Ingomar - eastern MT town of 11 - puts on classy rodeo


For the Star

In the little town of Ingomar, Montana, big things were happening. It was time for the 24th open rodeo. And the town of eleven had once again raised the bar.

Besides four new chutes installed three years ago, besides a newly built crows nest built last year, and a brand new rodeo office built this year; six NFR qualifiers, two PRCA former bronc riders and four bonafide western desert wild horse catchers were present; serving as judges, announcing, volunteering as help and even participating in the events.

The six NFR qualifiers included: Wally Badgett of Miles City, Deb Greenough (former world champion bareback bronc rider) of Fromberg, Ike Sanke of Joliet, Colin Murnion of Jordan, and Brad Germanson (former world champion saddle bronc rider) from Marshall, ND. Ike and Brad also took part in the Single Steer Roping event in the afternoon.

Serving as judges were Tom Nunn and Todd Nunn, of Shepherd, Montana and Lovell, Wyoming respectively. Both Nunns were PRCA Bronc Riders.  At one point Todd was seventeenth in the world, and Tom now has a saddle shop in Shepherd. They were also bonafide wild horse catchers in the deserts of California, along with Ingomar’s cowboy poet Owen Badgett (assisting with stock for the event) and Vic McDermott of Lovell, Wyoming.

There were over 100 entries in the rodeo. It was the fourth year that Grenough has been the announcer. The Ingomar rodeo committee of seven is honchoed by Donald Cameron and Howard Newman – the Newman name is big one in eastern Montana for saddle bronc stock and raising cattle. TJ Newman stock was provided for bronc events, while event cattle were provided by Paul Eiker of Glendive, and the Sankeys from Bridger Montana.

“Basically the town comes out and helps during rodeo time”, said Alice Cameron, secretary of the rodeo club. You couldn’t get into the rodeo until you went by longtime Ingomar resident Patty Erikson, with her grandson, taking gate money on the North road, and two of her granddaughters helping out with the gate at the South road to town. Not to mention rodeo committee members rancher Wally Newman and Morris Ware (an expert teamster who was busy giving rides to Friday guests), who performed chute duties, along with parent volunteers rounding out rodeo help.

Donald Cameron, has had a vision of building the Ingomar Rodeo into something special for quite awhile, “ It was a great day, with some tough bronc rides, and bull rides, team ropers, steer wrestlers, kids and adults racing barrels, you name it. The volunteers make all this happen. The participants bring it to life. And wait until next year, it’ll even be better.” Don could also be seen driving a 4-wheeler and dragging a harrow, smoothing out the arena between each event.

“It’s a phenomenon,” said Deb Greenough, who carried a pro rodeo card for 15 years, “I think it’s the only rodeo where the rodeo grounds are actually surrounded by cattle fence.” Greenough was referring to the fact that cattle are run in the various pastures that surround the town. And any way in crosses a cattle guard. Greenough comes to Ingomar because, “I grew up with rodeo, and I just enjoyed it so much. My kids like to go. And this is a rodeo for family’s, with some darn tough events.”

Rodeo day was followed by a deep pig roast sponsored by the Jersey Lilly Saloon and Eatery, followed by a street dance.

Prize money increased to $300 per event this year, with approximately 300 attending the event.  “If ever there was a town where ‘Lonesome Dove’ still lives, it’s Ingomar,” said Todd Nunn.  “And don’t forget the upcoming Ingomar Ranch rodeo, Sept. 5th and 6th” added Donald Cameron. “It is a great event honchoed by local cowman Nate Roskelly, with ten ranches participating.” Call 406-947-2221 for more info.