Miller twins pull rodeo switch

2010-02-11T20:29:00Z Miller twins pull rodeo switchBy CINDY PETERSON Bismarck Tribune Bismarck Tribune
February 11, 2010 8:29 pm  • 

Dan Miller realized something needed to change about four or five years ago. So did his twin brother Donald.

The pair of 34-year-olds didn't have the right body frame to be top-notch competitors in steer wrestling. Dan Miller, who is 5-foot-8, 160 pounds, noticed that the more successful steer wrestlers were taller and weighed about 200 pounds.

With a smaller frame, he and his brother decided to switch to bareback riding.

Making the transition hasn't been a problem for the Millers. They are both sitting in the one-two spots in the Badlands Circuit.

The Millers - who both ranch together near Raleigh with their parents - will be competing in the bareback at the Bismarck Civic Center this weekend at the PRCA Championship Rodeo. Donald is competing tonight and Dan on Saturday.

Both steer wrestle and rope non-competitively.

"I decided to concentrate on one event," Dan Miller said. "I wasn't big enough to be competitive in steer wrestling. I thought my best abilities were in bareback."

The Millers hit the rodeo circuit hard for about 10 years in the 1990s and 2000s, traveling all over the nation.

Once they got settled into ranching, they both have made the effort to stay closer to home.

"We are ranching, calving, haying and feeding," Dan Miller said. "It's (unfortunate) to get old and a real job. We traveled all around the country. We had a lot of fun doing it. We traveled hard. It was fun going to all the circuit rodeos."

Dan Miller said he misses traveling around the nation to different rodeos. He called his rodeoing a weekend hobby, like fishing or golfing.

"I sure do miss going to those places," he said. "I got a chance to see the country and to go to all those good rodeos."

The Millers try to stick to rodeos in North Dakota, South Dakota, Eastern Montana, Minnesota and Nebraska. If the rodeo is a great distance, they try to compete on separate nights so one of them can stay home to tend to the ranch.

"We get to go to plenty of rodeos together so if we don't get to go together it's not too big of a problem," Dan Miller said. "I have a traveling partner here at home. We can jump in the car and go together. It's always nice to have somebody else to travel with you."

Dan Miller doesn't find it awkward competing against his twin.

"We don't pay much attention to it," he said. "We try to help each other out. We watch how each other rides closer and critique it."

The rodeo at the Civic Center is like competing at a hometown rodeo for the Millers.

"The Mosbruckers bring outstanding stock," Dan Miller said. "There will be a bunch of people there I know. A lot of the top-named contestants come to it. It's definitely a good rodeo with good prize money."

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