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Page 2, Black Hills Roundup 2013

The Black Hills Pioneer/Weekly Prospector

Black Hills Roundup A celebration of America’s Western heritage By Adam Hurlburt Black Hills Pioneer

Pioneer file photos

Four days of wild, professional rodeo action, a week of endless rides and blinking carnival lights, blistering outdoor concerts by shining stars of country, a massive parade and the most extravagant fireworks display of the region. This is the Black Hills Roundup — all this and more draws tens of thousands of people to Belle Fourche from across the globe. Black Hills Roundup Committee Chairman Mark Leverington, like many Belle Fourche residents, is immensely proud of the Roundup, one of a handful of 100 percent volunteer run events of its kind in the nation. For Leverington, the Roundup is a way for all of us — Westerners or not — to connect with America’s storied Western history. You don’t have to prefer the shade of a fine Stetson on a hot sunny day to appreciate the event. The Roundup has something up its dusty sleeve for everyone. “It’s important to celebrate our Western heritage and the impact it’s made on our country and on our families, and it’s important to celebrate our roots,” Leverington said. “Roundup is very patriotic — it’s centered around July 4th. We’re celebrating America at the same time we’re celebrating our Western heritage.” This is only Leverington’s second year as chairman of the Black Hills Roundup Committee, but the Minnesota native brought a lifelong rodeo fascination with him to Belle Fourche when he and his family moved there eight years ago. He recalls early childhood days glued to the television set, watching bronc busting, roping and racing. While Leverington and his wife, Deb, grew up around horses and stock — and even currently keep three horses of their own — riding rodeo has never really been in the cards for them. “We’re just not qualified,” he said with a laugh.

Considering Leverignton’s lifelong love affair with the rodeo, it’s no surprise that the PRCA rodeo events are his favorite bits of the Black Hills Roundup. “I love being at the rodeo and seeing the excitement on all the spectators’ faces, and watching the animals perform,” he said. “To see the teamwork amongst the team ropers and the calf ropers — it’s pretty awesome to see trained horses at their best. And to see top caliber cowboys that are ranked highest in the world come to our rodeo — it’s pretty awesome to see them, too.” The Roundup has grown a bit for 2013 with the addition of a steer roping event, the expansion of the ever-popular calf-scramble, and the addition of a dedicated, permanent concert stage behind the rodeo stands, where native girl-gone-Nashville, Lexi Larson, will belt it out both Thursday and Saturday night, following the close of rodeo events. For Belle Fourche Mayor Gary Hendrickson, the Fourth of July means Roundup. And the all-volunteer makeup of the event provides a glimpse of what the Belle Fourche community is made of to out-of-town visitors. “Roundup signifies Belle Fourche,” Hendrickson said. “All these volunteers over the years have made a name for Belle Fourche on the Fourth.” Hendrickson said the Black Hills Roundup is important to Belle Fourche both economically and socially. “The rodeo, the fireworks display, and more are big events that our families look forward to.” He said, “Last year was one of the biggest rodeo years. There were almost 10,000 people at the parade. The citizens of Belle Fourche owe the Black Hills Roundup Committee a big thanks for promoting our city.” The Black Hills Roundup runs from Wednesday, July 3 to Saturday, July 6, with the regionally famous Roundup Fireworks show blasting off on Friday, July 5 this year.

The Black Hills Pioneer/Weekly Prospector

Black Hills Roundup 2013, Page 3

Annual Roundup parade to honor veterans By Kaylee Tschetter Black Hills Pioneer

The largest parade in the tri-state area will take place at 10:30 a.m. on July 4. This year’s theme is “Veterans We Honor You — We Salute our Soldiers in Arms.” The parade follows a route that starts at the corner of National Street and Seventh Avenue. It follows Seventh Avenue to State Street and ends at Highway 85.

Mark Leverington, the chairman of the Black Hills Roundup committee, said that parade officials are seeking floats with veterans from different wars like World War II, the Korean War, or the Vietnam War. This year, Jack and Mary Ann Wells were chosen as parade marshals of the event. “Grand marshals are a traditional way throughout our country to honor people

who have made a significant impact on the community in which they live,” said Heidi Woelber, parade chairwoman. “There is always more than a few very worthy folks in our community — that says a lot about this wonderful community we call home.” Jack Wells, 89, is a longtime business owner in the Belle Fourche community, a veteran who spent two years in the Air Force in Japan during World War II. Mary Ann Wells said she and Jack were

very surprised and honored that they were chosen as parade marshals, and that the Belle Fourche community has never ceased to amaze her. “The honesty of people in this area, it’s a different thing,” Mary Ann said. Jack said that the honor of being chosen as parade marshals was especially moving to him and Mary Ann, considering many of their friends have also held the position in years past.

Parade marshals chosen

Jack and Mary Ann Wells were chosen as the parade marshals for the 94th annual Black Hills Roundup parade that will take place on July 4. The Wells are prominent business owners and members of the Belle Fourche community. Pioneer photo by Kaylee Tschetter

for 94th annual Black Hills Roundup parade By Kaylee Tschetter Black Hills Pioneer

Surprise — it’s the one word that could describe how Jack and Mary Ann Wells felt when they learned they were chosen as parade marshals for the 94th annual Black Hills Roundup parade, which is set for July 4. But many people who know Jack and Mary Ann Wells know that they are game for a surprise now and then. They certainly don’t like to stay in one place for long — after all, they’ve moved around the Belle Fourche area multiple times over the years — and have always been up for the challenge, and adventure, moving brings. Jack and Mary Ann weren’t expecting to be chosen as parade marshals. Jack stated, “We were real surprised.” “Surprised and very honored,” added Mary Ann. “Very, very surprised.” “Jack and Mary Ann Wells have a long history in the Belle Fourche community as residents and also business owners,” said Heidi Woelber, broker associate at Dakota Properties of Belle Fourche. “Jack was also a World War II veteran which is very fitting for our parade theme this year ‘Veteran We Honor You — We Salute our Soldiers in Arms.’” Jack said he asked the parade officials if he could ride a horse during the festivities.

“They said, ‘No,’” said Jack, “It’s quite an honor because a lot with a chuckle. of our friends have had that honMary Ann said she didn’t think or,” Jack said. “Belle Fourche has she had ridden a horse for 70 or 80 been a good town for us — most years. of the vets I went to take physicals “They always put them (parade with in Omaha came back to Belle marshals) in a carriage — one time Fourche because we knew it was a they had a buggy,” Jack said. “One pretty good place.” time they had an Jack is a vetold car — whateran who spent ever the committwo years in the tee decides.” Army Air Force “But I’m sure it overseas in Japan won’t be a horse,” during WWII. said Mary Ann. Jack and Mary According Ann were married to Jack, part of in 1947. being chosen for “When we parade marshal first got married, was “because I was working everybody knows for Montgomery I’ve been in Lumber business all these Company,” Jack Heidi Woelber years.” said. Broker Associate, “Being in the Jack’s job at the Dakota Properties plumbing and lumberyard only antique business, helped the Wells every business really appreciates in their house-building endeavors. the loyalty,” Jack said. “I drew plans and built houses “And the honesty,” stated Mary in the area,” said Jack. “In the Ann. “The honesty of people in lumberyard, for 17 years, I drew this area, it’s a different thing.” plans.” “Grand marshals are a traditional After getting married, the Wells way throughout our country to first lived on Omaha Street in Belle honor people who have made a Fourche for five years. significant impact on the commu“It only had one bedroom and nity in which they live,” Woelber we had two or three kids, so we said. “There is always more than moved,” Jack said. a few very worthy folks in our In 1952 the Wells built a house community — that says a lot about on Mary Ann’s family ranch on this wonderful community we call Redwater Hill, where they lived for home.” five more years.

“Grand marshals are a traditional way throughout our country to honor people who have a significant impact on the community in which they live.”

“Then all the kids had Boy Scouts and all that, so we moved back to town,” Jack said, adding that the Wells lived in town for another 17 years. The couple’s four children, Allen and Richard Wells, Barbara (Wells) Snoozy, and Linda (Wells) Wiley all graduated from Belle Fourche High School. Jack and Mary Ann ended up moving back to Redwater Hill for an additional 17 years before settling back in Belle Fourche west of the locker plant on Harding Street. Aside from moving, the Wells also operated multiple businesses in the Belle Fourche area. “I started Wells Plumbing in 1948,” Jack said. “We were the first one to sell plastic pipe in western South Dakota.” Mary Ann helped with the plumbing business, but also sold real estate in the 1960s and ‘70s. “I was a broker when there were very, very few women brokers,” Mary Ann said. “I knew all the ranchers so she was selling ranches,” Jack added with a laugh. “She made more than I did a couple years.” The Wells also own and have operated an antique store, Robb House Antiques, in Belle Fourche for 30 years. The Wells’ sons Allen and Richard both still reside in Belle Fourche, while Linda lives in Spearfish, and Barbara lives in Portland, Ore. Allen operates Wells Plumbing, and Richard operates Homestead Nursery and Gardens.

Jack said Mary Ann helps out with the nursery as well. “The tree nursery — that’s her and Richard’s thing — trees and flowers,” said Jack. When he’s not busy tending to business, Jack participates in veterans programs in South Dakota. “I’ve been on the honor guard going to funerals in (the Black Hills) National Cemetery,” Jack said. “That’s one reason they picked me (for parade marshal) — because I’m a veteran.” At the age of 89, Jack has a staunch memory, even recalling the names of some of the first settlers in Belle Fourche. “I was always proud I knew all the old pioneers who settled here in 1890,” said Jack. The pioneers Jack refers to were old-timers, coming to the Black Hills area at the turn of the 19th century, most of them around the age of 30 or 40 then. “They would have been about 70 years old,” said Jack. “A lot of ranchers would come to town with a suit and a necktie.” “And a hat,” interjected Mary Ann. “Not a cowboy hat — like a fedora.” “High quality,” added Jack. Jack and Mary Ann said they grew up during a time when ranchers suited up and women wore gloves and didn’t go anywhere without their hats. “My mother and her mother always wore their hats,” Jack remembered.

Page 4, Black Hills Roundup 2013

The Black Hills Pioneer/Weekly Prospector

Schedule of Events

Monday, July 1

Thursday, July 4

• 10 a.m. — Miss Rodeo South Dakota orientation at First Interstate Bank • 1 p.m. — Miss Rodeo South Dakota interview with judges at Day Morris Law Firm • 5 p.m. — Work night at Black Hills Roundup Grounds

• 10:30 a.m. — 94th Annual Black Hills Roundup parade through Belle Fourche • 2 p.m. — Concessions and beer tent open at the Roundup Grounds • 2:45 p.m. — Mutton busting • 3:30 p.m. — Miss Rodeo SD “Lady in Waiting” coronation • 3:55 p.m. — Honoring Our Troops — A Military Tribute • 4 p.m. — First performance of the 94th Annual Black Hills Roundup

Tuesday, July 2 • 1:15 p.m. — Miss Rodeo South Dakota style show at Community Center • 4:30 p.m. — Queen contestants introduced and basket auction at the Mulligan • 6 p.m. — Black Hills Roundup Sponsor Kickoff Party Roundup Grounds

Following the ranch rodeo: Concert behind the Grandstand, Lexi Larson

Wednesday, July 3

Friday, July 5

Saturday, July 6

• 6:30 a.m. — Concessions open at the Roundup Grounds • 8 a.m. — Steer roping • 1:30 p.m. — Miss Rodeo South Dakota horsemanship competition at Besler’s Arena • 3 p.m. — 4th annual cattle drive down Belle Fourche Main Street • 3 p.m. — Beer tent opens — Roundup Grounds • 5 p.m. — Belle Fourche Chamber Community BBQ for ranch rodeo ticket holders • 5 p.m. — NorthStar Amusement Carnival opens • 5:45 p.m. — Mutton busting • 6:30 p.m. — Introduction of ranch rodeo teams and cowboy auction • 7 p.m. — 4th Annual Black Hills Roundup Ranch Rodeo

• 8 a.m. — 94th Annual PRCA slack at the Roundup Grounds • 2 p.m. — Texaco Country Music Showdown in Herrmann Park • 5 p.m. — Concessions and beer tent open at the Roundup Grounds • 6:55 p.m. — Honoring Our Troops — A Military Tribute • 7 p.m. — Second performance of the 94th Annual Black Hills Roundup Calf scramble during intermission

Military Appreciation and Family Night • 4:30 p.m. — “Stars of Rodeo Unite” — On stage behind main grandstand • 5 p.m. — Concessions open at the Roundup Grounds, Cowboy Band • 6:55 p.m. — Honoring Our Troops — A Military Tribute • 7 p.m. — Third performance of the 94th Annual Black Hills Roundup

Following the ranch rodeo: Concert behind the Grandstand, Ruckus

Area’s largest fireworks show following the rodeo

Calf scramble and ranch rodeo bronc riding championship during intermission Following the ranch rodeo: Concert behind the Grandstand, Lexi Larson

Sunday, July 7 NorthStar Amusement Carnival, downtown Belle Fourche

Pioneer file photos

The Black Hills Pioneer/Weekly Prospector

Black Hills Roundup 2013, Page 5

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Page 6, Black Hills Roundup 2013

The Black Hills Pioneer/Weekly Prospector

Powder River

celebrates banner year with Roundup After 25 dedicated years, Wyoming-based stock company becomes rodeo mainstay

By Heather Murschel Black Hills Pioneer

When Hank and Lori Franzen arrived in Belle Fourche with truckloads of stock for the Black Hills Roundup 25 years ago — the rodeo was losing its appeal and numbers were down. But all of that has changed. The owners of Powder River Rodeo have consistently brought in high-caliber livestock that attract professional cowboys with a stellar record who are looking for a challenge. But, it wasn’t just that — the Franzens enjoyed themselves so much the first year that they have since then dedicated time and energy into bringing one of the largest and longstanding rodeos in the nation back to life. “Hank and Lori are like family to this rodeo because when they came into the picture, the rodeo was in dire shape,” said Black Hills Roundup Chairman Mark Leverington. “They really worked hard to improve the overall production and got us where we are today. When it comes to the Franzens, they mean the world to the Roundup.” The company is headquartered in Riverton, Wyo., and they travel all over the country providing National Finals Rodeo-quality stock for upwards of 90 different events each year. Lori said she and her husband Hank did what they could to “spice up the rodeo,” add a bit of “pizazz” to the production, and streamline the event to keep people entertained. “Our livestock is some of the absolute best in the world and that’s why the Black Hills Roundup is one of the best rodeos in the country,” she said. “I absolutely love being able to play a small part in their success.” Because they have the reputation to bring in some of the best stock in the country, professional rodeo athletes from all over started to flock to Belle Fourche. “When I look back on those days and talk to people who were working so hard to turn the rodeo around, I just feel so proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish … and today the stands are packed and the Roundup is in a whole different market,” she said, noting the volunteers, committee members and local rodeo enthusiasts are all responsible for its success. “It makes us feel so good to be a part of creating new tactics and new ways to help this rodeo grow … and I’ll never forget the experiences I’ve had over the years.” Today, the Roundup spices up every Fourth of July weekend in Belle Fourche with its PRCA rodeo action, the largest parade and fireworks display in the area, concerts, carnival and so much more. To kick off the 94th annual event and celebrate their banner year, the crew at Powder River Rodeo will load up four semis with 60 head of bucking horses and cruise into town about a week prior

to the event. Early arrival is key to keeping the animal athletes healthy and safe. That way, they can provide a fast-paced, action-packed performance filled with wild entertainment. “They require a lot of time and effort to keep them healthy and looking good,” Lori said. “They can only perform if they are at 100 percent, so it’s our job to give them 100 percent of our attention.” But, it’s also a chance for Lori and the rest of her family to enjoy the company of the locals. “I love Belle Fourche and the people who live there,” Lori said. “Over the years we’ve built some amazing friendships over the years, and I can’t wait to see everyone.” Powder River Rodeo Company came to life in February 1986 when they began producing amateur rodeos, and today they provide stock for more than 90 professional rodeo events in 10 different states each year. When they first started the company, the Franzens bought 40 horses and 20 bulls from an amateur stock contractor in Kalispell, Mont. Within the next year, the couple purchased their PRCA stock contractors card. In the fall of 1988 they were given their first opportunity to nominate livestock to the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, Nev., and See POWDER RIVER — Page 7

Courtesy photo

The Black Hills Pioneer/Weekly Prospector

POWDER RIVER Continued from Page 6 had three animals selected. In the spring of 1989 they purchased a bucking horse named Khadafy Skoal, a world-renowned horse that has made several appearances at the Black Hills Roundup during his professional career. In fact, he was selected and honored as one of six 2012 Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame Inductees this year. “What a finale to a phenomenal career,” Lori said. “Only 27 animals including Khadafy have been inducted into the hall of fame, and he was the first one to be alive in person for the induction ceremony.” The company also owns Miss Congeniality, a ranch-raised horse, which has gone to the NFR and won an award every year since she started competing. Miss Congeniality will make another appearance this year at the Black Hills Roundup, along with Lipstick and Whiskey, Show Boat and Big Show, and Others include Checkmark, Baby Sister and Look Again. Although their world-class livestock is the main contributor to their success, Lori said the support of her husband and her children over the years also play an important role. “Family is an important aspect of our operation because we all truly love rodeo, and we want to share that love with everyone we meet,” Lori said. The couple has two children, who were introduced to rodeo very early on. As adults they provide their enthusiasm and experience to the family owned business. Their daughter Jill Franzen Schrock is one of the most


sought after sound technicians in the professional rodeo circuit. She has showcased her talents during the Black Hills Roundup for several years, and will return this year. But, not to be outdone, their son John Franzen is a professional rodeo athlete himself and is very involved with the company. D &H Cattle Company will continue to provide the bulls for the Roundup. Powder River Rodeo won’t be the only company to provide bucking horses this year. For the first time in the history of the Roundup, there will be two companies on site. C5 Rodeo Company of Alberta, Canada will be supplying their world class bucking stock that is sure to draw more athletes and spectators. “Bringing a second contractor this year is just one more way to bring value and quality to the Roundup,” Leverington said. “We’re excited because this shows that we are a strong rodeo, and I know it will draw more and more people to the rodeo because they know they will have new stock to ride.” Vern McDonald, the owner of the company, has produced more than 80 top-quality mares and five stallions with superior bloodlines. He said his bucking horses have excelled at a variety of rodeos, and in 2012 Bar C5 took five horses to the National Finals Rodeo for the first time. The lineup includes mares such as Pretty Boots, High Intentions, Shattered Dreams, Bonanza, and California Dreaming — all of which have made a name for themselves. McDonald said at the Bar C5 Ranch, all mares are screened and carefully selected to present only the best quality of bucking stock that have proven skill to one day per-

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After scoring 87 points at the 2012 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, champion saddle bronc rider Jake Wright of Utah made history when he and his brother Jesse tied and shared a winning round during the 2012 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in December. Ranked sixth in the world, Wright is just one of many professional cowboys who has experienced the high-caliber stock that Powder River Rodeo brings to more than 90 rodeo events throughout the year. Wright is pictured riding Checkmark, one of several saddle broncs that will hit the dirt during the 94th annual Black Hills Roundup in Belle Fourche. Courtesy photo

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Page 8, Black Hills Roundup 2013

The Black Hills Pioneer/Weekly Prospector

Belle Fourche fireworks to blow you away Pioneer staff reports

This year’s Belle Fourche fireworks display will be a blast. This year’s presentation will take place on Friday, July 5 after the Black Hills Roundup rodeo performance. The ball fields east of the rodeo grounds will host the display around 10 p.m. This is a change in dates from recent years and is due to the Fourth of July falling on a Thursday. For the past several years, the fireworks are ignited on July 3. “If everyone is happy with what they see, and the quality makes people want to donate for next year,” Fritz Carlson, a certified pyrotechnician who heads the display, described his guidelines for success. “We shoot a good variety of high aerials and an amazing ground show at the end,” Carlson said of the show that has evolved into a Belle Fourche tradition. This year, Carlson has about a $20,000 budget to light up the night’s sky. Many colors and special effects dominate the aerial display. The ending ground show features Y-shape, zigzag, and salute elements; fan cakes go in all directions. “There is a lot of color in the air at one time,” Carlson said. Y-shape, zigzag, and salute refer to the way the shells exit the cake, which is a box full of shells. One-half the money for the community-driven show comes from donations and the city of Belle Fourche. The other half comes from the Clarkson Foundation.

“People can sit on their porches and see it,” Carlson said of the display, which has been held near the roundup grounds since 2007. “It’s more user-friendly.” Orman Dam hosted the show in 2003 and 2004. It was not held for the next few years as Carlson and others looked for another site. Carlson said the Bureau of Reclamation did not allow the fireworks show to occur at Orman after 2004 due to safety concerns. The in-town location is an improvement, Carlson said. He added, however, it is more difficult to collect funds for future shows. Safety is the primary focus of planning. A site survey is done each year to make sure the area is adequate. Carlson said a minimum safety zone equaling a 70-foot radius for each inch of shell diameter is needed. The largest shell used is 5 inches, which necessitates a 350-foot radius from where the shells are shot. Most of the shells used in the display measure 3 to 5 inches. The Roundup Committee will not use the Clarkson Foundation next year for half of the fireworks fund, so donations are extremely important so the city can afford the same quality show as in years past. However, the Clarkson Foundation has agreed to match community contributions up to $10,000. People wishing to donate for next year’s show may send contributions to the Belle Fourche City Finance Office. They are to use a “Fireworks Fund” notation to mark donations.

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Black Hills Roundup 2013, Page 9

Carnival offers fun for all ages Pioneer photos by Adam Hurlburt

By Mark Watson Black Hills Pioneer

The annual Northstar Amusements carnival returns to the Black Hills Roundup this year, keeping the two-decade tradition alive. The week-long carnival kicks off the Roundup, opening at 5 p.m. on Thursday, July 3. Amusement-goers inspired by the rodeo can find rides to jolt their adrenaline, while those not ready to take the excitement to the next level can hop on more mellow rides. The clean and family-oriented carnival en-

compasses about a two-and-a-half block area and runs throughout the entire Roundup, ending on July 7. Wristbands are on sale early through several local banks and the Belle Fourche and Spearfish Chamber of Commerce. Teresa Schanzenbach, the director of the chamber, said the $20 wristbands allow the holder unlimited rides at the carnival. Each day requires a new wristband, she added. Tickets for individual rides will also be sold at the carnival. Carnival games can be played for an additional fee.

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Page 10, Black Hills Roundup 2013

The Black Hills Pioneer/Weekly Prospector

Lexi Larsen

Talent in our own backyard By Jennessa Scholl Black Hills Pioneer

This years Black Hills Roundup is adding a new feature to its ever popular list of events. Lexi Larsen, former Texaco Country Showdown winner and up and coming country musician will be performing on the new stage at the Black Hills Roundup both Thursday, July 4 and Saturday, July 6. Larsen made her first debut at the Black Hills Roundup when she won Eagle Country’s Texaco Country Showdown back in 2009. “It was definitely the biggest competitions out of any I had done. Every contest was a great experience, including the big regional one,” said Larsen.

She even came back to play at the showdown finals the following year because of how good the experience was. “The guys at the Eagle have taken good care of me over the years.” Larsen said. So good in fact that Larsen agreed to be a judge at this years Texaco Country Showdown, being held July 5 at the Herrmann Park Bandshell in Belle Fourche. “It’ll be different to be on this side of the competition,” said Larsen, who has judged contests in the past but still prefers being up on stage. For Larsen, country music has always been a constant, and so has the Roundup. “I don’t remember a time when country music wasn’t apart of my life.” said Larsen,

Texaco Country Showdown A can’t miss at this year’s Roundup

By Jennessa Scholl Black Hills Pioneer

Forget American Idol and the Voice, the Black Hills Roundup has something even better — the ever-popular Texaco Country Showdown. Following a successful last few years, the annual Texaco Country Showdown is now celebrating its fifth local birthday during the Black Hills Roundup. The local finals, held every year at the Herrmann Park Bandshell in Belle Fourche, will take place on Friday July 5. This year’s showdown will have 12 finalists competing for a cash prize of $250 along with a $100 gift certificate to Pete’s Clothing, tickets to the Deadwood

Songwriters Jam, and a spot at the state competition in Beach N.D. Following the state competition winners move on to the regional contest in Minnesota and then onto the national competition in Nashville, T.N. This year’s national competition will be hosted by well-known country singer, Jewel. Past winners of the Texaco Country Showdown aren’t new to winning the state competition and moving on to the regional finals in Minnesota. Three out of the last four years’ winners from the areas showdown have won the state contest and done well in the regional competition. Paul James, program director at Eagle Country said, “Hopefully one of our contestants can get over the hump of the regional

and as for the Roundup, “I grew up at the Roundup, its is like a family reunion for my family and I. It’s one of my favorite times of the year.” And what she’s looking the most forward to? The rodeos. “I’m looking forward to the rodeo, its one of my favorite rodeos! And I love to spend time with family and friends. She may be living in Nashville, but for Larsen the Roundup “feels like home” she also commented saying she’s, “very excited and honored to be apart of it all.” Larsen currently just got done touring, and will be taking a break until the Roundup, to rest and get ready. She will also be appearing at Beslers Cadillac Ranch on July 5 during the Roundup, and will be back

in August for the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, performing at the Stone House in Sturgis and at the Aladdin General Store in Aladdin, Wyo. When she’s not touring, she’s writing. Larsen’s album that debuted last fall called “A Little Bit of Ooh,” is going to be re-released this August, with three new songs on it, four of which Larsen wrote. The band Ruckus will also play a performance following the Wednesday, July 3 rodeo. To find out more tour dates and information about Lexi Larsen follow her on Twitter @lexilarsenmusic, on Facebook https:// or join her fans at

competition and onto the national competition.” Eagle Country’s first winner from the very first competition back in 2009 and who also won the state competition, Lexi Larsen, is an up-and-coming country musician who’s currently living in Nashville and will be a big staple in this year’s Black Hills Roundup. Not only is she judging at the showdown finals she is also performing following the rodeo performances Thursday July 4, and Saturday July 6, at the Roundup Grounds in Belle Fourche. This year has been a little bit different for the personnel staff at Eagle Country there were only six preliminary contests held which is one fewer than last year. That means that instead of narrowing down 70 contestants to 14 last year, they only had to narrow down about 50 contestants to 12 finalists for July’s showdown. The finalists are given a choice between using their own material to perform or

covers of whatever songs they choose. By making it to the final showdown, these 12 musicians are now members of an elite group that have participated in this 32-yearold nationwide competition. Members who’s careers were sparked by this event include: LeeAnn Rimes, Garth Brooks, Sara Evans, Miley Cyrus, Brad Paisley and maybe one day someone from our own backyard in the Black Hills. Since this is a country music specific competition the finalists are judged based on the distinct criteria: originality of performance, marketability in country music, stage presence/charisma, originality of the performance, vocal/instrumental ability, and overall talent. This event is sponsored by Dana Dental Arts, and is free for the whole family. Eagle Country will be broadcasting the entire showdown live online at and on the radio at 95.9 FM and 96.3 FM.

The Black Hills Pioneer/Weekly Prospector

Black Hills Roundup 2013, Page 11

Ranch Rodeo

a more ranch-oriented event Pioneer staff reports

What do wild cow milking, bucking horse rides and branding contests have in common? The popular ranch rodeo at this year’s Black Hills Roundup. The fourth annual ranch rodeo takes place at 7 p.m. on July 3 at the Roundup grounds.

The rodeo showcases cowboys’ ranching prowess in a variety of wrangling competitions. While many attendees know the typical rodeo events — bronc riding, roping, barrel racing and bull riding — the ranch rodeo takes competitors back in time. The events are much more

ranch-oriented than rodeo-oriented. The ranch rodeo features wild cow milking, bucking horse rides, branding contests, stray gathering and sorting events. The ranch rodeo has gained additional interest this year with applications coming in from local ranchers as well as those

from surrounding states. “The ranch rodeo has gained a great reputation as standing out from other ranch rodeos,” said Mark Leverington, the chairman of this year’s Black Hills Roundup. “A lot of ranch rodeos drag on and seem to take forever. Ours runs really smoothly and quickly.” Before the event, a free barbecue will be offered to ranch rodeo ticket holders. The barbecue, which starts at 5 p.m., has been a Roundup tradition for several years and provides all the typical barbecue fixing’s. Another tradition

Pioneer file photos is pre-rodeo mutton busting for young, up-and-coming ranchers. The celebration will continue after the rodeo as well, with the band Ruckus set to play a free concert behind the roundup grandstands. This year a new event, stemming, has been added to the Roundup festivities. The top four contestants in the ranch rodeo bronc riding will compete during the intermission of the third performance of the Black Hills Roundup rodeo held on July 6. The winner of the contest will receive $700, and the second-place finisher will take home $300.

Page 12, Black Hills Roundup 2013

The Black Hills Pioneer/Weekly Prospector

The Black Hills Pioneer/Weekly Prospector

Black Hills Roundup 2013, Page 13

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The Black Hills Pioneer/Weekly Prospector

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Calf scramble now two times the fun For the second year now, organizers of the Black Hills Roundup will host the calf scramble during intermission of the rodeo, but this year there will be two chances for kids. During the Friday and Saturday performance of the rodeo, kids can race after calves with ribbons tied to their tails. Grab a ribbon and win a prize.

BBQ to help kick off Roundup Pioneer Staff Reports

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If dinner and a movie is not your cup of tea, perhaps a barbecue and ranch rodeo is more up your alley. Once again, the Black Hills Roundup barbecue will be held before the annual ranch rodeo, whetting fans’ appetites for the excitement to follow. Held at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, July 3 at the Roundup Grounds, the barbecue is the

prelude to the ranch rodeo cowboy auction. The first go-round of mutton busting, at 5:45 p.m.; the introduction of the ranch rodeo teams and cowboy auction at 6:30 p.m.; and finally the fourth annual ranch rodeo, which gets a little wild at 7 p.m. Tickets for the ranch rodeo and barbecue are $10 for adults and $5 for children and are available at the Belle Fourche Chamber or at the gate.

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Black Hills Roundup 2013, Page 15

Barrel man Dennis Halstead returning to Belle By Jason Gross Black Hills Pioneer

Pioneer file photo

Rodeo clown Dennis Halstead regards the Black Hills Roundup as a second home during the Fourth of July holiday. “I love the Dakotas, and this is cowboy country,” the Calgary, Alberta resident said in describing the Roundup’s appeal. “Belle Fourche is all about family; our sport is all about that.” The Black Hills Roundup runs July 3-6, with rodeo performances set for 4 p.m. July 4, 7 p.m. July 5, and 7 p.m. July 6. Halstead performed here in 2012 and said this year is his fifth time. Halstead particularly enjoys the atmosphere, plus being in the parade. He said he does not normally get much of a chance to experience that environment. Other Black Hills Roundup aspects appeal to Halstead, the four-time Canadian

Entertainer of the Year. The closeness to, and interaction with, the Belle Fourche crowd is at the top of his list. Halstead boasts a total of 22 acts in his repertoire but does not know what will highlight his act. “I don’t have a script; I couldn’t tell you,” Halstead said. “Each day, I see something different.” His routine also depends on the weather and what he wants to do that day. Halstead has spent 15 years as a professional rodeo clown. “I love to entertain, make people laugh, and put smiles on people’s faces,” he said. The job also provides him with a huge adrenaline rush. Halstead thrills the crowd with his antics but also provides bullfighting support from his barrel to riders. The clown journey for Halstead began when a big-name performer didn’t appear at a local charity rodeo. He volunteered and quickly developed a passion for it. A world championship is Halstead’s ultimate goal. He said the top 300 riders in the nation vote on that honor. Halstead is on the road 10 months this year. He recently retired as a firefighter in Calgary. He was asked about the most dangerous things he has experienced in the arena. “I’ve worked with broken ribs and lost all of my teeth,” Halstead said. “If I get hurt today, I’m back at it the next day.”

Courtesy photo

Page 16, Black Hills Roundup 2013

The Black Hills Pioneer/Weekly Prospector

Welcome It is with pleasure that I welcome you to the 2013 Miss Rodeo South Dakota and Junior Miss Rodeo South Dakota Pageants. This year is a milestone as it is the 50th year that the Black Hills Roundup has been hosting the pageant. What a feat within itself! Over the years numerous volunteers have organized, chaired, and directed this pageant, selflessly giving thousands of their hours of volunteer time. A huge heartfelt thank you goes out to all involved with the pageant over the years. In 1963 Belle Fourche welcomed the pageant to tie in with their PRCA Rodeo. Hats off to Belle Fourche and the Black Hills Roundup Committee for their hard word and diligence in putting on a great show through out the years and giving the pageant a “home.” We have three very talented ladies vying for the crown of 2014 Miss Rodeo South Dakota. This great life experience will offer them positive skills that will enhance their career and future. 2013 MRSD Kristina Maddocks has had a very busy year so far traveling across the state and country representing rodeo. She is a great advocate for South Dakota and will represent us well in the Miss Rodeo American Pageant in


Las Vegas in December. The Junior Miss Rodeo South Dakota Pageant has six wonderful young ladies competing for the title. We are very excited to have a large turn out as that is what the MRSD Board strives for, is to encourage the girls to get involved at a young age and experience the learning opportunities that are available through rodeo queen competition. Out-going Junior Queen Brielle Yackley has had a busy year representing Rodeo and our great state! Thank you Brielle! A huge thank you goes out to all the generous sponsors for the pageant. Please patronize their business and thank them as well. The MRSD Board works year round to put on the pageant. Another huge thank you to Pres-my hubby Ted Thompson, VP-Heidi Woebler, Sec.Dawn Burns, Nat. Dir.-Cindy Wilk, and Dir.-Red Wilk, and to all the committee members for their volunteer time and help. May you all enjoy the MRSD Pageant along with the July 4th Black Hills Roundup! Kathy Thompson Pageant director





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Welcome to the Black Hills Roundup! I can still remember stepping in to this arena for the first time to compete for Jr. Miss Rodeo South Dakota. I was 15 years old, and scared half to death. In the eight years since then, I’ve returned to the Black Hills Roundup arena six times, and have been lucky enough to either receive or pass on a crown each time! Becoming Miss Rodeo South Dakota has been a dream since the first day I stepped onto the Black Hills Roundup Rodeo grounds; however, it wasn’t until after being crowned Jr. Miss Rodeo South Dakota 2008 that I began to believe this dream could actually be a possibility. When I heard my name announced one year ago as Miss Rodeo South Dakota, I realized that what was once a dream had grown into full-fledged reality. I kicked my year off Kristina with a phenomenal coronation in Aberdeen. It was wonderful to see the support from my hometown and the surrounding area. I hit the road shortly afterwards, and began the gypsy life of a rodeo queen! This gypsy life has already led me across Colorado, Wyoming, Florida, North Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Minnesota, and Arizona, not to mention every corner and back road of South Dakota! Regardless of where I find myself, I always strive to share a little bit of South Dakota with those I meet. It is truly an honor to represent and share the story of a state with such a rich history, strong present and bright future! I would not have been able to make it this far without my amazing family - Ron, Paula, and Rance. They have believed in me, supported my dreams, and pushed me to be the best I could possibly be. Thank you also to all of the past Miss Rodeo South Dakotas

for not only leaving a wonderful legacy to contribute to, but also for the support, advice and well wishes this year. An enormous thank you goes out to both the Miss Rodeo South Dakota pageant sponsors and my own personal sponsors. Without their generous support, none of this would be possible! Curt Mitchell of Modern Woodmen of America, RDO Equipment, Dakota 105.5, Hitch’n Post, and Ken’s Superfair Foods have been wonderful supporters of both my coronation and travels this year. Thank you as well to the MRSD board and committee! It is a pleasure to work with you, and I appreciate all of your support. A special thank you goes out to Cindy Wilk. You have truly been my guardian angel this year, and I appreciate all of your hard work to make my job as Maddocks easy as possible! To the contestants: I am incredibly proud of each one of you for having both the desire to represent the sport of rodeo and our great state, and the courage to follow your dreams. I wish each of you the best of luck this week and on all the roads life leads you down! Enjoy this week and celebrate our freedom! I am so grateful to live in a country where I am free to chase my dreams. God bless our troops and veterans for safeguarding this freedom! Thank you to everyone who has supported me on the road to this goal. I have had opportunities I’d never dreamed possible from kissing gators to flying a plane! This has truly been the ride of a lifetime, and I can’t wait to see what else lies down the road!

One year ago, as I was crowned the 2012 Junior Miss Rodeo South Dakota I couldn’t imagine what the year would bring. I kicked my year off with the Black Hills Roundup Rodeo here in Belle Fourche along with the parade. Throughout my year I attended several events throughout the state, and even got the opportunity to go to Florida! A few of the events I attended are: the Days of ’76 rodeo, Miss Rodeo Aberdeen queen competition, Catfish Stampede Rodeo, SDRA Rodeo finals, First Chance Bonanza, Kristina Maddock’s Miss Rodeo South Dakota coronation, Black Hills Stock Show, Brielle Fort Pierce Rodeo in Florida, Jackrabbit Stampede, Casey Tibbs Bronc Match, and the Sturgis Wild West Days. As my year as Junior Miss Rodeo South Dakota comes to a close, I look forward to the rest of the summer before I return to South Dakota State University as a sophomore to complete my degrees in biology and microbiology and go on to medical school. My

year would not have been possible without the help of so many great people. First, my queen coordinator, Cindy Wilk, has been so helpful and always a just phone call away if I ever needed anything. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with her during my reign. I was fortunate to be around two particularly wonderful Miss Rodeo South Dakotas during my year, Courtney Peterson and Kristina Maddocks. It has been great being around the both of you and I appreciate all of the advice and words of wisdom you have offered me throughout the years. Finally, I would like to thank my family, because without them none of these opportunities would be available to me. I am so Yackley grateful for all that you do! In closing, I would like to wish all of the 2013 Junior Miss Rodeo South Dakota contestants the very best of luck and I hope that all of you enjoy the 2013 Black Hills Roundup Rodeo! God Bless!

Happy Trails and God Bless, Kristina Maddocks Miss Rodeo South Dakota 2013

Brielle Yackley Jr. Miss Rodeo South Dakota

The Black Hills Pioneer/Weekly Prospector

Black Hills Roundup 2013, Page 17

Contestants Announced for Rodeo Pageants Miss Rodeo South Dakota Contestants

Kendra Peterson Kendra Peterson is the 22-year-old daughter of Ronald and Myla Peterson of Sisseton, S.D. She is a 2009 graduate of Sisseton High School where she was active in volleyball, FFA, and high school rodeo. Outside of school she kept busy being an active member in 4-H and the Sisseton Roping Club. She was selected to attend the South Dakota Girls’ State and also was a South Dakota Representative at the National Institute of Cooperative Education. In 2010 Kendra was honored with the award of second attendant in the State 4-H Ambassador contest. Since then she has earned the titles of 2011 Miss Rodeo Aberdeen and is currently Miss Corn Palace Stampede Rodeo Queen. She is currently attending the University of Minnesota, Crookston where she is majoring in accounting with a minor in agricultural business. Along with attending school, Kendra is an information specialist at the University of Minnesota, Crookston and also works in the mailroom on campus in her free time. To relax, she enjoys beading, riding her horses, ice skating, and spending time with friends and family. Kendra would also like to thank her sponsor, Corn Palace Stampede Rodeo.

Mackenzi Rogers Mackenzi Rogers, 20, is the daughter of Suzanne and Travis Rogers of Deadwood, S.D. She graduated as the valedictorian of the Class of 2011 at Lead-Deadwood High School and is currently a third year pre-medical student at the University of South Dakota where she is pursuing a degree in medical biology with the goal of becoming a primary care physician in rural South Dakota. At USD, she is involved in Honors Association, Habitat for Humanity, is the Pre-Med Society president, and the USD Kick Cystic Fibrosis chapter founder and president. Mackenzi has always enjoyed spending time with and learning about horses. Her involvement in rodeo, queen pageants, helping young girls get into riding, and an extensive project on horses her senior year of high school has only strengthened this passion. Through the title of Miss Rodeo South Dakota, Mackenzi would like to share her passion for rodeo with people from across the country by representing rodeo, her state, and the Western lifestyle and by encouraging people of all ages to get in the saddle and pick up the reins.

Melynda Sletten Melynda Sletten is the 23-year-old daughter of Lynn and Brenda Sletten of Pierpont, S.D. The rolling hills of South Dakota will always be her home. On the backs of horses since she was 5, rodeos and the Western way of life have always been in her heart. She graduated from Langford High School in 2008 and has been active in 4-H rodeo, Jim River Riders, Aberdeen Horseman Association, and All American Saddle Club. In her free time, she volunteers at SPURS therapeutic riding center in Aberdeen, S.D. Her hobbies are drawing, dancing, cooking, and anything to do with horses. She currently holds the Miss Rodeo Aberdeen title and has also represented Miss Foothills Rodeo. Before college, she moved to Hill City, S.D., to work as a wrangler guiding people through the Black Elk Wilderness. She attended Ridgewater College and Lake Area Technical Institute receiving a license in cosmetology. She currently works full time in Aberdeen as a cosmetologist and part time at Aberdeen Livestock as a wrangler. It is her honor to be part of this tradition and wonderful community event. She is proudly sponsored by Miss Rodeo Aberdeen and Mike and Farm Credit Services. Your Community Connection

Page 18, Black Hills Roundup 2013

The Black Hills Pioneer/Weekly Prospector

Junior Miss Rodeo SD Contestants Morgan Janisch

Shaelynne Heitsch

Whitney Gimpel Whitney Gimpel is the 18-year-old daughter of Doug and Tina Gimpel. Whitney recently graduated from New Underwood High School in the top five of her class and is looking forward to attending Western Nebraska Community College in the fall to start the pre-veterinary program. She enjoys all the sport of rodeo has to offer and the rich western heritage that has given her so many opportunities to grow. She has participated in the sport of rodeo for many years and has held three queen titles prior. One unique fact about her is that she has five siblings who all took pride in helping her learn about rodeo and how to keep her head up. Whitney spends her time with friends, family, riding her horses to constantly improve horsemanship, camping, and simply loving the outdoors. She wants to be part of making sure all young rodeo athletes have the opportunities to achieve their goals and that rodeo will always be represented in the great state of South Dakota.

Martina Loobey Hello! My name is Martina Loobey and I am the 15-yearold daughter of Brook and Lorrie Loobey of Sturgis. I have one sister and her name is Jessica and she works at Envy Salon as a cosmetologist, which means I will look fabulous. This fall I will be a sophomore at Sturgis Brown High School. In school, I participate in cheerleading, dance, and our Sturgis FFA chapter in horse judging. I have held the title of junior miss Newell Labor Day 2011, and was first runner up for junior miss Faith Stock Show 2012. I love to work on our ranch and especially chores that require a horse. My family and I have been coming to the Black Hills Roundup since I was very young. Since then, I have learned so much about rodeo and the western way of life, which is a dream I hope to carry out. In my free time I workout, hang out with my best friends and help my dad constantly on our ranch learning new valuable skills everyday. My sponsor is Bear Butte Motors of Sturgis. A great place to go when you need help with your car! I would like to say thank you to everyone who believed in me that I could do this contest. I want to wish everyone good luck and have a safe and fun Fourth of July weekend!

Shaelynne Heitsch is the 15-year-old daughter of Tom and Tracy Heitsch of Hermosa, S.D. As a student at Rapid City Central High School, she is active in varsity track, serves as treasurer of the Rapid City Area High School Rodeo Team, and is involved in student council. She completed her freshman and sophomore years academically ranked first out of 649 students, with a cumulative 4.0 GPA. Shaelynne is a proud eight-year member of 4-H. She serves as president of her 4-H club, participates in Junior Leaders, and loves 4-H rodeo. She was the 2011 Pennington County 4-H junior ambassador, the 2012 New Underwood 4-H senior ambassador, and was second attendant at the 2012 SD state 4-H rodeo. Her Christian faith is foremost in her life. She sings and plays guitar for the church choirs, teaches Sunday school to her beloved kindergarteners, and is active in youth group. Shaelynne owes all thanks and praise to her Lord and savior for granting her the opportunity to represent South Dakota’s number one sport – rodeo.

Shelby Riggs Shelby Riggs is the 15-yearold daughter of Kevin and Becky Riggs of Mitchell, S.D. She has one brother, John. She attends Mitchell High School, actively participating in FFA, student council, debate, show choir, the Mitchell High School musical, and track. Additionally, Shelby has been an active member of the Wider Horizons 4-H club for seven years, competing at 4-H horse shows and horse judging contests. She also enjoys dancing, showing cattle, and volunteering in her community. During the summer, Shelby directs youth theater, combining a love of the arts and a passion for helping children. Shelby is currently the 2012 Corn Palace Stampede junior queen. She also has been honored to rein as 2011 Foothills Rodeo junior queen and 2010 Corn Palace Stampede princess. During her time competing, Shelby has received many horsemanship and miss congeniality titles and other awards. She is very grateful for the opportunity to run for junior miss rodeo South Dakota and to represent South Dakota’s greatest sport. She would like to thank her family, her sponsors, and everyone that has supported her over the years.

English jumping and pasture roping are Morgan Janisch’s favorite hobbies. Morgan resides on a ranch by Lake City, S.D., with her parents Paul and Julie Janisch and her older brother, Wyatt. Morgan is an honor student at Sisseton High School where she is active in FFA, FBLA, gymnastics, oral interp, piano, jazz, and tap dance. She is also active in her church youth group. She is a member of the Sisseton Clovers 4-H Club and shows horses, cattle, hogs, and cats. She participates in high school and 4-H rodeo and the National Barrel Horse Association barrel races. In 2012, she was the East River region high school rodeo queen, second attendant for state high school rodeo queen, and the Glacial Lakes 4-H senior rodeo ambassador. She has also held the titles of Corn Palace junior princess and princess, Glacial Lakes 4-H junior rodeo ambassador, and Hyde-Hand 4-H junior ambassador. RCW Ranch Horses of Leola, S.D., is proud to sponsor Morgan. Morgan looks forward to continuing to promote the sport of rodeo and the western way of life.

Morgan Straub Morgan Straub is the 18-year-old daughter of Marc Straub and Caryn Clinton. Growing up surrounded by the rich history of the Wild West and rodeo in Deadwood, S.D., Morgan has developed a deep love and respect for this way of life. She is a 2013 graduate from LeadDeadwood High School. This fall, she will head to Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, S.D., to pursue a nursing degree. Morgan has always been very committed and determined in everything she participates in. This is proved by her serving as student council president, Rushmore Region vice president, four-year letter recipient in track and Key Club president. Her days are filled with barrel racing, snowboarding, working at the First Step Child Care Center and trying to make the most of every day God has given her.

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Black Hills Roundup 2013, Page 19

Sports Medicine


We excel in our arena, so you can excel in yours. To be the best, you’ve got to feel your best. Our orthopedists, sports medicine professionals, and rehabilitation therapists get it. We work as a team to get you back in the saddle, back in the game, or just back to your life. We excel, so you can.

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Page 20, Black Hills Roundup 2013

The Black Hills Pioneer/Weekly Prospector

The Voice of Rodeo

Chad Nicholson to announce the Black Hills Roundup 12th year in a row

By Heather Murschel Black Hills Pioneer

Chad Nicholson said he looks forward to coming to Belle Fourche every year for the Black Hills Roundup — and he’s excited to have the opportunity to keep coming back. This will be the 12th year Nicholson has been the official PRCA rodeo announcer for the event and his overall goal is to make sure that everyone has a good time. “We want people to have fun and get their money’s worth,” he said. “I want people to laugh out loud and truly enjoy themselves, and if that occurs I know I’m doing my job.” This year he will have the opportunity to make the audience laugh even harder as Dennis Halstead, a professional rodeo clown, is scheduled to join in on the fun this year. “He’s absolutely hilarious … we have a good time together,” he said.

In its 94th year, the Black Hills Roundup takes place around the Fourth of July in Belle Fourche. Nicholson, who is no stranger to rodeo, has been an announcer with the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) for 21 years and he pours his heart and soul into what he does. For him, rodeo is a lifestyle that he fell in love with decades ago. “I wanted to be a part of something,” Nicholson, 44, said. “I had to figure out where I fit and being an announcer is where I landed.” Nicholson said he originally went to college to become an agriculture teacher. After he realized how much he loved the radio and traveling around the country, he knew that he needed to put everything he had into becoming the best rodeo announcer in the circuit. So, after college he sold everything but his saddle and hit the road. “I traveled throughout the United States and booked every single rodeo that I

could,” Nicholson said. “To me, being a rodeo announcer isn’t just about being around the rodeo, it’s about living the lifestyle,” he said. He said there are numerous aspects of his job that he loves, especially when it comes to entertaining a live audience. “It gives you instant gratification and it definitely boosts my ego,” Nicholson said. Hailing from Three Rivers, Calif., Nicholson spends the season traveling throughout the United States — but his favorite rodeo of all time is the Black Hills Roundup. “Belle Fourche is the best place to be on the Fourth of July,” Nicholson said. “It’s a fantastic community filled with people who take pride in their country, and I’ve made a lot of friends over the years that I can’t wait to see.” He also said he appreciates the Black Hills Roundup Committee and the numerous volunteers and sponsors who make the rodeo a reality each and every year.

Chad Nicholson of Three Rivers, Calif., will return for his 12th year in a row as the Black Hills Roundup’s official announcer. Courtesy photo

He said this rodeo has a rich history and he’s proud to have the opportunity to be a part of history in the making. “It takes team work to make the dream work and there is definitely a lot of that involved in the Black Hills Roundup … it takes great people to allow me to be who I want to be when I go to work and in my opinion they are the best in the country,” he said. As for his favorite event, Nicholson loves watching the saddle bronc riders do their thing. “I’m definitely a bucking horse guy,” he said. But, he also likes the opening ceremonies because they are so patriotic. “I take a lot of pride in this country and what it stands for, so the opening is always a good reminder for fans to be proud of where they come from,” he said. When he’s not announcing, Nicholson can be found on the golf course or venturing off road in his Jeep.

The Black Hills Pioneer/Weekly Prospector

Black Hills Roundup 2013, Page 21

Cowboy Band

dates back decades By Jaci Conrad Pearson Black Hills Pioneer

They definitely put a certain special spark in the Fourth of July. “We literally lead the parade,” said 21-year member Tim Speidel, a percussionist and “goto guy” for the Belle Fourche Cowboy Band. “It’s kind of fun. It’s fun to get everyone back together and fun to be participating in events like the Roundup, the Days of ’76 parade, the Butte/Lawrence County Fair. There’s just something about a band that puts a spark in events.” Although the group, whose ranks swell to anywhere between 45 and 65, has spent several decades performing in the Roundup parade beginning in 1931, this year they’ve added a new gig to their lineup. Through the years, the band has brought credit and publicity to Belle Fourche. The band has played summer engagements from Miles City, Mont., to Colorado Springs, Colo., to Sheridan, Wyo. In 1935, the band was invited to play for visiting dignitaries at the Stratosphere Bowl during the time the National Geographic Society and the Army were making their famous balloon flights. In 1949, the band was invited to be the official band at the “Pike’s Peak or Bust”

rodeo in Colorado Springs, Colo. In June of 1953, the band was invited to play for President Eisenhower at a gathering of Young Republicans he was addressing at Mount Rushmore. There have been many Cowboy Band directors, but the best known was the original director, Charlie McClung, who was said to have made the following statement: “I can get more pep out of that cowboy bunch than any band I ever waved a baton in front of.” In 1983, after a lapse in the band organization, the first mass reunion ever of Cowboy Band members was held. The band’s successful appearances during the Fourth of July holiday renewed interest in the band, and now a reunion is held every year during this time with a “round up” being held every third year. The band plays for the three rodeo performances, marches in the parade, plays for the class reunions held at this time and presents a concert in the Chassell Memorial band shell in Herrmann Park. The original uniforms have given way to red cowboy shirts, blue jeans, white chaps and white hats. The band is always looking for new members, and those interested should call Speidel at 210-0551. More information about the band is available at

The Cowboy Band will perform several times throughout the Black Hills Roundup, including at the rodeo and parade. The group has played throughout the area and the region since it was formed in 1931. Pioneer file photo

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Local artist to perform national anthem at Roundup

Katie Wagner, winner of the second annual Black Hills Roundup National Anthem Contest held on June 15 at Herrmann Park in Belle Fourche, will perform “The Star Spangled Banner” at the Black Hills Roundup Rodeo, July 3-6. “I’m very honored,” she said. “The first song I sang was actually the National Anthem.” Wagner, a South Dakota native who has been singing since the age of 4, received a Black Hills Roundup Rodeo jacket and the chance to return to Herrmann Park for the Texaco Country Showdown, July 5. Pioneer photo by Kaylee Tschetter

The Black Hills Pioneer/Weekly Prospector

‘Stars of Rodeo Unite’ returning to Roundup By Jason Gross Black Hills Pioneer

A group of longtime rodeo contestants will gather on stage to share stories with fans. That will serve as the focus of the second annual “Stars of Rodeo Unite” session. This year’s event is set for 4:30 p.m. Saturday, July 6, behind the Black Hills Roundup’s main grandstand. “Everyone really enjoyed it,” event organizer and four-time world champion bareback rider Marvin Garrett said in recalling last year’s event. “It was a down-home, country good time.” Rodeo historian Rick Thompson will emcee this year’s event as Red Lemmel, Brad Germanson, Tom Miller, and Garrett take to the stage. The four competed in the same era. “It’s almost like family,” said Garrett, who works on this event throughout the year. “We spent so much time together on the road.” Garrett said time goes by so quickly that a number of stories do not get told. Group members discuss their time together and recall the ranked horses they rode. One of the most memorable stories

from last year centered on an airplane crash outside of Lodi, Calif., in November 1998. Four members survived, but pilot Johnny Morris lost his life 14 days later due to injuries he sustained. Last year’s event attracted between 50 and 60 people. “The fan appreciation was neat to see,” Garrett said. He anticipates this year’s gathering will be larger. “Adding value to the Black Hills Roundup, by creating free events for the public to attend, is something we strive for,” Black Hills Roundup Committee Chairperson Mark Leverington said of this event’s origins. Leverington said “Stars of Rodeo Unite” adds depth in celebration of this area’s Western heritage, brings appreciation to past heroes, and provides opportunity for the fans. First-year memories for Leverington feature the crowd, hearing Garrett sing, and listening to many stories. Garrett knows a lot about early country music songs and artists, according to Leverington. “We have a lot to be proud of,” Leverington said. “The Black Hills Roundup is the ideal event to celebrate our heritage.”


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The Black Hills Pioneer/Weekly Prospector

Black Hills Roundup 2013, Page 23

Steer roping returns to BH Roundup Pioneer Staff Reports

Back by popular demand, steer roping will return to the Black Hills Roundup this year after a two-year absence. Black Hills Roundup Chairman Mark Leverington said a lot of contestants will be at this year’s event. “We haven’t done steer roping in two years, and we expect a lot of competition coming in. There will be two rounds that should last four to five hours,” Leverington said. There were many factors in bringing back steer roping to the Black Hills Roundup. “Part of it is the demand. They (steer ropers) came to us and wanted to be

included in the rodeo,” said Leverington. “Steer ropers need a place to go and we are right in the middle of their circuit.” Their circuit runs through Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma,

Wyoming and Montana. Another reason to bring back steer wrestling is to help the local economy. “Steer wrestling helps bring people in and that in turn helps bring money into our town,”

Leverington said. The steer roping competition gets underway at 8 a.m. and will last until around noon on July 3.

Pioneer file photo




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The Black Hills Pioneer/Weekly Prospector


Black Hills Roundup

Pioneer file photos

BH Roundup 2013  

This year's guide to the annual Black Hills Roundup in Belle Fourche.