By Mike Max

WINTHROP, Minn. (WCCO) – The Hamel Rodeo is the place to be this weekend. It’s one of the biggest rodeos in the Midwest. And Winthrop, Minnesota’s Dan Morton is one of the big competitors in steer wrestling.

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“This is Spike. He’s 22, so he’s not young anymore. But he definitely loves what he does,” said Morton about his beloved horse.

Dan Morton’s ride is a big key to his rodeo success as a steer wrestler.

“…he’s not a young horse anymore…he’s had a few bumps and bruises along the way. And so, I guess like your running back who’s been beat up a little bit, they tape him up before the game,” he said.

During the “pre-game” routine that the Morton family goes through, they help out dad as he gets ready for his event.

“I think it’s the physical challenge of it. I like to think steer wrestling is kind of a sport that…it’s simple but it’s not easy. There’s not a lot of complicated things to it, but in the same sense it all has to come together at the right time. So I think it’s both a physical and a mental challenge,” said Morton.

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Morton started competing nearly two decades ago. It’s his summer hobby because he’s a teacher during the school year back in his hometown of Winthrop.

“We rodeo basically from the first of June to the first of October. So we hit 25 to 30 rodeos. Pretty much every weekend,” he said.

During Morton’s first attempt, he finishes in 6.9 seconds, which is a good time for the leaderboard. But since he rode early, he’ll have to wait and see how things turnout.

“I made the run, so I have a chance coming back so, it was decent. So I’ll take it. I didn’t mess him up,” he said.

Dan finished 25th out of 61 riders yesterday in the steer wrestling event.

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Besides the Hamel Rodeo this weekend, Dan’s participating in three others in Isanti, Spooner, Wisconsin, and Park Rapids. He then drives back to Hamel to compete again on Sunday.

Mike Max