2022 Days of 76

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Days of ‘76 Rodeo

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July 2022





By Dennis Knuckles Black Hills Pioneer DEADWOOD — The historic Days of ’76 Rodeo will observe its centennial anniversary July 24-30, at the Days of ’76 Rodeo Grounds, in Deadwood. The Days of ’76 Rodeo began in 1923 as a way to celebrate Deadwood’s pioneer history, and spent its first couple years as a wild west show, transitioning to a rodeo in about 1926. When the Cowboys Turtle Association, forerunner to the PRCA, came into being in 1936, the Days of ’76 became an association rodeo shortly after. “Doing anything for 100 years is certainly a long time, and we are proud of the fact that the fact that the Days of ’76 has grown throughout the years. Going from a small three-day celebration, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, to a full week-long event. Every year the Days of ’76 Rodeo is bigger than better than ever” said Chris Roberts, the Days of ’76 chairman. In its early days, the rodeo included other events, like foot races and horse races: a ladies’ relay race, cowgirl race, cavalry race, roman race, and purse money started out as $1,000 an event. Now the purse is $10,000 per event. It had chariot races and chuck wagon races, calf-catching contests, calf shows and even mustache and whisker-growing contests. Women’s bronc riding was also part of the show. “The traditional rodeo fans love it because of what we bring to the table,” said Roberts. “The first-time goers, families included, love it for the same aspect, but we also bring some of the history of Deadwood and the Black Hills into our event, through re-enactments of the killing of Wild Bill Hickok, and telling that story. Telling the story of holding up a stage is actually a re-enactment of a story that happened with the Cheyenne to Deadwood stagecoach; in a holdup that took place

Pioneer file photo back in the 1800s. “I guess the educational piece that we bring to the table is great for everybody. Kids love it.” This year’s Days of ’76 Rodeo kicks off at 9 a.m. Sunday, July 24, with PRCA Steer Roping. WPRA Barrel Racing Slack is Monday, July 25, beginning at 11 a.m. Slack events will be held Tuesday, July 26; Wednesday, July 27; and Thursday, July 28, beginning at 8 a.m. There will be five PRCA Rodeo performances this year. Wednesday is Military Appreciation Night, and Friday will be the PRCA Rodeo’s Tough Enough to Wear Pink performance at 7 p.m. Saturday there will be two performances, one at 1:30 p.m., and the final performance at 7 p.m. The historic parade is slated for 1:30 p.m. Friday, July 29; and 10 a.m. Saturday, July 30. Parade lineup begins at the Days of ’76 grounds in Deadwood and proceeds down Main Street to Deadwood Street, past the V.F.W., and back to the Days of ’76 grounds. Parade celebrations began in 1924 to honor the Deadwood mining camp’s history from its establishment in 1876. Festivities attract local residents as well as tourists. Parade entries have featured historic re-enactors, historic horse- and oxdrawn vehicles, and floats celebrating Deadwood’s early history. Excellence serves as a Days of ’76 hallmark, as the rodeo has collected 19 national awards. They include four PRCA Small Outdoor Rodeo of the Year honors from 1998 to 2001, which came before 14 consecutive Medium Outdoor Rodeo of the Year awards from 2004 to 2017. Days of ‘76 moved into the Large Outdoor Rodeo category in 2018 and received nominations for the top honor in 2018 and 2019. It received top honors in

this category in 2020: its 19th and most recent award. This rodeo is the first in the PRCA to win rodeo awards in all three outdoor categories: small, medium, and large. Its committee entered the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame in 2011.

DAYS OF ’76 schedule of

The rodeo was firmly established in 1929. Early celebrations featured horse riding and horse racing exhibitions, with the gradual addition of rodeo-style events. For many years, the Days of ’76 featured many specialty acts and adjudicated competitions. The rodeo had become the celebration’s premier event by the 1950s. For more information about events and times go to daysof76.com.


8:00 a.m. Timed Events Rodeo Slack

Sunday, July 24

7:00 p.m. PRCA Rodeo

11:00 a.m. PRCA Steer Roping

Monday, July 25

11:00 a.m. WPRA Barrel Racing Slack

Tuesday, July 26 9:00 a.m. Timed Slack

Wednesday, July 27

Thursday, July 28

Friday, July 29 1:30 p.m. Historic Parade 7:00 p.m. PRCA Rodeo

(Tough Enough to Wear Pink)

Saturday, July 30 10:00 a.m. Days of ‘76 Parade 1:30 p.m. PRCA Rodeo

8:00 a.m. Timed Events Rodeo Slack

(Day Performance)

7:00 p.m. PRCA Rodeo

7:00 p.m. PRCA Rodeo

(Military Appreciation Night)

(Final Performance)

Days of ‘76 Rodeo

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Burch Rodeo Company provides


By Jason Gross Black Hills Pioneer DEADWOOD — Burch Rodeo Company of Rozet, Wyo., has provided bucking stock at the Days of ’76 Rodeo for almost a decade and earned a reputation for having top-notch stock. Constant evaluation and persistent attention to detail play significant roles in the stock’s success. Chad Burch is a partner in Burch Rodeo Company and son of company founder Max Burch. The Deadwood-Burch relationship started when Deadwood’s contract was up for rebid, and the Burch bid was chosen. Burch also provided stock for Cheyenne Frontier Days at that time. “At that time, it was a three-year contract,” Chad said. He added that is probably still the case today. Burch is one of five or six contracting companies providing stock for Deadwood. Practical reasons exist for that arrangement.

“It takes so much stock,” Chad said. “It just makes a lot better rodeo when more people show up with the better critters.” Five PRCA performances are set for the week. Chad said he tries to get a different contractor there each day. Deadwood requires 75 saddle broncs and 75 bulls, Chad said. Stock is brought in the morning of a performance in comfortable trailers. This helps the stock be as fresh and rested as possible. “We always try to keep them close but not right there at the grounds,” Chad said. “That way, they can get a little better nap at night.” Stock contractors have specific goals, just like contestants do. “I just like to see it get better each year,” Chad said. “There is always room to make it better.” Chad said the rodeo seems to get a bit better each year. How can the company determine if

it has met its goal? Chad said this happens if each rider has a fair chance to win some money. “It means quite a bit,” Chad said in describing how special it is to be invited back to Deadwood. “It means you’re doing something right.” Chad talked about how the company selects stock with bucking potential. The first step is learning how many riders are entered. He goes through a list to select the stock that feel good and are ready to buck the hardest. “I try to notice that they’re needing a rest long before they show you they need a rest,” Chad said. Company members pay attention to each animal, and the eyes tell a lot. The company most looks forward to making the rodeo good and fair, Chad said. The evaluation process begins with the winter rodeos and continues through the spring. Matt Burch said by Days of ’76 time, the company knows which stock are bucking well and

Pg 3 which are not. “We try to take the top end, and then as usual, we always apply a few younger horses in there to get them experience to bigger pro rodeos and bigger cowboys,” Matt Burch said. “For the most part, it’s the best stuff that’s been bucking for us all year long.” Matt is a company member and son of Max. He added riders watch stock all year long and can use social media to familiarize themselves with horses they have never ridden. Matt said the company raises the horses but really does nothing except halter-breaking them. They are then turned out into a pasture until age 4, at which time they are gathered in, run through a chute, halter them, and acclimate them to their surroundings. A bucking dummy that can be tripped at any time is placed on the horse. If a horse bucks really hard and almost falls down, the dummy, which simulates a rider, is tripped so the horse does not hurt itself. “We get a couple of dummy trips on them like that,” Burch said. Ranch bronc riding is getting quite popular, which has turned out to be a testing ground for the young roughstock animals. “We’ll take them in there and let ranch bronc riders get on them for their first couple of times,” he added. “After that, we’ve evaluated them enough through those processes that we know which ones we feel comfortable with taking to the pro rodeos.”

Pioneer file photo

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COBURN FAMILY chosen to serve as 2022

Days of ‘76 Parade Marshal By Jaci Conrad Pearson Black Hills Pioneer DEADWOOD — Descendants of a Deadwood resident dating back to the earliest Days of ’76 celebration were chosen to serve as parade marshal for this year’s celebration. A.A. “Doc” Coburn was instrumental in organizing the Days of ’76 event, from its inception in 1924 up into the 1940s. One of Doc’s particular focuses was working with local tribal communities to gain their participation in the Days of ’76. Doc’s work as a liaison resulted in his induction into the Lakota tribe. “The Coburn family was chosen as parade marshal in honor of A.A. Coburn, who was an instrumental member of the business group that started the Days of ’76 celebration,” said Days of ’76 Rodeo Committee Chairman Chris Roberts. “A.A. Coburn was the first chairman of the organization.” Allan Atherton “Doc” Coburn, also known as A.A. or “Doc” Coburn’s father came to the Black Hills in 1901, according to Doc’s grandson, Bill Coburn of Spearfish “To get a divorce,” Bill said. “He was a physician in New Brunswick. Couldn’t get a divorce in Canada. So he heard about Deadwood, came to Deadwood, brought his ‘patient’ with him, who he was going to marry. Got a divorce, got married. Bill said his grandfather picked up the nickname “Doc,” due to his father’s occupation as a physician. “He (Doc) didn’t come until 1906,” Bill said. “His dad was here practicing medicine until about 1910. Doc came, I think he was 18 at the time, came out West , did a few things … came to Deadwood, got a job as a teller at First National Bank, and just melded into the community. His dad left in 1910. Doc stayed and he ended up marrying my grandmother, my dad’s mom, Myrtle Ickes. Her grandfather was Samuel Ickes, who was the first blacksmith in Deadwood. Her dad and brothers ran ore wagons and all

sorts of things in Deadwood.” Doc and Myrtle purchased an insurance agency in 1919 from her uncle. “As soon as they bought it, then it became A.A. Coburn Insurance and my dad was A.A. Coburn and his nickname was Bud,” Bill explained. “Doc was a big proponent of Deadwood, my dad, my mom. Back in the ’20s, if you look at the history, Deadwood and the Black Hills was kind of searching for itself. The Gold Rush was over, miners were here, working for Homestake, but it sounds like there was some Depression going on and if you read the letters and look what was going on, they felt that Eastern South Dakota was taking advantage of Western South Dakota, espe-

July 2022

cially the Black Hills. Big time.” Doc ended up writing a letter, trying to get a movement established to make the Black Hills part of Wyoming. This became the humble beginnings of the Days of ’76 Celebration. “It was a business club at that point in time. It was a men’s business club and there wasn’t a Chamber of Commerce or anything. They got together and ‘How do we promote Deadwood?’ And they took Buffalo Bill Cody’s model. Cheyenne was doing it and looking at celebrations of the west. That’s kind of how it started,” Bill explained. “I think he was one of three guys that got it going.” A.A. “Doc” Coburn was four-time chairman of the Days of ’76 Rodeo. “He died when I was 1,” Bill said. “I wish I would’ve gotten to know him.” Bill, Craig, and Alan are A.A. “Bud” and Betty Coburn’s three sons, all born and raised in Deadwood. Bud and Betty met in Akron, Ohio, when he was working for Goodyear. “He ended up graduating from Deadwood as valedictorian in 1939,” Bill said. Eventually, Bud earned a chemical engineering degree in college. “When my grandfather got sick in 1946 … my dad came back and basi-

cally took over the business in 1946,” Bill said. “My mom was one of the first Calamity Janes, so she was in the parade and she rode side-saddle, sold Days of ’76 tickets. My dad was chairman and he was on the committee for 30-something years. They were pretty involved.” So how does Bill feel about carrying the Days of ’76 torch in this year’s parade, honoring his family’s legacy and contributions to the celebration? “It’s pretty cool. I mean, it’s certainly not about me. It’s about Doc, mainly, and then my mom and my dad. They followed. But Doc really had the big impact, as far as I’m concerned – with the Days,” Bill said. “He was a go-getter. If he saw something needed to be done, he did it and my dad was that same way.” Bill said, all in all, over the years, and no matter where he and his two brothers ended up, one thing’s for sure. “All of us, our big hearts are in Deadwood,” he said. “You can take the kid out of Deadwood, but you can’t take the Deadwood out of the kid. They’re (Craig and Alan) really excited about coming back and celebrating the family legacy.” A family reunion of the Coburn side, including all descendants, is planned during the Days of ’76.

A 1939 wall-sized historic photograph shows A.A. “Doc” Coburn at the Days of ’76 Celebration in what is still today’s rodeo arena. He is wearing the white hat, second from the left. Right, is Bill Coburn. Pioneer photo by Jaci Conrad Pearson

Days of ‘76 Rodeo Extra

is produced by the Black Hills Pioneer, 315 Seaton Circle, Spearfish, SD, 57783, (800) 676-2761 www.bhpioneer.com • bhiron@bhpioneer.com Letitia Lister, publisher Mark Watson, managing editor Sona O’Connell, advertising manager Melissa Barnett, layout The publisher will not be responsible or liable for misprints, misinformation or typographic errors herein contained. Publisher also reserves the right to refuse any advertising deemed not to be in the best interest of the publication. © 2022 Black Hills Pioneer, all rights reserved.


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Our Small Town Business Originally built in 1972 by the Tony Pavich Family.

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July 2022

Days of ‘76 Rodeo

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$1.25M crow’s nest expansion adds 400 seats, standing room only area By Jaci Conrad Pearson Black Hills Pioneer DEADWOOD — While ongoing routine repairs have been done at the Days of ’76 Rodeo Grounds over the past year, the crown jewel, in honor of this year’s 100th anniversary of the Days of ’76 celebration, is the $1.25 million crows nest expansion project that brings more seating, along with bar and eating areas in the vicinity of the buckin shoots. Deadwood Historic Preservation Officer Kevin Kuchenbecker gave an update on what the new VIP area project entailed. “The city of Deadwood, in cooperation with the Days of ’76 Rodeo Committee have been working diligently on preparations for the 100th Days of ’76 Rodeo and Celebration for 2022,” Kuchenbecker said. “Enhancements to the rodeo grounds include the elevated seating above the bucking chutes, a new and expanded crows nest, and an office/green room for events and activities.” It was out with the old, in with the

new, over the last year at the event complex. “We retired the log crows nest and gave it to Kadoka, South Dakota for their PRCA rodeo,” said Kuchenbecker. “The reason we did that is we had outgrown the footprint, or square footage, of that structure and expanded the crows nest in both east, west and north, south directions for more square footage for the rodeo and associated events at the event complex.” The crows nest replacement, itself came at a cost of around $30,000. The deck and new seating were around $850,000. “We put additional seating and viewing area above the bucking shoots on each side of the crows nest to accommodate up to 400 more guests for 100 years of the Days of ’76 and other events, such as PBR, Monster Truck, and Snocross,” Kuchenbecker said. “We will have ADA accessibility to the crows nest, which didn’t exist before.


Pioneer photos by Jaci Conrad Pearson

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funds help locals battle breast cancer Campaign goal set at $35K for upcoming year, stagecoach themes this year’s t-shirt

By Jaci Conrad Pearson Black Hills Pioneer DEADWOOD — It’ll take around 2,000 t-shirt sales to help Foundation for Health reach its Tough Enough to Wear Pink campaign goal for this year. Just as the stagecoaches slowly and steadily brought settlers and supplies to Deadwood more than 100 years ago, Foundation for Health is set to hang tough to raise these funds, going above and beyond to help those in the midst of breast cancer battles and you can help too, $15 at a time. “This year, we’re excited because we’re celebrating, again, another year for us to help people in our community,” said Foundation for Health Executive Director Laurie Wince. “We’re also excited because it’s the 100th anniversary for the rodeo and with that, we decided our logo this year would be a stagecoach

because the stagecoach is so important in our history. It’s a celebrated novelty. At the Days of ’76 Museum, they have three stagecoaches for people to look at. We have rides downtown for tourists to get a feel for what it was like when stagecoaches were the only mode of transportation here. It turns out that in 1876, stagecoaches started to be a very big feature, here in Deadwood, as far as transportation and that lasted until around 1908. The Deadwood trail from all kinds of cities came here with the stagecoach.” Three of this year’s Tough Enough to Wear Pink t-shirts feature stagecoaches. “And the same flavor of gotta’ be tough enough to wear pink to help people in our community,” Wince said. “We also have a shirt that has just a pink ribbon for traditional individuals that want to wear just pink.” Wince said a new development for the organization this year is the start of helping individuals with breast cancer in the next generation. “We helped the mothers and now we’re helping the daughters,” she said. “It’s not always genetic. One family that we helped, it was two totally different kinds of breast cancer. And in one family, they believe it is genetic. That’s one of the new things year that I’ve noticed. We want to say we’re helping the people that have it

in families, but now we find that some of these things are passed down and we’re helping more people in those families. The good thing about that is those families are well aware of what we’re able to do for them and they start their journey including us, so that we’re able to help them multiple times for as long as it’s needed.” Wince offered an example of Tough Enough to Wear Pink funds at work. “There was a woman here in our area that found some barriers in her life because of finances and she was not able to have her treatments in the winter months because it got dark early,” she explained. “Her car did not have headlights. It didn’t have good brakes.” A call from the breast health navigator at the Cancer Care Institute in Rapid City tipped Wince off and, together, they teamed up to find the woman help. “A local auto mechanic worked with us and we put our funds together and we were able to get her car up and running, so she was able to get to her treatments in Rapid City,” Wince said. “Which we were very happy to do because we wanted her to be safe. We wanted her to not have that kind of stress and trying to get out of her treatments as soon as possible because her headlights weren’t working. That was an unusual one we did and one we were happy to do and were happy someone brought it to our attention.” Wince said particularly this year, Foundation for Health has been able to make in-roads in unique ways to help those in need of their services. “We’ve been able to help other families with other things and other businesses with things and also probably more directly because people are aware of what we’re doing,” she said. T-shirt prices increased this year to $15. “I hate to say it was because of inflation, but it was,” Wince said. “We actually had a hard time doing that, but it’s still a great cause and a great thing for people to invest in for others.” Wince anticipates Foundation for Health will meet its Tough Enough to Wear Pink fund goal. “Our goal this year is to bring in $35,000,” she said. Last year we brought in $33,000. We’re really hopeful that will happen again this year because our funds are going out as quickly as we make them. We are not without funds at this time, but we are definitely replenish our funds.” Wince said that Foundation for Health has well succeeded the 100 mark in instances aid was given to local individuals and families. “Some people we helped more than once,” she said. “We probably helped, I’m guessing, probably 70 different families and several of them, more than once because of the intensity and impact of the part of the journey they’re on.” Each year, Foundation for Health donates $10,000 in gift cards with funds on them earmarked for use by individuals with breast cancer who live in the Northern Hills to the Cancer Care Institute. “I used to worry about how much funding we’d bring in,” Wince said. “But

Foundation for Health Executive Director Laurie Wince in this year’s Tough Enough to Wear Pink Shirt that features a stagecoach theme. The shirts are sold to fund help for locals battling breast cancer. Pioneer photo by Jaci Conrad Pearson I have found that over the years, God is good and He provides what we need for who’s going to need help in our future and we don’t know how many or who that’s going to be, so I trust in that.” Tough Enough to Wear Pink shirts are available in several retail locations throughout the Northern Hills and can be ordered online, as well. Wince will also have a booth at the rodeo grounds near the ticket booth where shirts can be purchased during the Days of ’76. “We’re very grateful to the businesses who have participated and continue to participate,” Wince said. “It’s definitely something they give to the community, because some of them have their own apparel and they are willing, for three weeks of the summer, to say, ‘Put your shirts out’ and help some members in our community that are your neighbors.” Wince said Tough Enough to Wear Pink funds are important, due to the number of women being diagnosed with breast cancer and the difficult, costly journey many endure. “As time has gone on, breast cancer has become a greater and greater concern for women,” Wince said. “At the same time, because of where we live, we still have the distance to go to get our treatments. Any time you give someone something to ease something in their life, whether it’s a hug or a gift card for gas or lodging or money so someone can accompany them to their appointment, that’s saying ‘We care about you.’ And it’s telling that person, ‘You’re not alone.’” Pink Night at the Days of ’76 Rodeo is Friday, July 29. “We’ll have several survivors here and we’ll be honoring them. We’ll also honor breast cancer in the Pink Parade Friday at 1:00 in downtown Deadwood,” Wince said.

Days of ‘76 Rodeo

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Justin Rumford returning to Days of ‘76

Fans of rodeo clown and specialty act Justin Rumford will have ample opportunity to watch his act at this year’s Days of ’76 Rodeo in Deadwood. Rumford last performed at this event in 2020. Pioneer file photos By Jason Gross Black Hills Pioneer DEADWOOD — Rodeo clown and specialty act Justin Rumford will appear at this year’s Days of ’76 in Deadwood: the second time in three years. He has one main goal for every performance. “All of my stuff is just about having fun,” Rumford said. “My acts are light, family-oriented. “I just want people to sit back and be

able to enjoy,” he added. “Not have to worry about the price of gas or anything going on in the world. I’m the unofficial cheerleader.” The 40-year-old Rumford lives in Ponca City, Okla., and has performed as a rodeo clown and specialty act for 11 years. Rumford has earned PRCA Clown of the Year honors every year since 2012. December 2021 marked the 10th straight year his name was announced for the




award. His family unit features wife Ashley, and 8-year-old triplets: daughters Lola and Livi, and son Bandy. Rumford said they will accompany him to Deadwood, with the kids being part of the act one night. Rodeo has always been a prominent part of his life, with his parents owning a rodeo company since 1946. He competed in steer wrestling from junior high school through college before a knee injury sidelined him. He served as an assistant coach for the Southwestern Oklahoma State University rodeo team in Weatherford while the knee healed. Rumford assisted with the Cody, (Wyo.) Night Rodeo for three seasons before driving a livestock truck for a North Platte, Neb., stock contractor after the knee healed. Daily preparation for a performance has become almost second nature to Rumford. “I work about 200 performances a year, so it’s pretty natural, really, for me,” he said. “We do a little bit of workout during the day, and we just kind of hang out.” Meetings with production personnel and sound technicians help Rumford pre-plan his night. He said things do not get easier, but he knows what to expect. Reaction of crowd members and committee members determine if Rumford has met his goal. “It’s pretty easy to

Pg 7 gauge a good one versus a bad one,” he said. “Did the crowd have fun? Did they cheer; did they laugh; did they smile?” Rumford said. “The people hiring me, the rodeo committee, did they enjoy it? Did I do what they needed me to do?” Travel gives Rumford the most enjoyment and poses the biggest challenge. Seeing new places and people adds to the enjoyment. Challenges center on getting from one place to another. Rodeo clown and specialty act are the same thing to Rumford. He also helps the bullfighters as a barrel man. “Even though it’s a serious job, we still try to have fun with it,” Rumford said of the barrel man task. “I enjoy working with the bullfighters and the bull riders.” Rumford has performed at Rodeo Rapid City and Days of ’76 in the recent past. He said the crowds at those rodeos stand out for him. “South Dakota fans know rodeo. They know what’s going on; they know the events,” Rumford explained. He said it is fun to work with crowds wanting to have a good time. What is Rumford looking forward to the most about his Deadwood return? “It’s such a beautiful area,” he said. “It’s just a fun place to be during the summer.”

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Queen contestants

P Kiara Brown P P Cassity Goetz P P Callie Mueller P

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Princess CONTESTANTS P Addison Brownell P

Addison Brownell is the 10-year-old daughter of Levi and Michelle Brownell. She lives on a small place just outside of Spearfish. Brownell is going into fifth grade at Creekside Elementary School. She enjoys being outside with her animals, riding her horses, jumping on the trampoline, drawing and listening to music. Brownell loves to ride her horses in various events around the region to name a few: team sorting, barrel racing, playday and some ranch horse events. She is also a member of the Range Riders 4H club and a local girl scout troop which also keeps active and involved. Competing for the title of Days of 76 Princess is an honor for Brownell, and she would like to wish everyone the best of luck during the Days of 76 Rodeo.

P Victoria Ginsbach P

Kiara Brown is the daughter of Raye Brown of Whitewood. She is a dynamic individual who allows her passion for youth, leadership and creating positive social change to come shining through in everything she does. As a lifelong South Dakotan, Brown participated in rodeo since she was 5 years old. The skill, balance, and coordination necessary to be an accomplished horsewoman has served her well as an elite NCAA gymnast too. Her hobbies include: playing volleyball and basketball, hanging out with friends, playing bingo, weightlifting, and educating others about rodeo and gymnastics. In her spare time, she coaches gymnastics at Northern Hills Gymnastics Academy in Sturgis, while pursuing her passions of gymnastics and rodeo. She is attending college at the University of Wisconsin- Stout in Menominee, Wis., where she is pursuing medical studies to become a chiropractor. Brown’s sponsor is Millar Angus Ranch.



P Bailey Feistner P Bailey Feistner is the daughter of Brian and Jennifer Feistner. She will be a senior at

Cassity Nan Goetz, the 24-yearold daughter of Harold and Nancy Goetz, and she grew up on a small ranch outside of New Underwood. It was here that she found her love for the sport of rodeo and the additional family it brought her. These relationships have empowered Goetz to become a representative of the sport that contributed so much to her character. Goetz is currently working towards her masters in clinical mental health counseling at South Dakota State University. While continuing her education, Goetz works full time as the Lifeways Addiction Prevention Counselor at North Middle School. Upon finishing school, Goetz hopes to add LPC and LAC to her name, while opening a clinic to serve disadvantaged youth in rural South Dakota with equine-assisted therapies. Goetz would like to thank her sponsor, The New Wave Salon, and wishes all 100th Annual Days of ‘76 contestants good luck and God bless!

Callie Mueller is the 22-yearold daughter of Cal and Sheila Mueller of Florence. She is a senior at Dakota State University, double majoring in elementary and special eEducation. This fall she will be student teaching in a second-grade classroom. Mueller has been an honor student throughout her educational career and has been very active in 4-H, FFA, and community service. Mueller has actively shown horses all her life, and has won championships at local, state, and national levels. is an active member of the AQHA, NRHA, and PHBA, and she is currently the oo-president of the Watertown Saddle Club. Mueller was the 2021 Miss Corn Palace Stampede, 2020 Miss Black Hills Roundup, and the 2019 SDSU Jackrabbit Stampede Ambassador. Mueller comes from generations of farmers and ranchers and is excited to continue to share her love for the western way of life.

Woonsocket High School, where she is active in high school rodeo, volleyball, FFA, 4-H, student council and is her class president. Outside of school, Feistner enjoys competing in a variety of horse events, from barrels and poles to reining and jumping. Feistner is passionate about rodeo and has enjoyed representing some great rodeos across South Dakota as she has held titles for the Black Hills Roundup, the Corn Palace Stampede, and the Foothills Rodeo. For Feistner, becoming Jr. Miss Days of 76 would be an

example of what one can accomplish when they step outside of their comfort zone, and try something new. This is a message she would like to carry on to kids to inspire them to know that whatever they want to do, they have the capability to do it, even if it takes hard work. Feistner’s longterm goal is to become a veterinarian focused on horse reproduction. Bailey sends a special thanks to her sponsors: Selland Trucking, Tailored 2 U, and Feistner Gravel and Excavation.

Victoria Ginsbach is the 10-year-old daughter of Todd and Gail Ginsbach of Newell. She has one brother, Jared, and one sister, Raina. Ginsbach will be a fifth grader at Newell Elementary this fall. She enjoys playing basketball, is an active member in the River Riders 4-H Club, where she shows a variety of animals, such as goats, pigs, horses, sheep, and cows, and competes in barrel racing, pole bending, flag racing, and goat tail untying at the Newell Playdays on her horse, Chico. In her spare time, Ginsbach can be found riding her horse or playing with her animals. Ginsbach would like to wish all the contestants good luck. She would also like to thank her sponsor, G Arrow Livestock, of Newell.

P Katelyn Kammerer P

Katelyn Kammerer is the 11-year-old daughter of Riley and Jimmie Kammerer. She has two sisters, and is the seventh generation to live on the family ranch in Southern Meade County. Kammerer is an active 4-H member and has participated in static exhibits, shooting sports, beef and rabbit projects and the county horse show. She also attends local playday rodeos. She loves all animals, enjoy baking, and eating her favorite foods, which are steak and pickles. Her future plans include ranching and opening my own bakery and coffee shop, where she can sell her homemade treats like the pies she makes make. Kammerer’s rodeo queen dreams began in 2016 after meeting Mickalya Sich, the reigning Miss Rodeo South Dakota. Since then she has held two titles, and has had a blast representing those crowns. Kammerer thanks the Day’s of 76 Rodeo committee for giving her this opportunity to pursue her dreams, and good luck to all the contestants. Let’s have fun.

P Sedona Marshall P

Sedona Marshall is the 12-year-old daughter of Jeremy and Carla Marshall, of Belle Fourche, and the granddaughter of Tom and Cheryl Larsen of Alzada Mont. Marshall will be going into sixth grade at the Belle Fourche Middle School this fall. She enjoys all of her animals: her bum lamb Curly Sue, her dog Piper, and her horses Peanuts and Dixie. She also like to barrel race anytime she can. Marshall is sponsored by W Bar feed & ranch supply in Hulett, Wyo. Marshall would like to wish everyone the best of luck and to have fun.

Days of ‘76 Rodeo

Pg 10


July 2022

describes vital task

By Jason Gross Black Hills Pioneer DEADWOOD — When a bull rider hits the ground, the next task is for him to safely exit the arena. That is when the work of a bullfighter begins. One of the bullfighters working this year’s Days of ’76 Rodeo is Douglas, Wyo., resident Nate Jestes. The 33-year old has fought bulls for 13 years, including five in Deadwood. “Our job is to pretty much do whatever we have to do to protect those bull riders,” Jestes said in describing the role of his partners and himself. “Whenever that bull rider hits the ground, that’s kind of when our job starts.” Two or three bullfighters are inside the arena during the event. They work as a team to attract a bull’s attention and give the rider more time to get up and get away safely. “It might just look like we’re running around in circles with no game plan,” Jestes said. “Actually, every move we make is pretty well calculated, and it’s for a reason.” Jestes described the process that a bullfighting tandem follows.

The spot where a bull rider lands, and the direction of a bull’s spin, determines where a bullfighter goes and why. One fighter covers the gap, which describes the distance between the bull and rider. He serves as the rider’s first line of defense. The other fighters work the offside and try to detract the bull’s attention from the rider and that first fighter. “Once we as bullfighters recognize we have that bull’s attention, we kind of work in a rotation,” Jestes said. “We’re always trying to stay 180 degrees apart.” Close calls are a part of the bullfighting environment. “We’re always dealing with bumps and bruises, and getting banged around,” Jestes said. “We hopefully stay healthy for the most part throughout the year.” Beau Schueth of O’Neill, Neb., will work with Jestes this week. Jestes has been voted to work four National Finals Rodeo events, with the most recent occurring in 2020. He has received six nominations for Bullfighter of the Year honors. One of Jestes’ worst injuries occurred in 2018 at the National Finals Rodeo.

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Pioneer file photo A bull hit Jestes, and his right leg went completely straight when he landed. The bull kept charging through Jestes; his hamstring was ripped away from his pelvis. Surgery was performed in New York, followed by six months of recovery. Jestes said he enjoys everything about the rodeo lifestyle. He also likes to see the nation and described rodeo as “a big world but a small family.” The most gratifying aspect of Jestes’ work centers on controlling his mind in a difficult situation where others would flee. He also cited the ability to help control the situation and help riders avoid injury or possible death. Injuries pose one of the biggest challenges for bullfighters, but that is not the only one. “We give up a lot to be able to do this,” Jestes said. He added bullfighters are not able to attend family members’ funerals, weddings, or birthday parties. Jestes attended Montana State University in Bozeman to study aviation. He earned a two-year associate’s degree in aviation technology. He met professional bullfighter Al Sandvold, who worked various rodeos.

Jestes watched Sandvold, and that interest started him on his current path. Sandvold and Jestes attended rodeo practices, with Jestes learning the bullfighting basics. Jestes also enrolled in several bullfighting schools. Jestes worked North Dakota amateur rodeos and Montana high school rodeos. He was forced to choose between two career paths, with the other being in the aviation field. “Deadwood is one of my favorite stops throughout the year,” Jestes said. “It’s just nice to show up and be a part of it.” The atmosphere is part of what sets Deadwood apart for Jestes. He cited the unique bucking chutes, loud crowd, and the old-school way the rodeo is run. Jestes does not really think about the bulls. “Bulls’ habits don’t change my job very much,” he said. “We’re dealing with fractions of seconds out there; we don’t have time to think.” Jestes starts thinking about a performance roughly two hours ahead of time. He said bullfighters experience nerves but must control that fear. “I always try to use it more as a focus,” he added.

Days of ‘76 Rodeo

July 2022


By Jaci Conrad Pearson Black Hills Pioneer DEADWOOD — The Days of ’76 parade is really a pageant — an elaborate show or parade that usually depicts a historical or religious event. And this mile-long, 80-entry production fits the bill, depicting Black Hills history involving Native Americans to the Custer party, gold prospectors to

Particulars pioneering settlers to modern day inhabitants of the Hills, and everything in between. Days of ’76 Parade Chairman Travis Rogers said this year’s parade has grown to be even bigger and better. “We’re just trying to work toward the 100th,” he said. “We’ve made the parade grow for the last three years, so, working toward the 100th to make


Pg 11

it the biggest and the best.” This year, 45 teams of horses will hitch up for the parades. “So, 45 wagons will go up the street,” Rogers said. “That’s probably up 15 teams in the last three years. There are about 70 entries, which is normally what we have.” Rogers said another noticeable difference is the Native American presence which has grown in the last few years. “We’re working on that every year,” he said. “We’re having dancers at the Outlaw Square on Friday and Saturday. We’re working with the Natives, trying to get them involved once again. There were a lot involved, back in the day. We’d like to get back to that.” Deadwood celebrates the Days of ’76 each year to preserve for future generations the traditions of the hardy pioneers who played such a vivid part in the settlement of the area. Among other participants, historic figures or event portrayals progressing through the pageant, in this order, are: Native Americans, Verendrye brothers, explorers/trappers/fur traders, Custer Party of 1874, Gordon Party 1874-1875, old prospector, Saloon #10, Deadwood stage, Poker Alice, Seth Bullock, freight wagon, Chinatown, first ranchers, stagecoaches, first school, Black Hills Pioneer newspaper, mail wagon, team-driven hearses and hook and ladder truck, wagons, sawmill, Badger Clark, arrival of tourists, cowboys of today, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Involved in the parade are several area youth and adults, who are cos-

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Pioneer photos by Jaci Conrad Pearson


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tumed in period attire from the Days of ’76 Museum collection, housed at the campground office each year. Friday’s parade starts at 1:30 p.m., and Saturday’s parade starts at 10 a.m. The parade route begins at the Days of ’76 grounds and proceeds down historic Main Street to Deadwood Street, down past the V.F.W., and back to the Days of ’76 grounds.



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EXPANSION We’ll have new signage and more space inside. Obviously, on each side of the crows nest will be additional stadium seating and bar top seating, along with standing room. A bar, up there, as well, during some events. And two means of access to the crows nest – three, with ADA. There are two sets of stairs going to that patio.” And improvements made on the VIP grandstands came in at around $105,000. The overall project did come in under the budgeted $1.25 million price tag. “We’re under that because we did not complete the VIP concessions and restrooms that was planned as part of this project, due to lack of bids and the inability to negotiate what we felt was a fair and equitable price at the time, due to labor and material pricing and shortages,” Kuchenbecker said. Kuchenbecker said the event complex is under constant maintenance, including new planking in the seating area below the general grandstands, along with an addition of covered seating for dining under the VIP, remodeling of the bar area, and the addition of a green room/office for events. “As we, the city, and the Days of ’76 Rodeo Committee have continued to see success of that event over the last 100 years and, in particular, the last 30 years with Small Rodeo of the Year award, Mid-Size Rodeo of the Year, and now in the category of Large Outdoor Rodeo, including being nominated each year that we’ve been in

Days of ‘76 Rodeo that category and winning two years ago, we feel that that historic complex deserves continual reinvestment, maintenance, and enhancement for the future of Deadwood and the economic

impact that that event complex has for the city,” Kuchenbecker said. “It was a vision and a goal set by the city, the Chamber, and the community to see that event complex used more than

July 2022 just once a year for the award-winning Days of ’76 and now, if you look at a typical calendar year, there are numerous events and activities that are held in and around that complex.”

Pioneer photo by Jaci Conrad Pearson

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