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FIRST ANNUAL SAND VOLLEYBALL TOURNAMENT was held on Saturday, June 18 at the foot of Big Stone Lake during Lake Days. Eight teams took part in the tournament. The weather was hot, but the teams had a great time playing


Big Stone Lake Days draws hundreds to community

A new summer festival, “Big Stone Lake Days” sponsored by the Big Stone lake Area Chamber of Commerce was deemed a success, by everyone in attendance. Hundreds of people came to the foot of Big Stone Lake Friday and Saturday to join in the festivities.

Big Stone Lake Days Committee Chairman Karen Oakes is receiving numerous compliments in person, and via phone calls, e-mails and social media about the great event and how much fun participants had.

Purpose of Lake Days was to showcase one of the area’s best assets, Big Stone Lake and to bring family and friends together to have a great time celebrating it, said Oakes.

Events were held Friday and Saturday for all ages with the highlight being a concert by The Johnny Holm band, playing on the water’s edge.

Big Stone Lake Days was made possible thanks to many volunteers, local businesses  and hundreds of people who attended and supported the events.

The Lake Days Committee hopes to make this an annual festival. See photo highlights and bobber winners elswhere this issue of The Ortonville Independent.



McMahon earns spot at U.S. high school rodeo competition

Ortonville's Cody McMahon, 18, is one of the best rodeo competitors in the state of Minnesota. He and his team roping partner have the belt buckle to prove it.

He and his partner Cora Borman of Backus will be competing against the best high school rodeo competitors in the country in the “Team Roping” event at the 68th annual National High School Finals Rodeo in Gillette, WY July 17-23.

They were among the top finishers in the “Team Roping” event at the Minnesota High School Final Rodeo held June 10-12 in Hugo. “Team Roping” is an event where two horse riders work together to rope the head and heels of a 700 to 800 lb. steer. Cody and Cora did this in 6.1 seconds at the state competition to win the short-go and qualify for nationals.

McMahon represents Ortonville High School and has only been participating in high school rodeo since 2014. He  and Borman began competing as a team this year and have won a few championships.

Borman is the only female roper from Minnesota to qualify for the national competition. Cody met Cora through Bill VanLith of Big Stone City, SD, who has mentored Cody in cowboying over the years. He and Cora's dad Cory Borman have team roped together at rodeos throughout the years.

McMahon is a true cowboy who has been riding horses since he was old enough to walk. He started competing in ranch rodeos with his dad when Cody was 11-years-old.

Ranch rodeos have several different timed events including: "Branding", where horse riders rope and brand a calf, "Doctoring," where riders rope  the head and the heel of a critter and doctor it with a paint stick, "Wild Cow Milking," where participants milk a cow and the winner gets the most milk, "Team Penning," where three or four riders  sort and pen three calves, identified with the same number, in the shortest amount of time.

Cody hopes to go pro rodeo or get a scholarship to a school where he can study to become a lineman and participate in college rodeo.

He has four horses. A quarter horse named, Spook, is his best team roping horse, Spook is 24-years-old and will get retired after nationals.

When Cody got Spook he was a colt and had never had a rider rope off him. McMahon spent years training Spook, teaching him how to work in sync with Cody and follow his commands.

In order to dedicate his time to rodeo, McMahon spends all day, every day doing ranch-hand work at S&J Feeders of Correll, where he has worked for the past three years. He home schooled his senior year and took post secondary classes, graduating from Home Consulting Services out of Minneapolis.

Ranch-hand work, is his practice for ranch rodeo competitions. It is cowboying, which is what he does at the rodeos.

It is second nataure for Cody to be on a horse and he is most comfortable in cowboy boots and a cowboy hat.

McMahon, a 2016 high school graduate, is the son of Jeff McMahon of Ortonville and Gretchen  and Kyle Weber of Twin Brooks, SD. 

Cody’s sister Cali, 5, is a little cowgirl who rides horse too. He has already been teaching her to rope.

Cody is grateful for his great support team of family, friends and local sponsors including: R&K Agronomy, Producers Hybrid, Steve McMahon Trucking and MacDaddy's Drive-In and Convenience Store.

The NHSFR has more than 1,650 contestants from 43 states, five Canadian provinces and Australia. The NHSFR is the world’s largest rodeo.

In addition to competing for more than $200,000 in prizes, NHSFR contestants will also be competing for more than $350,000 in college scholarships and the chance to be named an NHSFR world champion.

To earn this title, contestants must finish in the top 20, based on their combined times/scores in the first two rounds, to advance to the final round. World champions will then be determined based on their three-round combined times/scores.

The final championship performance will be televised nationally as a part of the Cinch High School Rodeo Tour telecast series on RFD-TV. Live broadcasts of each NHSFR performance will also air on-line at nhsratv.com. Performance times are 7 p.m. on Sunday, July 17 and 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. each day thereafter  through Saturday, July 23.

Along with rodeo competition and the chance to meet new friends around the word, NHSFR contestants have the opportunity to enjoy shooting sports, volleyball, contestant dances, family oriented activities, church services, sponsored by the Fellowship of Christian Cowboys and the NHSFR Trade Show.

To follow Cody at the national competition, visit nhsra.org daily for complete results.


Four injured in one vehicle accident near Long Tom Lake

The Big Stone County Sheriff’s Office responded to a one vehicle crash at approximately 8:56 p.m. on Saturday, June 18 at 400th Street near the Long Tom Lake Access.

A 17 year old juvenile male from Ortonville was driving a 2000 Ford Explorer when he lost control and left the roadway, striking an approach and going over the approach. The vehicle did not roll.

Besides the driver, there were three other persons in the vehicle, including another 17 year old male from Ortonville, Tracy Rush, 18, and Dylan Pillatzki, 18, both of Big Stone City, SD.

The driver of the vehicle was airlifted from the scene by helicopter to Fargo, ND. The other three were transported by the Ortonville Ambulance to the Ortonville Hospital. The condition of all parties transported is not known, but none of the injuries were life-threatening.

Assisting the Big Stone County Sheriff’s Office at the scene was the Odessa Fire Department, Ortonville Fire Department, Ortonville Police Department and the Minnesota State Patrol.

The case is still under investigation.