Ty Breuer

Ty Breuer of Mandan rides Dirty Jacket during the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas on Sunday, Dec. 17. Dirty Jacket is a two-time Bareback Horse of the Year award winner.

PHOTO COURTESY TODD BREUER

After 10 straight nights of rigging some of the premier horses in ProRodeo, Ty Breuer was ready for more.

The Mandan bareback standout recently finished the most successful National Finals Rodeo of his career. Breuer banked nearly $56,000 in prize money and his 10-ride point total of 814.5 was the seventh-highest average of the top 15 riders to qualify for the premier event held in Las Vegas.

When it was over, there was no soreness or fatigue. In fact, he had planned to get right back on the horse literally, this weekend, before opting to stay home for the holidays.

"I actually feel really good," Breuer said. "I was supposed to go rodeo this weekend, but I decided to stay home and rest up."

It was a busy year on and off the circuit for Breuer. His wife Kelli had their first child, a daughter, last month. Everybody was on hand in Las Vegas for Ty's third, and most successful, NFR, to date. Only the top 15 bareback riders in the season standings qualify for ProRodeo's grand championship.

"To have my family there definitely added to the enjoyment of everything," Ty said.

Breuer continues to raise the bar in his bareback career. For the first time, he earned a round win at the NFR, claiming first place in round 4 on Dec. 10.

"I was happy with how it went. I felt like when I had the opportunity to win or place I was able to capitalize on it," he said. "It's like any sport, when you're able to step back and reflect on it there's always a thing here or a thing there a guy maybe could've done differently, but I thought I went out there and gave it everything I had."

Competing in front of packed crowds at the 20,000-seat Thomas & Mack Center even gets the juices flowing for the typically composed Breuer.

"The first couple of nights your nerves are going 100 miles per hour," he said. "The atmosphere is just awesome. It's such a great place for the NFR. There's always a buzz in the air."

The start of the 2018 season is right around the corner. His first rodeo will be held in early January in Denver. The schedule is hot and heavy through March, before he returns to his day job on the family ranch in Mandan for calving season, which runs through June. After that, he's back on the road.

Based on his banner 2017 campaign, he's setting a high target for the new season.

"My goal, like everyone who rides, is to be world champion," Breuer said. "If a guy can get a little lucky, and stay healthy, which is the biggest thing, I do think it's possible and that's exciting to think about."

Reach Tribune sports editor Dave Selvig at (701) 250-8246 or david.selvig@bismarcktribune.com

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