New NRA Stock Contractor Brings The NRA To Malta

July 10, 2020

When Jerey McEwen was fighting bulls in the Northern Rodeo Association, his list of tasks for an assigned rodeo was fairly short.


Along with serving as the bullfighter in the arena, McEwen often drove one of trucks hauling the bucking stock. He would arrive at the rodeo site, sometimes very late at night, unload the animals and get some sleep at a hotel in town before returning the next day for work.


After protecting the bull riders during the performance, McEwen would load the truck and head to the next rodeo.


Now on the other side of rodeo production, McEwen finds his lists of task has grown.

It’s endless.


“I’ve been running around like a chicken with its head cut off,” said McEwen, the Malta rodeo committee chairman of the jobs large and small that must be done. “There is just always something to do.”


The Malta rodeo on Saturday is new to the NRA/NWRA schedule. The stock contractor is the Treasure State Rodeo Company.


“It’s kind of a big deal to be with the NRA,” said McEwen.


McEwen formed a rodeo committee last fall and in January the group approached the NRA and NWRA about having a sanctioned event with one of the strongest grass roots rodeo organizations in the United States.


“We got great support from our local businesses. They all stepped up,” McEwen said.

Since getting the OK, McEwen has either been at the arena or somewhere with his phone to his head, or both, trying to finalize all the necessary details. This past Sunday, six days before the rodeo, McEwen was at the arena painting the bucking chutes.


Along with coordinating all aspects of a rodeo, McEwen is also balancing real-life work with his McEwen Livestock Trucking company and a custom hay operation.


“And the other 30 hours in the day, I take care of the rodeo,” he joked.


McEwen has a couple of reasons for bringing the NRA/NWRA to Malta. One was for the next generation of competitors, including his daughters Maddy and Morgan who will be competing in the junior barrel racing. The McEwen sisters will also be serving as flag bearers during the rodeo.


The other was to showcase Malta’s arena, built in 2001 with donated money.


“We cleaned it all up,” McEwen said of one of the committees first tasks when the weather permitted. 


“We’ve got one of the nicest arenas in the state of Montana.”


McEwen will see the fruition of his labors on Saturday when the first bareback horse bucks.

“It’s been an eye opener,” he said.


Fourth of July wrap up


Jade Gardner of Winnett needed less than 20 seconds to be the big winner and vault to the top of the tie-down roping standings during the Fourth of July weekend.


The cowboy won at Ennis and Harlowton to pocket more than $2,000. He won Ennis with a time of 9.5 seconds for $1,150 and earned another $1,080 at Harlowton with a winning time of 10.1 seconds.

Former champion Ben Ayre of Glendive was second both times.


Geraldine saddle bronc rider moved to the top of the pack with a win at Harlowton and tying for second at Ennis for a little more than $1,700 while Celie Salmond of Choteau clipped off a time of 2.1 seconds to win the breakaway roping at Ennis. The 2.1-second win is the fastest of the season.


And Jody Sarchett and Ryker Sarchett made it a mother-son sweep of breakaway roping at Harlowton. 


Jody Sarchett won the women’s breakaway roping while Ryker did the same in the junior event.


Ryker Sarchett also became the third generation of his family to earn a win.


His grandmother Nancy Petersen of Three Forks competed in both barrel racing and breakaway roping, finishing second in the women’s all-around and breakaway roping standings in 1989.


Jody Sarchett (then Petersen) won breakaway roping titles in 1996 and 1997, along with the all-around title in 1997. She is also multi-time juniors champion.

JOE KUSEK