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Alumni Newsletter



May  2002                       Volume 1, No. 1


National Director Greetings...

by:  Fred Sulzbach


Greetings to MHSRA Alumni everywhere ! !


     As we approach our 45th year of high school rodeo in Minnesota, I am excited to report to you about the quality of our current contestants, as well as the very nice schedule of rodeos coming up this spring throughout the state.

    For some obvious reasons, and some not so obvious, the spring high school rodeo season nearly always turns out to be a time of homecoming appearances by MANY of our former contestants.... and we love it ! !

     The problems is that we haven’t had a venue for recognizing former friends and the tried and true rodeo relationships that seem to always weather the challenge of time. 

     We see familiar faces, feel the warmth that our memories generate from those smiles, but are too busy with the task at hand of running the current rodeo, to honor you as valued guests.

     We’ve felt for years the very special place in our hearts, minds and memories of the cowboys and cowgirls we rodeo with..... and in competition against; in many cases you are in fact our very best friends through time. 

     In my 28 years as a State Director, I have observed many of these relationships to be life long.   This has become particularly clear to me since I’ve started to see the “kids of former contestants” now entering our Minnesota High School Rodeos and competing with the same determination, and success, that I knew from the last generation ! !

     We present to you here our first efforts to help you organize what we hope will be a permanent MHSRA Alumni Association.  As the next generation of MHSRA Rodeo athletes has continued to bring some of you together as parents, we see and feel the need to organize you for the benefit of all. 

     We would love to start seeing more of you, benefit from your wise counsel and valued experience, and incorporate your ideas for MHSRA and capture your enthusiasm for a sport that we all love so dearly.

 Looking for a Few Great Cowboys and Cowgirls...  

      First: we need to know who you are, and where your are these days !   Local or out of state doesn’t matter to us; 

     Second: Just send us your name, address phone number, and e-mail address;

     Third: Send us the names, phone number and address of any other alumni whom you might be aware of; 

     Fourth: Send us any ideas you might have about how we can help to organize you folks into a vital and vibrant group of MHSRA Alumni; 

     Review: Please check out the rest of this inaugural MHSRA Newsletter for ideas, dates, events, news and happenings that would be greatly enhanced by your participation as a strong Alumni force ! !

     Catch up to your former rodeo partners, and re-join forces with MHSRA: sign up with the new MHSRA Alumni Association !

 Western Wishes,

 Fred Sulzbach

State Director ‘74 - ‘02
National Director ‘85 - ‘02



          MHSRA State Directors are looking at several offers to make Aluminum slant load trailers available to the 2002 MHSRA All Around Cowboy and Cowgirl from this year’s season finale. 

     Watch the MHSRA newsletter and web site for more information on this detail. 

2002 MHSRA State Finals
June 21, 22 & 23, 20002
Dead Broke Saddle Club, Hugo Minnesota
Trophy Saddles by: COWBOY CLASSIC of Texas
Trophy Buckles by: GIST SILVERSMITH of California

Mark Your Calendars Now !

  * * * * * * * * * *

 MHSRA Alumni Committee Forms


     Your MHSRA Alumni Association will be what ever you make it !  Anything and everything is possible; your creativity and leadership is needed now. 

     Minnesota High School Rodeo was once an important and dominant force in your life and it can be again!  This great sport is just as important in the lives of today’s MHSRA athlete’s as it was in your day. Help us to ensure it productive for many generations to come.  

     Please volunteer to be a founding member of the MHSRA Alumni Association Planning Committee.  Join fellow MHSRA Alumni Barb Carlson Rehbein, Connie Widmer and Dave Kimm on this inaugural committee and be part of making MHSRA history.  Please call me at:  612.721.5785  to join this strategic committee.

 Fred Sulzbach

Spring Rodeo Season 2002

     Alexandria, MN:   The first spring rodeo is in the books ! !  April 13 and 14 found us at the Runestone Community Center in Alexandria, MN, for a great indoor rodeo sponsored by Region II. 

     A memorable grand entry, featuring the home town Region II cowboys and cowgirls kicked off both performances to enthusiastic rodeo fans in West Central Minnesota. 

     Creativity and function were the operative words for the awards for this rodeo. 

     Breast collars, rope cans, gear bags, and tack were among the awards that MHSRA cowboys and cowgirls will be seen sporting and using on their horses in the season to come. 

     After Boys and Girls Cutting is completed at the Bemidji Rodeo in early June, Boys and Girls All Around Cowboys and Cowgirls from each day will be awarded custom, embroidered horse blankets as keepsakes. 

Spring '02 DATES:
May 18 & 19: Mora, MN Region 5A
June 1 & 2: Bemidji, MN Region 1
June 15 & 16: Brainerd, MN Region I
State Finals: June 21 - 23: Dead Broke Saddle Club, Hugo, MN

Fall '02 DATES:
August 3 & 4: Albert Lea, MN
August 17 & 18: Buffalo, MN

    Your Current MHSRA Queen, Allie Burn and her family are busy planning the 2002 /2003 edition of the Queen’s Contest. 

    So far we have four contestants: sophomores: Erin Kuntz, Center City; Christa Ochsendorf, Appleton; and sisters: Amber Hultman, freshman, and Emily Hultman, junior, Center City.  

  To more closely parallel the professionalism of the national contest at the NHSFR some of the judging will be taking place in a local motel on Thursday night, June 20, 2002.  Watch the next newsletter and the web site for more details.

    If any Alumni are available to help, or qualified to help judge this contest, please call Queen Allie or Queen Mom Kelly, at: 763.972.2101. 

    The MHSRA State Finals 2002, would be a great opportunity, to introduce former MHSRA Rodeo Queens to our rodeo fans.  Please check in with Queen Allie if you can be available for this on any of the days of MHSRA State Finals. 


     One of the first special features planned for MHSRA alumni will be a special seating section at the State Finals Rodeo. 

     Intended to honor and showcase our valued Alumni, a special section will be reserved in the Dead Broke Saddle Club’s grandstand seating so that MHSRA Alumni can gather together to observe and cheer the current MHSRA athletes. 

     This special section will be featured by the announcer throughout the State Finals and will be honored during the daily grand entries. 

     Alumni should be able to connect with MHSRA class mates and families and re-new old acquaintances and form the basis for a strong MHSRA Alumni Association to come.

MHSRA Logo Contest

     Not all good things come to an end.....  MHSRA has endured through many changes: styles of jeans, hats, belt buckles, hair lengths, saddles, horses, even trucks and trailers. 

     MHSRA State Finals will unveil the first change in official logo’s since it’s inception over forty years ago.  Serving the organization has been a pair of standing spurs, symbolizing the first letter of the state as well as the western theme. 

     Years of use and re-copy down from an original which is no longer locatable , has left the organization with a obscure and unprofessional looking logo, disfavored by printers and even buckle and saddle makers. 

     Current MHSRA athletes have been involved in a contest this past winter to design a new official logo for their organization.  Student Directors Katie Christensen and Michael Weise have been collecting logos designs from students through the winter and spring and will be putting together a committee to choose the new representation. 

     MHSRA’s new logo will be presented during the 2002 State Finals at the Dead Broke Saddle Club in Hugo, MN, blending the old with the new: the memorialization of the MHSRA Alumni Association and dedication of the new art work for the future of the organization.


    Farmington, New Mexico, will play host to the High School National Finals Rodeo this summer and next.  Moving from Springfield, IL, to a southwest location for the next two years will offer new scenery and new opportunities for high school rodeo athletes.                                  

     Preparations for the largest rodeo in the world have continued through the winter and spring in the four corners area of New Mexico.

     Weather conditions are expected to be warm during the day time, but cooler at night.  The Practice and Cutting arenas are reportedly air conditioned

     The Minnesota High School Rodeo Association contingency has made arrangements to camp in a local KAO campground which will locate them timely to the arena facilities. 



     Watch for details to be released soon about a special MHSRA Alumni Reception during the 2002 State Finals Rodeo.  The opportunity to meet up with former MHSRA friends and partners will be offered at a special place and time during the June 21 - 23, 2002, season finale. 

     Current students and new graduates will all be involved in this festive occasion.  This will be the first of an annual Alumni reception event for all future MHSRA State Finals.


MN Cowboys and Cowgirls

Shine in College Rodeo


     Minnesota High School Rodeo has enjoyed a strong success rate in recent years in sending its rodeo athletes on to the ranks of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA). 

     Active in several regions of the NIRA, Minnesota’s collegiate cowboys and cowgirls have attracted the attention and scholarships of a number of rodeo coaches and secondary schools. 

     Check out the current and always changing rankings of our Minnesota collegiate rodeo athletes at: on the Internet.  Follow their progress through the spring season into the Regional Finals format and on to the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR)  in Casper, WY, in mid June. 


    Every one can use a new saddle; you can imagine the aroma of that new leather now !   Squeaky new, stirrup leathers needing training, leather punch needed... the pride of breaking in a new saddle. 

     If you haven’t been approached by a current MHSRA rodeo cowboy or cowgirl to purchase a $1 raffle ticket for your chance to win a new Billy Cook saddle, seek one out at the State Finals in June and get a few bought. 

     Get your name in for the drawing for that new saddle.  The winner will be chosen during the short go of the 2002 MHSRA State Finals Rodeo on Sunday, June 23rd. 

    The student selling the most raffle tickets will also win a Billy Cook Saddle.  The Fund Raiser is at the state level and will help to cover the cost of the MHSRA State Finals Rodeo. 


     Recent 2001 MHSRA Alumni Wade Grinager, Region II’s silver tongued All Around Cowboy standout is making a name for himself as a rodeo announcer these days in addition to his career as a collegiate rodeo standout at the University of Wyoming. 

     The versatile high school rough stock and timed event cowboy made his rodeo announcing debut last August at the Region II Appleton Rodeo as an assistant announcer.  His natural style with the rodeo language and repertoire made him very popular at the fall rodeo. 

     Now performing at the timed event end of the arena in NIRA’s collegiate rodeo field, Grinager has continued to build on his rodeo announcing experience s in Wyoming.  Watch and listen for him this spring and summer at some of the MHSRA rodeos around the state. 

MHSRA in Cyber Space<

Keep in touch with Minnesota High School Rodeo at your convenience through your Internet provider, by checking into:<. 

      This upper Midwest equine related web site is the place to go to know what’s happening at any time with the MHSRA.  And it will be the place for the new MHSRA Alumni Association to stay tuned as well. has been hosting the MHSRA news, views, and standings for over four years now.  A new section has been added to include the newly forming MHSRA Alumni Association news and information pertinent to that new arm of the organization. 

     Checking in to the MHSRA web site can give you an instant glimpse of the current standings, year end standings from the previous year, newsletters, Region news, rodeo dates and schedules, and upcoming events.  The MHSRA site also links to the National High School Rodeo Association home page (<)  Check it out ! !

 Bring Your High School Rodeo Photos

     Start looking now through those old scrap books that Mom used to keep for you from you Minnesota High School Rodeo days.  Pick out a few of your favorites in action, and bring them with you to the 2002 MHSRA State Finals Rodeo, June 21 -23, in Hugo, MN.  

     Look for the special Alumni Bulletin Board at Rodeo Headquarters and post your finest MHSRA memories there for all to see.  Your MHSRA Alumni Planning Committee will be planning a special contest in relation to this photo display. 

     The Alumni Bulletin Board will be arranged by decades, so be sure to place your photos by your year of graduation, in the appropriate decade section.  Do not label or identify your photos.  We may incorporate an identification contest as part of the Alumni fun.

Fred’s Retiring !

     Since Fred Sulzbach has been with this organization since 1974, most of you know him.  28 years of involvement covers more than half of the history of MHSRA, taking in many of your years of involvement. 

     Fred has been a State Director for 28 years, and has served this organization as it’s National Director for 17 years.  His association with rodeo has also been a professional one, as owner of CLG Rodeo, purveyor of rough stock gear for rodeo competitors. 

     Most of you know him as a strong supporter, avid spokesperson, and dominant advocate for rodeo in general, and Minnesota High School Rodeo in particular. 

     This is a SURPRISE for Fred: Please join us for a special event, honoring his retirement from official Minnesota High School involvement, during the Alumni Reception at the MHSRA State Finals. 

     Since Fred is currently on a trip to Sweden until early May, he won’t see a final copy of this newsletter with this announcement as part of it.  So keep the secret, and be thinking of good “Fred Stories” to share with us during this Retirement Event. 

     Plan on joining us a for a little “Fred Roasting”, during the 2002 MHSRA Finals and Alumni Association Reception.   Watch the MHSRA web site, at:, and a possible future Alumni Newsletter, just prior to State Finals for more detailed information. 


     Minnesota High School Rodeo has chosen it’s first new National Director to the National High School Rodeo Association since the mid 1970's. 

     At it’s 2001 Annual Meeting, MHSRA’s State Directors voted to elect it’s State President, Mike Grinager, to be the 2001 / 2002 Co-National Director, along with 17 year veteran Fred Sulzbach.

     The group gave Grinager the year to attend national meetings along with Sulzbach, in order to learn the ropes.  Grinager was also re-elected as the 2001 / 2002 State President. 

     An MHSRA Alumni, Mike Grinager returned to the organization when his oldest son Wade, began competing in MHSRA events in 1998.  The eldest Grinager won graduated in May of 2001. 

     Middle Grinager son, Kyle,  competes at both ends of the rodeo arena, and younger son Brett will begin his high school rodeo career in a few years. Wife Terri, also a former MHSRA competitor, is the Association’s Points Secretary. 

     Mike Grinager is an Engineer for Brenton Engineering of Miltona, MN, which hosts the MHSRA’s monthly State Director’s meetings.   A Region II member and Vice President, Grinager also often serves the Association as a qualified Arena Director at many of it’s Regional Rodeos.

Jackpot Fund Raiser

     Grab your ropes and limber up your can chasing ponies, it’s time for the MHSRA’s Annual Spring Fund Raiser Jackpot. Show up at the Arrowhead Arena west of Monticello, MN, on Saturday, May 11,  by 9 a.m.

Barrels & Pole Bending = $15 Entry

Exhibit Barrels & Poles = $2 Entry

Goat tying - 3 Run Avg = $25 Entry

Breakaway - 3 Hd Avg = $25 Entry

Team Rope - 3 Hd Prog = $25 Entry

Calf Rope - 3 Hd Avg = $25 Entry

Steer Wrestle - 3 Hd Avg = $25 Entry

     This is a state fund raiser for MHSRA to help pay for state planned events and expenses. 

For more information call

Student Directors:    

Kate Christensen:   320.587.5300

Michael Weise: 218.751.8495.


Send Us Your Current Address


     We’re not sure how we reached you ! Some of you have shared your current addresses with us for this Alumni list; but in some cases we have used your family addresses from when you were in Minnesota High School Rodeo, and this newsletter may have reached you through the family grapevine. 

     Then there are all of those new 911 addresses that we need to catch up to.  So please check to be sure how this MHSRA Alumni Newsletter reached you; check the mailing label please. 

     If we don’t have your current address, please respond with that correct address to the “Return Address” on this newsletter: Send us your correct mailing address, phone number, e-mail address, and the years that you participated in MHSRA. 

     OR: check into the new MHSRA Alumni Association web page at:, and fill out the form there for this information; or find your address in the list and correct and update it.  While you are there check for any of your former MHSRA friends as well.


 Weatherby Rifle Raffle 

     Try saying that five times real fast !   Just imagine the $10 raffle ticket that could make you the owner of a collector’s rifle! This is a National sponsorship that will keep half of the money in the state’s treasury.

     The NHSRA tells us that they have private offers to purchase the gun from the winner if the lucky ticket holder would rather have cash.  It’s a no lose deal - support your favorite youth rodeo association and possibly win a one of a kind rifle. 

     There are a limited number of tickets available for this rifle, so check with MHSRA State Directors and athletes during the State Finals, if not before. 

MHSRA Dates To Remember

Jackpot Fund Raiser:
May 11 ~ Arrowhead Arena, Monticello, MN

May 18 & 19 ~ Mora, MN
June 1 & 2 ~ Bemidji, MN
June 15 & 16 ~ Brainerd, MN
June 21, 22 & 23 ~ Hugo, MN State Finals MHSRA Rodeo Dead Broke Saddle Club

 Check in to:<

Become a Founding Member of the MHSRA Alumni Association ! !

Available soon: Update your personal data on-line
in the MHSRA web site.


Support Current MHSRA Activities in the Coming Season....

Help to Keep Youth Rodeo a Strong Opportunity in Minnesota: