Casey Tibbs “Match of Champions” Bronc Ride to be Sanctioned as PRCA Event
For the first time in its’ 25 years, the Casey Tibbs “Match of Champions” bronc ride will be an official Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) event. The event will be held Saturday, June 2, 2018 at the Stanley County Fairgrounds in Fort Pierre.
As the largest American rodeo association in the world, the PRCA endorses particular rodeos across the United States, and as far away as Canada, Mexico and Brazil. Top competitors in each of the circuit rodeo events compete for points at PRCA events held during the year. “The Casey Tibbs ‘Match of Champions’ will be one of those circuit rodeo events this year attracting the best riders from across the country,” said Board Member Bryan Hanson. “Herreid, South Dakota will also host a PRCA event the night before (June 1). Riders will have the opportunity to participate in two PRCA sanctioned events in close proximity.” Tickets for the Fort Pierre event will go on sale May 1st
The top money winners in each PRCA discipline earn a trip to the annual December championship National Finals Rodeo(NFR) held in Las Vegas. The PRCA maintains extremely high standards for the contestants and stock to maximize entertainment, providing the attendees with an enhanced and exciting event.
“We’re making it an entire day western and rodeo events,” said Casey Tibbs Rodeo Center Director Cindy Bahe. At 3:00 that day, the Casey Tibbs Rodeo Center will host a public unveiling of the large Casey Tibbs bronze statue. “Tibbs was a six-time World Champion bronc rider,” said Bahe. “This will be the second large outdoor bronze statue to be placed. The first bronze statue of 5-time World Champion Billy Etbauer was set in 2013 and we will place a third bronze statue of 4-time World Champion Clint Johnson next year. Our sculpture garden will highlight the top three bronc riders in South Dakota.”
On that afternoon, ranchers can burn their brands on the outdoor timbers and the museum will be open to the public for a reduced admission. A Steak Fry will follow from 5-7pm at the Stanley County Fairgrounds with the Match of Champions Bronc Ride starting at 7pm.
For more information: www.caseytibbs.com or call 605-494-1094.
*Names of the “Match of Champions” riders will not be available until late May.
New Large Bronze Statue to Grace the Rodeo Center in 2018!
The large bronze of 6-time World Champion Bronc Rider Casey Tibbs on The Old Gray Mare will be placed in 2018. This addition will accompany the current bronze statue of 5-time Bronc Rider Champion Billy Etbauer which was placed in 2011. A large statue of 4-time World Champion Clint Johnson will be placed in 2019. Upon placement of the third statue, the Sculpture Garden will highlight the top three World Champion Bronc Riders of South Dakota.
- Limited edition replica of the large bronze statue of Casey Tibbs riding The Old Gray Mare which will be placed outside in the Sculpture Garden in 2018. The large bronze will be 3/4 scale.
- Replica mounted on high quality wood base with engraved brass nameplate
- Created by nationally famous sculptor, T.R. Chytka, a Belle Fourche, SD rancher and former champion bull rider
- Each 18" X 16" bronze replica is numbered by sculptor.
- Purchases of the small replicas will help offset the cost of the large sculptures.
- Gift certificates available.
- Order Form for Casey Tibbs Bronze Replica
2017 has been a great year for being blessed with new archives.
A special thank you to Clint and Sharon Caldwell for donating this framed 1960 calendar of Casey Tibbs and Cleo (Harrington) Tibbs. We did not have this calendar or photo before so it's a treasure to the Rodeo Center museum!
August 19, 2017
A half century ago, Casey Tibbs had a wild idea to make a film titled “Born to Buck.” The film would highlight a trail drive moving 300-400 bucking horses from the Lower Brule Native American Reservation to his hometown of Fort Pierre. Tibbs wrote, produced, directed and starred in the movie, which included some of the wildest rodeo riding ever filmed. The script was narrated by Henry Fonda, and music composed by Dick Stabile. The cast was comprised of cowboys from our area and other states, to assure it was a true, natural roundup with cowboys and horses.
After finishing the treacherous 120-mile drive, nature stepped in showed who was boss. A massive thunderstorm dumped five inches of driving rain and hail in the Fort Pierre/Pierre area. The
Missouri River became flood-swollen from the torrential rain and it seemed impossible to drive hundreds of horses through the raging river. Tibbs, equipped with a meager, four-inch emergency floatation pack, rode his horse into fast moving current of the frigid water. As they often follow their leader, the other horses were to follow suit but they were spooked and turned back. Tibbs may have been a champion cowboy, but was unfortunately a poor swimmer and he clung tight to his horse’s saddle. His horse was confused and swam up and down the river. Just five feet shy of reaching a sand bar on the opposite shore, Tibbs and his horse were separated and the Mighty Mo almost claimed the 9-time World Champion.
A special thank you to Jerry Tibbs for donating Casey Tibbs original Purina rainslicker from the film "Born To Buck." It even has a little bit of mud on the back from 50 years ago! ("Born To Buck" DVD's for sale at the Rodeo Center. Call 605-494-1094 for more information).
July 18, 2017
1968 Casey Tibbs Buckle, letter and Boots Donated to Casey Tibbs Rodeo Center
2017 has been a good year for accepting donations for Casey Tibbs archives. In 1968, when Fort Pierre native Greg Kenworthy was nine years old, he had broken his arm while in a rodeo. Casey Tibbs was well-known for his compassion towards children, and when he learned of Kenworthy’s mishap, he gave one of his buckles and a letter to the young lad. Kenworthy kept both for decades before donating it to the Rodeo Center this month.
Kenworthy’s dad knew Casey well, as their land was previously located along the Missouri River where the Fischer Lilly Park now resides; the area where Tibbs filmed the end of “Born To Buck.” Greg’s dad and Casey “had words” back then after a hundred head of horses got loose on the Kenworthy land and his dad was not a happy rancher.
Earlier this year the original painting of Tibbs riding Easy Money found its’ final resting place at the museum. Also donated were Tibbs cowboy boots he left on a plane in the 1950’s flown by charter pilot Victor Kieltz in Omaha. Tibbs would frequently fly from daytime rodeo to evening rodeo and one particular day he left his boots on the plane. After Kieltz found them and contacted Tibbs, the bronc rider told the pilot to keep them, and that he did for the past six plus decades.
All items are now on display at the Rodeo Center.
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