BILLINGS — The spotlight is back on the dirt Saturday night, as the 25th annual Chase Hawks Roughstock Rodeo invades First Interstate Arena at MetraPark.
It's one of the top events on the nation's calendar this time of year, with just bareback, saddle bronc and bull riders competing, and many come straight from the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas - stock, too. This year is no exception, but it will be without two new Montanans - with two very good excuses.
"I had full intentions on going to it, but right after (the NFR) is done, they're going to get me in for some wrist surgery," said Corvallis bareback rider Caleb Bennett. "I've got stuff going on in there that isn't supposed to be going on, so I've got to take some time off."
"I've got to go to Canada for Christmas - otherwise I'd be there," said Richie Champion, who recently moved to Stevensville. "I went to Chase Hawks earlier in my career - I love that rodeo, and it's a great cause. I'd like to get back there, it's just not going to happen this year."
Champion will be visiting in-laws in Canada for the holiday season.
The Chase Hawks Roughstock Rodeo begins at 7 p.m. Saturday.