Casey Tibbs South Dakota Rodeo Center

Tribute Dinner honorees 2018 for webCongratulations to our 2018 Casey Tibbs Foundation Tribute Dinner Honorees!

The Casey Tibbs Foundation 2018 Tribute Dinner Honorees from Saturday night. (L-R) Steve Mowry, Bill & Deb Myers, Kristi Lensegrav-Birkeland, Yvonne & Glen Hollenbeck, Alice Sutton Albin (Raymond Sr's daughter), Georga Sutton (Raymond Sr's daughter-in-law) and Jake Rinehart. Congratulations honorees!


Casey Tibbs Foundation Tribute Dinner to Honor Six Nominees:

The 29th Annual Casey Tibbs Foundation Tribute Dinner will be held on Saturday, November 3, 2018. Now in its 29th year, the Tribute Dinner is an opportunity for friends and families in the ranching and rodeo communities to celebrate and honor the accomplishments of South Dakota cowboys, cowgirls, families and animals. This event is an annual fundraiser for the Casey Tibbs Rodeo Center. The social begins at 6:00, with dinner at 6:30 and the program to follow. Walk through the museum and see the honorees table's where they will have many of their items on display.

We congratulate the following who are our 2018 Tribute Dinner Honorees! 

Rodeo Cowgirl: Kristi Lensegrav-Birkeland of Dupree

Kristi is a six-time, year-end Goat Tying Champion from 1999-2006 and three-time NIRA champion. She is a nine-time SDRA Goat Tying Champion from 1996-2007. In 2002 and 2004 she was the NRCA Finals Champion. Seven times between 1993 and 2012 she was the “fastest time tied of the year.” Kristi works on a ranch with her husband Jace and they have one daughter Sidni, who has competed as a goat tying partner with her mom. The couple’s identical triplets, Cruz, Fletcher and Tee also compete in rodeo.

Rodeo Cowboy Great: Jake Rinehart of Highmore

Jake has represented South Dakota in high school, amateur and professional rodeo in the United States and Canada. He competed in steer wrestling at the WNFR in 2007, 2009 and 2011. Jake won the NHSR finals tie-down roping championship in 2008 and qualified for the CNFR in 2011 and 2013. He won the World’s Oldest Rodeo in Prescott in 2013. Two years later he won the California Rodeo Salinas and the ABC Rodeo in Lubbock. In 2016, he also won rodeos in Mississippi, Utah, Missouri and Texas. He won the Corn Palace Stampede Rodeo in Mitchell in 2017 finishing 17th in the world standings.

Past Rodeo Great: Steve Mowry of Presho

Steve has participated in all levels of Rodeo from Little Britches to the PRCA. He spent a decade being a rodeo clown and bullfighter. He competed for five years as a Pro Tour Bull Fighter capturing many first place wins. In 1983 and 1984 he was runner up to the World Champion Bull Fighter, In the middle 1980’s he was a Champion College NFR bullfighter. In 1985 he broke his back while bull fighting in Louisiana. He returned to the sport a year later and competed at the NFR. He continued as a Pro Rodeo Clown and bullfighter until 1991.

Rodeo Promoter: Raymond W. Sutton Sr. of Gettysburg

Raymond grew up outside Agar with brothers John and James. The Sutton Ranch hosted rodeo competitions from 1926-1936 which included entertainers like Lawrence Welk. Raymond partnered with George Fairbank creating the Sutton/Fairbank Rodeo Company. They held rodeos with specialty acts including chariot racing with mules or unbroken buffaloes. Raymond would ride Dude the Jumping Horse who leaped over steers and other horses. The brothers joined Erv Korkow to form Sutton/Korkow Rodeo Company in the 1950’s. In the 1960’s Raymond sold his share of the company to his brother James. Now nine decades later, Sutton Rodeo continues under successful management and is alive and well.

Ranch Cowboy Family: Glen & Yvonne Hollenbeck of Clearfield

Glen’s grandfather Earl, produced some of the first rodeos in the Sandhills of Nebraska, circling Model T’s and wagons around to create an arena. Glen became one of the top pick up men in the country and trained and mentored others such as Steve Sutton. He was the 1960 World Champion calf roper. Yvonne was a professional rodeo organist and secretaries many rodeos, sometimes handling both duties at the same rodeo. At age 40, Glen won the championship calf roping in 1982, against much younger competitors. He won the U.S. Calf Roping Assn. Championship in his age division in 2008. In 2017 at the tender age of 75, he won the Senior Pro Assn World Championship. Sons Shawn and Jay excelled in calf roping and other family members actively participate in rodeo.

Rodeo Animal Athlete: Frenchmans Guy owned by Bill and Deb Myers of St. Onge

Frenchman’s Guy is a 1987 Palamino Stallion that sired many great performance horses and rodeo champions with progeny earnings exceeding eleven million dollars. His owners, Billy and Deb Myers are the leading breeders of arena performance and rodeo champions. Though he lost his right eye as a yearling, Frenchman’s Guy became a highly competitive arena athlete in the barrel futurity, derby and PRCA/amateur rodeo circuits. He was a finals qualifier PRCA Badlands Circuit and South Dakota Rodeo Assn, Northwest Rodeo Cowboys Association Reserve Champion and Finals qualifier PRCA Badlands Circuit and South Dakota Rodeo Assn, just to name a few. He is known as an elite competitor especially for his extended stride and speed. Frenchman’s Guy is now 31 years old and resides on the Myers ranch in St. Onge.


The nominee’s photos and biographies are added to the permanent “Wall of Fame” each year, located in the Rodeo Center. 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 Interested parties may turn in a nomination in by July 1, 2019 for next year’s Tribute Dinner.

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)
Northwest Ranch Rodeo Cowboy Assn (NRCA) SD, ND, WY, MT & NE.


Tribute Dinner honorees group photoPictured are a few of the 2017 Tribute Dinner Nominees left to right: Ote Berry, Joe Thorne, Renee Kost Sutton and Jesse Bail. 


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


How to Nominate:
Interested parties may turn in a nomination in by June 1, 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