2017 Tribute Dinner Nominees left to right: Ote Berry, Joe Thorne, Renee Kost Sutton and Jesse Bail.
Rodeo Cowgirl Great: Renee Kost Sutton of Burke
Renee has been involved with rodeo for many years. She has been a contestant, secretary, timer and has held State Queen Titles. She was the voice of rodeo for SDRA for many years, doing the SDRA rodeo report for radio shows. She has worked promoting the Burke Stampede Rodeo for more than two decades. She is most honored in raising her three great rodeo children: Dee Haugen, Billy Sutton and Rehme Sutton.
Rodeo Cowboy Great: Jesse Bail of Camp Crook
Jesse was a 12-time NFR qualifier with over $2 million in career earnings. He won the Linderman award and in 2000-2001 he qualified in 3 NFR events: saddle bronc, bull riding and steer wrestling. He has a long history of professional highlights from 2000 to the present. He has been a competitor and supporter of the Match of Champions Bronc Ride in Fort Pierre.
Past Rodeo Great: Ote Berry, formerly of Scenic, now of Checotah, OK
This quiet champion qualified for 14 NFR’s and won 4 World Titles. In 1980, he won the National High School Rodeo Steer Wrestling. In his first year of NFR competition in 1985, he won the World title. He competed in rodeo for more than 2 decades. He was inducted into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame in 1998.
Rodeo Promoter: Joe Schomer of Fort Pierre
Schomer raised bucking horses, Belgian Draft horses, quarter horses, polo horses, jumpers, thoroughbreds and Angus cattle on his 28,000 acre ranch south of Fort Pierre. In the 1960’s, Joe’s bucking horses were some of the best in the nation. Nine of his bucking horses were invited to the NFR, held in Dallas in 1960. In 1961, his bucking horse, Jessie James was named “Bucking Horse of the Year by the RCA. Casey Tibbs and several others hauled the Schomer bucking horses to the top rodeos in South Dakota. He was selected in 1975 by the SD Quarter Hoses Assn as the Outstanding Quarter Horse Breeder for the Past 25 Years and produced the first American Quarter Horse Assn’s champion for the state of South Dakota.
Ranch Cowboy Family: Joe Thorne of Pierre
Joe participated in SDRA rodeos, winning several awards. He ws instrumental in the beginning of the State 4-H Finals Rodeo. He was on the Fair Board in Fort Pierre and brought the 4th of July rodeo to light. From picking up broncs to being on the Fair Board, to raising prize money to pulling chute gates – he has done most everything to support rodeos at the Stanley County Fairgrounds.
Rodeo Animal Athlete:Tipperary – owned by Charlie Wilson
This horse was one of the earliest legendary bucking horses in the Tri-state area. Ninety riders tried their luck with Tipperary from 1909 to 1926. Harold Ekberg made a qualified ride and was only the second man to do so in the horse’s seventeen year-long bucking career. Bill Forman made many attempts to ride the horse with limited success. Originally from Harding County and owned by Charlie Wilson, this horse drew 16,000 spectators to Belle Fourche in 1918. Tipperary’s owner kept good records of the horse but the records, schedules, photos and mementos were destroyed in a fire. Paul Hennessey wrote a 166-page book named “Tipperary – The Diary of a Bucking Horse 1905-1932.
History of the Casey Tibbs Tribute Dinner:
In 1990, following the death of Casey Tibbs, the Casey Tibbs Foundation hosted the very first Tribute Dinner. The Tribute Dinner is held on an annual basis as a fund-raiser to honor people in the South Dakota rodeo community and to celebrate their accomplishments.
Individuals, families and exceptional rodeo animals are nominated by the public for six different categories. All nominations are reviewed by the nominating committee comprised of people from six different South Dakota regions. The committee recommends two nominees from each category to the Casey Tibbs Board of Directors who choose the final nominees.
Those chosen for the six categories are honored at the Tribute Dinner in November with a social, dinner and presentations. Their photos are added to the permanent wall display along with many other Tribute Honorees from past years.
Tribute Dinner tickets are $35 for all tickets and can be purchased beginning the first week of October, by phone or by visiting the Rodeo Center. It is recommended to purchase advance tickets as seating is limited. Contact the Casey Tibbs SD Rodeo Center at 605-494-1094 for ticket information or at www.caseytibbs.com
National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA)
National Finals Rodeo (NFR)
South Dakota Rodeo Association (SDRA)
Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA)
Great Plains Indian Rodeo Association (GPIRA)
Indian National Finals Rodeo (INFR)
College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR)
Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR)
Women’s Professional Rodeo Association ((WPRA)
South Dakota High School Rodeo (SDHSR)
National High School Rodeo (NHSR)
How to Nominate:
Interested parties may turn in a nomination in by the end of June 2018 for next year’s Tribute Dinner.Forms are available on our home page. or visit the Rodeo Center.
Are you interested in being on the Tribute Dinner Nominating Committee?
Each year the Casey Tibbs Foundation holds a Tribute Dinner to honor deserving individuals’ and families who have been involved in the world of rodeo and ranching in South Dakota. We do not consider this an induction into the Casey Tibbs South Dakota Rodeo Center because an induction is not necessary for individuals to be a part of the Rodeo Center. This is simply a way we can pay tribute to some very deserving people and help preserve the history of rodeo in our state. We do hope however, that the people we honor throughout the years will want to be a part of the Rodeo Center. Casey did not want the Casey Tibbs South Dakota Rodeo Center to become a “Hall of Fame” where people had to be inducted into to be able to be a part of. Therefore the Tribute Dinner was born.
The Casey Tibbs Foundation has assembled a committee made up of individuals from across the state. We divided the state into 6 regions with 2 committee spots in each region. Each year at a meeting in August the Committee reviews all of the nominations submitted to the Casey Tibbs Foundation choosing two nominations in each category to recommend to the Casey Tibbs Foundation Board of Directors to be honored at that year’s Casey Tibbs Foundation Tribute Dinner. The Board of Directors makes the final selection from their two recommendations in each category.
The six categories for nomination are:
Rodeo Cowgirl Great, Rodeo Cowboy Great, Past Rodeo Great, Rodeo Promoter, Ranch-Cowboy Family, Rodeo Animal Athlete
The committee spots are two year spots, members will rotate off and new members will come on the committee. If you are interested in participating on this committee, helping to choose who we honor each year at the Casey Tibbs Tribute Dinner, please fill out the form and send it to the Casey Tibbs Foundation, PO Box 911, Fort Pierre SD 57532.
In 1990, the event honored the memory of Casey Tibbs.
In 1991, the event honorees were Mattie Goff-Newcombe, Irv & LaFola Korkow, and Bud Day.
Starting in 1992, categories were developed and the honorees for each category are listed below:
Past Rodeo Great Category
1992 Carl Huckfeldt
Rodeo Promoter Category
1992 Jim & Julie Sutton
Cowboy Great Category
1992 Marty Melvin
Cowgirl Great Category
1995 Kristi Price
Ranch Family Category
1995 Krogman Family
2013 Walter & Marian Klein Family
Rodeo Animal Athlete
2009 Unc & Snort -Owned by: Allen & Gordon Good Families)
2014 Pony Baroni - owned by Duane Reichert