Casey Tibbs South Dakota Rodeo Center
There's still time to get your nomination in for our Tribute Dinner this year! Deadline: June 30th. The event will be held Saturday, November 3rd! Nomination criteria and petition form are attached. Or you can get forms at the Rodeo Center or online at:
A committee comprised of people from across the state will be reviewing all nominations after the deadline. We are especially looking for "Cowgirl Great" nominations. Keep in mind any nominations that are not chosen for 2018, will be kept for consideration for future years.

Tribute Dinner honorees group photo2017 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

Acronym Key:

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.

Click here for the Tribute Dinner Nominating Committee Form

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:

Tribute Dinner Nominating Committee Form

Past Rodeo Great Category

1992  Carl Huckfeldt
1993  Jack Buschbom
1994  Tom Miller
1995  Bart Clennon
1996  Clint Johnson
1997  Earl Thode
1998  Phyllis & Wayne Cornish
1999  Ed Bachman
2000  Terrance Etzkorn
2001  Howard Hunter
2002  Lonnie Hall
2003  Merlon Fairbanks
2004  Sam Olson
2005  Lee Crowser
2006  Willie Cowan
2007  Lyle Ebert
2008  Lamont Hill
2009  Bennie & Billie Bender
2010 Chauncey Mandan
2011 Kenny Badger
2012 Ralph Maynard
2013 Harold Heinert
2014 Jack Alexander
2015 Rocky Tibbs
2016 Don Reichert
2017 Ote Berry

Rodeo Promoter Category

1992  Jim & Julie Sutton
1993  Joe & Grace Waln
1994  Jerry Olson
1995  Longbrake Rodeo Co.
1996  Ed Duffy
1997  Diamond M Rodeo Co.
1998  Jim Thompson
1999  John & Sue Kaiser
2000  Don Hight
2001  Martin Bonnichsen
2002  Duane Reichert
2003  Betty Lou Kost
2004  Holloway Family
2005  Mike & Janie Norlin
2006  Jim Aplan
2007  Tommy Tibbits
2008  Terry Weischedel
2009  Hollenbeck Rodeo Co. 
2010  Johnny Smith
2011 EW Weisel
2012 Kyle Evans
2013 Harold Delbridge
2014 Georgia & Harlan Gunville,
Gunville Rodeo Company
2015 Bernie Duffy
2016 Blaine Nordvold
2017 Joe Schomer

Cowboy Great Category

1992  Marty Melvin
1993  Bud Longbrake
1994  Etbauer Brothers
1995  Paul Tierney
1996  Garrett Brothers
1997  Troy Pruitt
1998  Tom Reeves
1999  Brian Fulton
2000  Red Lemmel
2001  Arlen Hulm
2002  Ivan Teigen
2003  Jerry Golliher
2004  Ken Lensegrave
2005  Todd & Randy Suhn
2006  Birch Negaard
2007  Thad Bothwell
2008  Marty Hebb
2009  Frank Thompson
2010  Steve Sutton
2011 Gary Zilverberg
2012 Troy Brown
2013 Casey Gates
2014 Chad Ferley
2015 Billy Gallino
2016 Troy Crowser
2017 Jesse Bail

Cowgirl Great Category

1995  Kristi Price
1996  Deb Gunderson Ploszaj
1997  Dori Hollenbeck
1998  Kelli Powers Word
1999  Connie Stinson Price
2000  Bunny Bail
2001  Lori Whiting
2002  Theresa Humphrey
2003  Gail Beebe
2004  Dorothy Bligh
2005  Deb Thompson
2006  Twila Merrill
2007  Sue Golliher
2008  Bunny Pisacka
2009  Jill Schimkat Moody
2010  Jodi O'Bryan
2011 Rosemary & Fidelia Tope
2012 Lisa Lockhart
2013 Jessica Painter Holmes
2014 Nikki Steffes
2015 Tabitha Sigman Harris
2016 Donna Shedeed
2017 Renee Kost Sutton

Ranch Family Category

1995  Krogman Family
1996  Art Cowan
1997  Clint & Jeanette Parker
1998  Ancel & Esther Tibbs
1999  Halligan Family
2000  Colombe Family
2001  Knippling Brothers
2002  Warren & Donna Melvin
2003  Bud & Melissa Annis
2004  Bill & Mona Schlagel
2005  Bill & Ruth Sutton
2006  Martin Nelson Family
2007  Harold & Marilyn Rinehart
2008  Milton, Mark & Zeta Trask Families
2009 Paul Painter Family
2010  Dick & Lois Hart
2011 Darrell and Marlene Griffith
2012 John Carr

2013 Walter & Marian Klein Family
2014 Iris Day
2015 Cliff and Chris Crago Family, Crago Livestock
2016 Lowell & Catherine West
2017 Joe Thorne

Rodeo Animal Athlete
(In 2009 it was decided to add this category to the honorees)

2009  Unc & Snort -Owned by: Allen & Gordon Good Families)
2010  Justin Boots & Chief the Buffalo
Owned by- Jerry and Jerry Wayne Olson Families

2011 SlipperyOwned by Korkow Rodeo
2012 Walter Mitty- owned by Connie Price
2013 Chuckulator

2014 Pony Baroni - owned by Duane Reichert
2015"Annie" Lori Whiting's Horse
2016 "Okie" owned by Tonny Murray Family
2017 "Tipperary" owned by Charlie Wilson