Match of Champions
Steak Fry: 5-7pm
25th Annual Match of Champions Bronc Ride begins at 7 pm
Casey Tibbs Arena at the Stanley County Fairgrounds, Fort Pierre
Advanced tickets will go on sale May 1, 2018
More information coming soon!
The Casey Tibbs Match of Champions is a spectacular bronc riding event matching the world’s top cowboys against top bucking stock. The top 15 in the current PRCA saddle bronc standings, the top contenders in the Badlands Circuit, the current champions in the SDRA, SDHSRA, GPIRA, and any national high school or college champions from South Dakota are invited to compete for $10,000 in prize money. The twelve top scorers from round one compete for six positions in the final round.
The winner of the final round takes home prize money, buckle, and coveted bronze statue of Casey Tibbs riding out of a tornado, designed by T. R. Chytka to commemorate the first match where a tornado appeared before the sold out crowd and hung for twenty minutes before moving on down the river. Many said it was the spirit of Casey Tibbs making a last appearance for the crowd.
History of the Match of Champions:
The first Casey Tibbs Match of Champions was held in 1993, an idea born of the memory of the Casey Tibbs 4H Benefit Roundups held at the fair grounds in Ft. Pierre, SD. Following his desire to promote youth of South Dakota through 4H, Casey organized a board of directors from Hughes and Stanley counties, and with the backing of Lee Overall Company, produced the First Annual 4H Benefit Roundup, featuring a series of three matched rides between himself and champion bronc rider, Bill Linderman. Other features included jackpot bareback and saddle bronc competition, business men’s calf roping contest, 4H calf scramble, as well as a variety of other entertainment. 1954 found Casey Tibbs matched against famed bronc riders, Deb Copenhaver and Gerald Roberts. The matches continued until Casey gave up bronc riding for movie making and brought the production of “Born to Buck” to South Dakota.
The stock for the first 4H Benefit roundup was furnished free of charge by Joe Shomer of Fort Pierre. All work and materials necessary to make the show a huge success were donated by volunteers in the area. Similarly, stock for the first Casey Tibbs Match of Champions was donated by contractors such as: Jimmy Sutton, Jim Korkrow, Charlie Colombe, and Pete Longbrake. Volunteers continue to give hundreds of hours of their time to make the Match of Champions a spectacular event each year.
All proceeds from the Match of Champions is used to continue the building of the South Dakota Rodeo Center on the hill overlooking Pierre and Ft. Pierre. It was Casey’s wish that the Rodeo Center be built to pay tribute to all South Dakotans in the Rodeo field. South Dakota continues to produce outstanding bronc riders as well as other rodeo competitors. Casey expressly stated that he wanted to see recognized, not only those who became champions, but those who were good, but due to injuries or family responsibilities, never had the chance to prove themselves. He stated, “Some cowboys won every major show but never became a champions.”