Samantha Fulton and CY Christensen Win the 2022 Badlands Circuit

Samantha Fulton was declared the Badlands Circuit Champion, while Syerra “CY” Christensen was crowned the 2022 Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo champion.

Samantha Fulton And Cy Christensen Win The 2022 Badlands Circuit
Samantha Fulton. Alaina Stangle Photography

The 2022 Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo was held in Minot, South Dakota, Oct. 14–16, in which Samantha Fulton and Syerra “CY” Christensen were crowned year-end and finals champions, respectively. The two breakaway ropers will represent the Badlands Circuit at the NFR Open in 2023.

2022 Badlands Circuit Champion: Samantha Fulton

Samantha Fulton of Miller, South Dakota, was declared the 2022 Badlands Circuit Champion after finishing the season with $14,319.69 in PRCA/WPRA earnings.

In the lead-up to the Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo, Fulton was ranked 6th in the circuit standings and was less than $2,000 behind Brandy Schaack of Chadron, Nebraska, in the top spot.

“At the beginning, it kind of started off a little bit slow,” Fulton reported on her season. “I didn’t have much money won until Mandan over the Fourth of July, and then I kind of got on a roll and finished up pretty strong.”

At the Circuit Finals Rodeo, Fulton took third in the first round with a time of 2.7 seconds for $469, fourth in the second round with a 3.3 for $234 and first in the third round with a 1.9 for $938. She finished second in the average with a total of 7.9 seconds on three head for $1,055. In total, she earned $2,696 across two-day competition.

“I felt like I had a really good first run,” Fulton said. “The calves were a little fresher, so I was off the line a little bit but made a good run. Second run, I messed up. I was a little bit late and wasn’t as aggressive as I wanted to be. The third run was good; I was 1.9. I had a really good calf and scored good, and it worked out.”

It was a strong finish for her and her mount, BRC Lenas Nic, also known as Sambo, the 17-year-old black gelding she has been riding for more than eight years.

“He’s good in pretty much every setup,” Fulton said. “Scores really good. Runs hard. Stops hard. He just tries every time and is just a winner. I’m super confident on him because I’ve ridden him so long and had him in basically every setup.”

Fulton has big things in mind for the 2023 season, such as the possibility of winning the NFR Open.

“The fact that we get to rope up there for that much money, I mean, that was a game changer for a few girls this summer,” Fulton said. “I’m super excited to be able to go there and compete against everyone. I would like to win the circuit again and would love to win the average at next year’s Finals.”

Samantha Fulton And Cy Christensen Win The 2022 Badlands Circuit
CY Christensen. Alaina Stangle Photography

2022 Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo Average Champion: Syerra “CY” Christensen

Syerra “CY” Christensen, of Kennebec, South Dakota, was crowned the 2022 Badlands Circuit Finals champion after roping three calves in 7.0 seconds to take home the average win. 

“I knew going into the Circuit Finals that I didn’t really have a chance to win the year-end,” Christensen said. “I just was going for the average there to make it to the NFR Open. That was my goal.”

In the first round, Christensen was second with a 2.3 for $703. Then she won first in the second round with a 2.3 for $938 and tied for third in the third round with a 2.4 for $352. Her total earnings for the Circuit Finals Rodeo was $3,400. 

“I had good calves in the first two rounds,” Christensen started, “but there was one calf in there that turned left both nights, like hard left and I actually drew him Sunday. I wouldn’t say I was mad about it, but I was just kind of disappointed because I had two good runs before. I don’t know if the stars aligned, but he went straight Sunday and it all worked out.”

For the event, Christensen rode Cnotes Featureplease, also known as Whiskey, a green horse owned by her mother, Melodi Christensen.

“He’s one I started last winter, and he’s really come along good,” Christensen said. “He is easy to rope on and I guess he just makes my job easy. He’s really easy to score on. He doesn’t screw around or nothing like that with you. He’s pretty honest. He doesn’t take your shot away and he’s just dead in the corner till I drop my hand. That’s what I like most.”

Christensen is preparing for the 2023 NFR Open and has more goals on her mind for the upcoming season, but she has her eye on even bigger ones down the road.

“I would love to qualify for the National Finals of Breakaway,” Christensen offered. “But you never know what life is going to throw at you.”

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