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The Boote Family Legacy at the CNFR

Dickinson State University Blue Hawk, Jory Boote '24, achieved an impressive 11th place in the nation for tie-down roping at the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) last weekend in Casper, WY. Read about the Boote family's dedication to both rodeo and academic excellence.

The Boote Family Legacy at the CNFR

For twenty-five years, Casper, WY, has hosted the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR). As the college rodeo community proudly says, “Champions are made in Casper.” Each June, the most elite athletes and some of the best stock in the nation come together in the famous yellow arena for saddle bronc riding, bareback riding, bull riding, tie-down roping, steer wrestling, team roping, barrel racing, breakaway roping, and goat tying. More than 400 rodeo cowboys and cowgirls from over 100 universities and colleges qualify annually for the CNFR.

Eleven regions make up the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA). Throughout each region, contestants compete with their teammates against other universities and colleges. Contestants can qualify for the national finals individually or with their team. While honing their athletic abilities, rodeo athletes must maintain academic standards to be eligible to compete.

From Binford to the Big Arena

The Boote family, hailing from a ranch near Binford, ND, is well-known in college rodeo circles. Daughter Jade was only a third grader when her mother, Nikki, and her father, Alan, teamed up with eight other families to start the Central Dakota Youth Series. “We wanted a place for our kids—Jade, Jory, and Jace—to rodeo,” explained Alan. “So, we organized a youth rodeo series in order to make that happen.”

Nikki offers advice to any Dickinson State University Blue Hawk striving to reach a goal whether it be in the arena, on the court, on the field, on the mat, or in the classroom: “Surround yourself with people who push you to be your best, and don’t take it personally when they challenge you to do hard things.” The entire Boote family clearly takes this advice to heart, as if it were etched in silver on a rodeo buckle.

Daughter Jade served as the Student Director for the Great Plains Region from 2021 to 2023. As director, she developed sponsorships and more than doubled the region’s qualifier awards during her tenure. Jade also competed in the CNFR in breakaway roping in 2021, 2022, and 2023. Jory competed in the CNFR as a sophomore in 2022 and again in 2024 as a senior. Reflecting on her rodeo career, Jade said, “I will be forever thankful for all the places that blue vest has taken our family.”

This spring, the Boote family celebrated multiple milestones: both mother and daughter graduated with MBAs, and son Jory earned his bachelor’s degree in computer technology management.

Dickinson State University’s Director of Ag and Tech Studies, Chip Poland, gave a tip of the hat to the Boote family, saying, “Every rope and every ride, every paper and every assignment matter. The Boote family embodies what it means to be true leaders both in the classroom as well as in the arena.”

A Night to Remember

On Saturday night of the CNFR finals, Jory placed 11th nationally in tie-down roping. His family and friends were there in full force at the sold-out arena to share in the joy of the Blue Hawk athlete’s achievement.

Continuing the family’s rodeo tradition, younger brother Jace is set to compete in the National Junior High Rodeo Finals in Des Moines, IA, later this month.

By: Debora Dragseth, Baker Boy Professor of Leadership | School of Business and Entrepreneurship Dickinson State University

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