‘This is a labor of love’

Halliday family hosting 17th annual all-girls breakaway roping extravaganza


What started out as a little get-together for Shaldon Osterberg and her sister has turned into an all-female roping extravaganza that has attracted competitors from the Midwest and Canada.


Dunn County Herald

Osterberg and her family will be hosting the 17th Annual Girls Only Breakaway Roping on Saturday at the Double S Indoor Arena near Halliday. The event starts at 9 a.m. Mountain Time and will likely run through 6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

These days, the event attacks in the neighborhood of 130 competitors who will be competing for cash and prizes at the day-long event. They have come from as far away as Nevada and Colorado, as well as Wisconsin, Minnesota, Nebraska, Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, and of course, North Dakota. There have also been some Canadians compete in the event, Osterberg said.

“It’s a great event,” said Osterberg, who has helped with program since it was started by her parents in 1999. “It really brings a lot of people together and the competition is pretty fierce.”

There will be three divisions in the competition: Senior (for those over 40), Open, and High School (for those high-school age or below). The entry fees are: $150 for Open, and $100 for Senior and High School.

What’s at stake is up to $2,000 in prize money and a gift certificate for a Tod Slone saddle valued at $2,000 for the Open division. The High School division will be competing for $1,000 in prize money and a gift certificate for the saddle. The Senior division will be competing for $500 in prize money.

Each rider is guaranteed two opportunities, and based on time, can move to two subsequent rounds before the champion is crowned, Osterberg said.

It’s a far cry from when Lyle Gjermundsen started it for his daughters, Osterberg, who was 14 at the time, and 7-year-old Sadie on his ranch six miles East of Bismarck.

There were maybe 20 girls, Osterberg said, and the entry fee was $20.

“It was something fun to invite our friends over,” she said.

Each year after that, more girls joined the fun. It helped Osterberg hone her skills through her high school years. She participated in rodeo for four years at Century High School in Bismarck. In 2003, Osterberg qualified for the National High School Finals Rodeo in Gillette, Wyo., in Breakaway Roping.

In 2004, the family moved to the Halliday area. And they continued the breakaway-roping event.

It started out and continues to be a family event with each member of the family playing a role in the operation. Osterberg isn’t sure she will compete this year, but has taken on more administrative duties.

“This is a labor of love,” she said with a grin. “And it gets even more fun every year. It’s always fun meeting new people.”

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