Grant Finkbeiner following his passion for rodeo

Charlie Denison

Grant gets after it at a rodeo recently.
Photo courtesy of Grant Finkbeiner

Grass Range junior Grant Finkbeiner doesn’t mind going it alone.

Instead of playing football this year, he’s pursuing his passion: competing in saddle bronc and bull riding events at rodeos all over the state.

Grass Range doesn’t have a rodeo team, but that doesn’t stop Grant. He’s going for it, and – with the support of parents Glen and Davene Finkbeiner – he’s making it happen.

“It’s been a ton of fun,” he said. “I love going to all the different places: Wibaux, Sidney, Whitehall. It’s been great. There are a lot of good people involved in high school rodeo.”

So far, there are only two other students involved in rodeo at Grass Range, and Grant wants that to change.

“I’m trying to start a rodeo club here,” he said. “There are already a couple people I know who might be interested.” 

Rodeo Club, Grant said, consists of carpooling to rodeo events and supporting high school rodeo athletes by showing team spirit, selling raffle tickets and more.

“It’d be great if I could get it going,” he said.

Grant said he believes a rodeo club is in demand thanks to the new rodeo grounds in Grass Range put together by the Ahlgrens and other local rodeo enthusiasts.

“Having open rodeos and having a place to practice bucking has been huge,” Grant said. “It’s been great for the whole community, and I think it’s really helped spring interest in rodeo. It’s been a really good place to practice roping or rough stock or whatever rodeo event you’re doing.”

A Grass Range native, Grant lives on his family’s ranch seven miles outside of town. He stays busy with haying, calving and training colts. In many ways, this lifestyle has propelled him toward rodeo, and he’s grateful for such an upbringing. He’s also grateful for the support he’s received from his parents.

“They’ve been great,” he said. “They even try to give me tips when they can, especially my mom. She has some rodeo experience. Back in high school she competed as a saddle bronc rider and bull rider. She also did calf roping, goat tying and barrel racing when she was younger. She was big into rodeo, which helped me get into it, too. This is a new experience altogether for my dad, but he seems to enjoy it.”

It’s early in the rodeo season, but Grant has a good feeling moving forward. If all goes well, he hopes to compete in college.

“If I can do good in high school I hope to get a scholarship,” Grant said. “I was thinking Dillon or Miles City. They both have good rodeo teams. Dillon is definitely my first choice. It’s not super big and I like their block scheduling.”

Come what may, Grant said he’s just happy to follow his passion and he encourages others to do the same.

“Everyone should follow the sport they are passionate about,” he said, “and if you don’t like the sport, don’t do it. That goes for anything, really. Do what you love.”



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