By: Ruth Nicolaus
Longtime Badlands Tour Finals Pickup Retires
Minot, ND – For the first time in over two decades, the Tyler Robertson pickup will not make it to the Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo in Minot, ND
The man from Hermosa, SD retired from rodeo.
Since 1999, with the exception of one year, Robertson has been chosen by the bareback riders and bronc saddle riders of the Badlands Circuit to be one of two pickups at the Badlands Circuit Finals.
He got his start in rodeo saddle broncs in regional conferences, but after a broken leg in 1995 and a growth spurt, which made him taller than the average bronc rider, he transitioned to full-time riding. pickup role. He had started doing collection work at the age of fifteen; when he retired from bronc riding, in 1999 at the age of 21, he switched exclusively to pickup.
The pickup man’s job during the rodeo is to help the rider riding in the barebacks or saddle broncs down after the eight-second buzzer. Pickup men work in pairs at rodeos, riding their horse close to the bucking horse to be close enough for the rider to get off the bucking horse and often onto the pickup horse, then to the ground.
At the height of his rodeo career, he was in high demand, working 186 performances a year, everywhere from Rodeo Houston to San Antonio, to the World’s Toughest Rodeo Series, and everywhere in between. He worked on Badlands circuit rodeos including Dickinson, ND and Deadwood’s Days of ’76 for 27 years each; Rapid City’s Range Days Rodeo for 23 years, and rodeos across the Dakotas and the country.
He has worked on rodeos for some of the biggest stock contractors including Bailey, Brookman, Burch, Cervi, Korkow, Three Hills, Sutton, Wilson, and more. At his busiest, he had sixteen pickup horses on the ranch, “and they were all good solid horses.”
Brent Sutton took over the Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo alongside Robertson for about fifteen years, beginning in 2006. As Sutton learned the trade, Robertson was a mentor to him. “He was someone to watch, someone who taught me, and I could ask him questions, and he made the answers clear and simple.”
Robertson’s wife, Tiff, is as much a part of the job as Robertson, Sutton said. “I appreciate Tiff as much as Tyler. She helped me change horses and take care of me, more or less, from when I was nineteen until now. There were times when I was going to a rodeo alone and needed help and she never hesitated to freshen up a horse for me or do whatever was necessary.She always spoils us at rodeos.
Robertson said being a good pickup requires quick thinking and good horsepower. “You almost have to have a thought in your mind before it happens,” he said, “to be able to read the cattle and react very quickly in any situation. find in the wrong place and cause a big shipwreck, or be in the right place and prevent a shipwreck.
It’s time to retire, he said. “I realized what I wanted to do. I have to stay home and take care of the ranch.
“I was very lucky that people wanted me to work for them. It was a good race.
This year’s pickups for the Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo are Donnie Moore and Brent Sutton.
The 2022 Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo will be held October 14-16 at the ND State Fair Center in Minot. Performances begin at 7 p.m. on October 14 and 15 and at 1 p.m. on October 16.
Ticket prices range from $20 to $30 for adults and $10 to $30 for children. They are available for purchase on RodeoMinot.com.
For more information, visit the website or the Facebook page (facebook.com/badlandscircuitfinalsrodeo).