Burke cowboy claims top prize at Prairie Village

LEVI SCHONEBAUM rides a bull during the Northern Bull Riding Tour at Prairie Village on Friday. He was the only rider to successfully stay on a bull for eight seconds and scored a 72 in the first round.

Eleven bull riders from three states tried to stay on the bulls during the annual Northern Bull Riding Tour held at  Prairie Village on Friday night.

Cowboys from Iowa, Minnesota and South Dakota tried to ride the bulls from the Bierema Rodeo Stock for eight seconds.

After two rounds, only one cowboy had a successful ride. Levi Schonebaum of Burke was the only rider to stay on a bull for eight seconds. In the first round, he stayed on his bull and scored a 72, which was good enough to claim the top prize and the custom-made belt buckle from Prairie Village.

The 25-year-old cowboy has been involved in rodeo all of his life.

"I started when I was 6 years old and have worked my way from 4-H to high school and now professionally," he said.

He competes in several organizations, including the PRCA, SDRA and Territorial Professional Bull Rider (TPBR).

Schonebaum will be competing in a PRCA event in North Platte, Neb., this week against some of the best cowboys.

This was his first win at Prairie Village.

"I have been here before," he said. He is hoping to return to Prairie Village next year to try for his second win.

"I grew up on a ranch and both of my parents were involved in rodeo," he said.

He was able to use the indoor arena on his ranch to hone his skills.

This was the first of five Northern Bull Riding Tour events this year as the finals are set for August. However, this was not Schonebaum's first event of the year.

"I have competed throughout the winter months," he said. "I will be competing somewhere every weekend throughout the summer months."

Bull riding is the only event that Schonebaum does.

"If I can stay healthy, I would like to do this for at least 10 more years," he said.

The next Northern Bull Riding Tour event will be held at Florence July 30-31.