitch.

A family gathering created by her dad and uncle’s desire to help others.

“They wanted to do something to help benefit the kids at home on the range. So, kids were a big part of their life,” said Obrigewitch.

Their dream remains a big part of their family’s life, and for 65 years, it’s been the highlight of the summer for Obrigewitch.

Obrigewitch almost missed the Champions Ride one year. Her oldest son was a newborn and she was worried it might be too hot for him. A neighbor offered to babysit so Obrigewitch could go to the rodeo.

This year’s Champions Ride was the first event in the brand-new arena. It continues to be a Tescher family tradition. Jim’s grandson, Jordan Tescher, who owns Tescher Fencing donated much of the material and labor for that project.

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