MONTANA’S BRAND OF BANKING
For 70 years, Stockman Bank has been serving Montana with the best in banking services, helping Montanans manage their money, achieve their financial goals and realize their dreams. As the largest family owned, privately held, community bank in Montana, we remain committed to traditional, western values and homegrown community services.
2 0 2 3 M C B H S M E R C H A N D I S E 2 0 2 3 M C B H S M E R C H A N D I S E
Neighbor by neighbor; community by community. Longevity doesn’t happen overnight, and we’re not about to let anything change its course. Let’s put 55 years of full-service community banking to work for you.
Board of Governors
Bailey Kortum - Exec. Secretary
WIelcome to the 72nd Anniversary of the World Famous Miles City Bucking Horse Sale!!
From the beginnings of this event over 70 years ago, to what it is today, is an epic transformation. You are going to experience an event like no other in the world!!
A little about the beginning.... During the late 1940’s and early 1950’s, the use of horses was declining in the region, but the population of horses remained high. The rich history of this sale started in 1950 when the local livestock auction owner, Les Boe, along with his son-in-law, Bob Pauley, purchased some cattle from a ranch in southeastern Montana, and the ranch owner threw some unbroken horses in on the deal. Boe and Pauley then found more horses in the region and decided to hold a bucking horse sale. They ended up finding so many, that this first unofficial sale lasted 3 days! The first official Miles City Bucking Horse Sale was organized and held in 1951 and became an annual event. Some of the greatest cowboys and world renown bucking stock have come through this event, and you will see the same now, the best of the best, as it has been for the past 72 years!
Now a four day celebration, the Miles City Bucking Horse Sale has continually evolved over the years. While some ranches may still have a few unbroken horses, the responsibility of providing bucking horses now resides with professional rodeo contractors and horse breeders. It’s a highly professional business, breeding and raising horses specifically for rodeo with the utmost care given to them. Hence, the Miles City Bucking Horse Sale lives on! We have kept the underlying western traditions and have added much more to expand the experience, including a $50,000 added Match Bronc Ride that features the best bucking horses and saddle bronc riders in the world, high energy country music concerts, multiple days of horse racing with Pari-mutual betting, one of the richest wild horse races in the world, along with unending opportunities to purchase and showcase western attire, and of course, the bucking horse sale auction itself!
From its early origins to now, this event has transformed into an icon of western heritage embodying the cultural and historical traditions passed down for generations. The Miles City Bucking Horse Sale Board of Governors works hard throughout the year to ensure the underlying theme of this event reflects the value we place on the importance of preserving the cultural and historical traditions we hold dear. These traditions of the cowboy way of life include the values of hard work, integrity, self-reliance, and the independence you achieve when you make your own way in life. While specific details of this idea of western culture may differ depending on the region, the underlying values and principles remain the same. You will see and interact with many different people while here in Miles City, from rodeo contestants, stock contractors, trade show vendors, contract personnel, business owners, event staff, and the many people who make this region home. You will have the opportunity to meet individuals that exemplify the aforementioned attributes. Everyone involved with this event strives to ensure that you enjoy this celebration of the western way of life. We all feel preserving the cowboy way and values foster a sense of community and personal connections, which are increasingly important in today’s fast-paced and disconnected world. We encourage you to move around the event, meet new people, ask questions, and try to see as much as you can. We hope you experience our western hospitality and take with you an understanding of our western heritage and the values we place on it. We are grateful you are here with us today, and we hope you have the time of your life!
Thank you to all our generous sponsors and to the members of the all-volunteer Board of Governors for their time, commitment, and hard work in making the World Famous Miles City Bucking Horse Sale a “destination event”! You all are truly the best of the best and I thank you!
Once again, enjoy yourself and welcome to the 72nd edition of the “Cowboy Mardi Gras”!JohnMorford President–MCBHSBoardofGovernors
may 6-7, 14, 19-21
Schedule of Events
Derby Day - SATURDAY, MAY 6
Full Day of Live Horse Races starting at 1 p.m. Live Churchill Downs Simulcast of Kentucky Derby
SUNDAY, MAY 7
Full Day of Live Horse Races starting at 1 p.m. Live Churchill Downs Simulcast
Mother’s Day - SUNDAY, MAY 14
Full Day of Live Horse Races starting at 1 p.m. Free admission to all moms! Live Churchill Downs Simulcast
Stolen Roan, Copper Mountain Band & Mitchell Tenpenny
THURSDAY, MAY 18
5 p.m. Gates Open
6 p.m. Stolen Roan
7 p.m. Copper Mountain Band
8:30 p.m. Mitchell Tenpenny
First Day of Events
FRIDAY, MAY 19
PRCA Permit Bronc Riding - Wild Horse Races
- Mutton Bustin’ - And More!
More Live Races than ever before!
1 p.m. – Trade Show Opens
4:30 p.m. – Wild Horse Race (Section 1 of 2)
4:45 p.m. – Rodeo Grand Entry
5:20 p.m. – Horse Race (Race 1 of 4)
6:25 p.m. – PRCA Bronc Ride Permit Challenge (Section 1 of 2)
8 p.m. – Trade Show Closes
8:35 p.m. – Mutton Bustin’
Street Dance (Downtown) – After the Event
Second Day of Events
SATURDAY, MAY 20
Horse Racing - Bucking Horses
Street Dance And More!
6 a.m. – Range Riders Museum Breakfast
9:30 a.m. – BHS Parade – Main St.
10:30 a.m. – Quick Draw Art Show
11 a.m. – Trade Show Opens (Fairgrounds)
Noon– Horse Races (First Race)
12:45 p.m. – Rodeo Grand Entry
1 p.m. – Wild Horse Race
1:15 p.m. – Bucking Horse Sale Futurity
2 p.m. – Open Bucking Horses & Sale
4:45 p.m. – Preakness Post Time (pari-mutuel betting)
6:25 p.m. – Final Horse Race of the Day
6:50 p.m. – Wild Horse Race
8 p.m. – Trade Show Closes
9 p.m. – Street Dance (Main St.)
Final Day of Events
SUNDAY, MAY 21
The World’s Biggest One-Day Match Bronc Ride!
9 a.m. – Trade Show Opens
10 a.m. – Cowboy Church – Fairgrounds
Noon – Horse Races (First Race)
12:45 p.m. – Rodeo Grand Entry
1:30 p.m. – Match Bronc Ride Calcutta
3 p.m. – PRCA Match Bronc Ride – $50,000 Added!
6 p.m. – Wild Horse Race
6 p.m. – Trade Show Closes
2023 Trade Show Vendors
52 West 7K Metals
Ag Risk Advisors
Art By Polly
Bar B Designs
Beads By Laurice
Beef Jerky Experience
Black Hills Pictures
Blue Roan Boutique
Cabela’s Calico Cavvy
Candle Cottage Crafts
Cattlemen's Kona Gold Coffee
Cowboy Tack & Stuff
Dally Up Designs
David Graham Western Art
Grade Mare Leather
Heart J Silver
I’m Cravin’ Bar-B-Q
Jackie Blankenship - Avon
Jan Persche Designs
JC Wild & Untamed
L Bar C
Leaf Filter Gutter Protection
Lost Arrow Designs
Lost Cow Leather
Manhattan Candy Co
Master of None Artistry
Montana Ford Stores
Montana Premium Beef
MT Wild Rags
North of Nowhere Farms
Of The Earth Jewlery
Pancho & Paso
Ranch Girl Tack
Red Barn Creations
Revive and Thrive
Rhinestone N Rawhide
Rockin’ MC Leather
Rocking S Saddle Shop
Roger Wagoner Designs
Rural Raised Couture
Sacred Arrows Production
Sacred Heart Saddlery
Simply Quirky Designs
Sister Montana Jewelry
Stitching 4 U
Texas Twister Drinks
The Cow Lot
The Funky Cow Leather
The Happy Toy Maker
The Tack Store
Tom’s Kettle Corn
Trailhead Pediatric Dentistry
Tri-State Livestock News
Western Art - Monte White
Wild Pony Trading
Willow Creek Boutique
Trade Show Hours
Friday, May 19 1:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Saturday, May 20 11:00 am - 8:00 pm
Sunday, May 21 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
The Miles City Bucking Horse Sale began unofficially in 1950 when a Montana man made a deal to purchase some yearling steers and wound up with 35 head of bucking horses thrown in with his cattle. With nothing else to do with the horses, he decided to hold a sale. The next year the first official sale was held with bucking horse consignments open to the public.
Back in the day, the sale would accept anywhere from around 100 head to over 700 head of consigned horses and every single horse was auctioned off over the weekend. The horses were a motley crew, consisting of anything from unbroke horses to spoiled riding horses.
“A lot of it started because people had excess horses,” says John Morford, president of the Bucking Horse Sale Board of Governors. “There’s always some bragging
rights about who had the most rank horse you know, and it just evolved over the years.”
About ten years ago, the board began to change the way the bucking horse sale was approached, and has since worked to improve the sale by consigning better stock and therefore, making the sale more lucrative. Although the weekend lasts four days now, the sale itself is limited to only 70 head of horses that have proven themselves to be bucking stock.
“We’re trying to improve and make a better show for people that come to the Bucking Horse Sale,” says John Morford. “So we’ve gotten more picky with the quality of horses that we put in front of the public. We try to get horses that have more of a track record than a spoiled saddle horse that bucked someone off a few times.”
The sale itself takes place on Saturday. The cowboys pay entry fees just like any rodeo. Each rodeo judge will give a score to both the horse and the cowboy. The cowboy gets a score if he rides and as soon as the ride is over, the auctioneer begins immediately selling the horse.
Morford says that he’s seen bucking horses sell for as high as $8,000-$10,000 over the years. Most of the buyers are rodeo stock contractors looking to add more bucking stock to their string, some are middle men who buy horses to later take to stock contractors for a private treaty sale.The horse sale is just the beginning. Two more events, a bucking horse futurity, and a matched bronc ride, bring in even more high
quality broncs and riders throughout the weekend.
“With the futurity, they’re mostly bucking for prize money, not to sell,” Morford says. “But, each futurity entry of 3 horses, must offer at least one horse for sale. This event brings some really good prospects and proven horses to the sale”.
The Match Bronc Ride is considered a premier event now, where 32 of the nation’s best bronc riders are brought in to face top bucking horses from multiple contractors for over $50,000 in prize money. The match bronc ride is now PRCA-sanctioned, so the cowboy’s winnings count toward the world standings.
Thank You PHOTOGRAPHERS
Miss Teen Rodeo Montana 2023- Elle Bucher
Howdy, everybody! My name is Elle Bucher, your Miss Teen Rodeo Montana 2023! I am coming to you from the beautiful city of Missoula, Montana! I attend Big Sky High School in the Health Science Academy and am an honors student. I grew up in the dirt outside of the arena and got to a horse as fast as I could. My love of horses led me to compete in local Omoksees, Gymkhana, and finally rodeo. I have been attending the Western Montana Fair and Missoula Stampede Rodeo since before I can remember! I have participated in 4-H and FFA, showing poultry, sheep, goats, and horses and shooting competitive archery.
In my free time, I love to try my hand at anything, recently including playing pool and learning to swing dance. I love to ride all different kinds of horses and work in the summer putting miles on horses for other people as well as training my own. I am blessed to have 2 amazing horses which I will have the opportunity to learn and grow with this summer.
I started competing in rodeo pageants when I was 12 years old. My first title was Little Miss of the Missoula Stampede and I spent last year attending over 20 rodeos as the Darby Rodeo Association Queen. From my first rodeo, I knew I wanted to be in that arena! The crowd, the energy, and the family I found through the rodeo are unparalleled. I am so excited to have this opportunity to represent rodeo and the great state of Montana as the 2023 Miss Teen Rodeo Montana and cannot wait to see what this year has to offer. Hang on tight and let’s slap some leather.
Miss Rodeo Montana 2023-Clancy Olson
Clancy Olson is the 23 year old daughter of Vanessa and Joe Olson from Helena, Montana. She is graduating from Miles City Community College with her second degree Entrepreneurship, while already possessing a degree in the Equine program. During her time at MCC, she has been competing on the Rodeo Team in Barrels. After College, she plans to train horses while learning from a cutting horse trainer in Helena for a few years before branching out on her own. She also plans to train a few barrel horse throughout her career. Clancy lives everyday by this quote: “You can’t be better than anyone else. The only person you can be better than is the person you were yesterday.”
Extreme Ice Inc
Ag Partners LLC
Big Dry Livestock
Blue Moon/Silver Star Casino
Broadus Boot & Tack
Bucking Horse Saloon
Diamond J Construction
First Interstate Bank
Frasch Feedlot Services
Glendive Livestock Exchange
Hometown Real Estate
Jackson Contracting Group Inc.
Ken Stabler Trucking
Lesh & Company
McNamee Angus Ranch LP
Mike Wacker Trucking
Miles City Liquors and Fine Wines
Miles City Livestock Commission
Prewitt & Company
Rusty Knuths, CPA
Tri-State Livestock News
Twitchell Cattle Co
T H A N K Y O U T H A N K Y O U
AG PARTNER LLC
BLUE MOON & SILVER STAR CASINOS
CORINA VENABLE FAMILY
DAVE SMITH REALTY
FRED WACKER AGENCY & TITLE COMPANY
FT PIERRE RACING
GREAT FALLS RACING
HAWKEYE FLOWBACK LLC
KRUTZFELDT & JONES
LESH & COMPANY
MARTIN CONSTRUCTION INC
MIKE WACKER TRUCKING
MILES CITY MOTOR SUPPLY
POWDER RIVER OUTFITTERS & ROY ROGERS
RZ METAL WORX LLC
SIZZLIN' S OUTFITTERS
TWO SPARROWS WELLNESS & BEAUTY
WATT'S KENNEDY INSURANCE
MILES CITY DAIRY QUEEN
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GOLDER RANCH ON ROSEBUD CREEK COLSTRIP, MONTANA
$10,500,000 | 12,762± acres
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CONTACT OUR LAND SPECIALISTS
KEBI SMITH | RANCH SALES
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Emmet Saddlery official sponsor of mcbhs trophy saddleBY KAYCEE MONNENS CORTNER
It was “a twist of fate” which led Emmet Saddlery to become the official trophy saddle maker for the Miles City Bucking Horse Sale.
Hailing from three states away in Hustisford, Wisconsin, owner Jon Rafel has been a lifelong leatherworker. Growing up with teams of horses and a reckless streak, he became very gifted in the inevitable repairs of broken harnesses as a teenager. From there, he took on bigger projects for the public, and moved into the original Emmet Saddlery building (named for
the township), which was an old milkhouse. There, he built his first bronc saddle for competing in International Professional Rodeo Association rodeos, as he couldn’t afford to buy one.
Two decades ago, he moved to his current location of Hustisford, setting up the leather shop in a large garage, now stocked with “more tools than Jesus.” The Emmet Saddlery put out a radio advertisement in 2021 to boost business, and wound up with one customer who would change the course of fate. A gentleman from the Green Bay area delivered a
pile of dilapidated saddles that Rafel would not have bothered restoring at all, but the owner insisted. Among this pile of “junk”, as Rafel says, was an old Miles City Bucking Horse Sale saddle.
“It turned out that it was a Premium #2 Miles City Saddlery saddle,” says Rafel. Engraved inside was the name Cady Tillery. Out of curiosity, Rafel called Miles City Saddlery for more information. It turns out that their records were so good they were able to tell him the day it was sold, who bought it, and how much it cost. A Mr. Jacques purchased the saddle on February 19, 1921 for $105. Somehow, despite
being made in Miles City and gifted to a Miles City resident, the saddle resurfaced in Green Bay, Wisconsin, a century after it was sold. Becoming its steward after restoring it to former glory, Rafel set out to return the saddle to its original home.
The Miles City Saddlery was not interested in purchasing the saddle for its museum, but Rafel did not give up. Taking a trip to eastern Montana in the fall of 2021, he contacted the Miles City Chamber of Commerce, where he told his story. Coincidentally, Terri Fandrich, executive assistant, grew up next to the Tillery family. The Chamber teamed up with
First Interstate Bank to purchase the saddle, and the restored piece of history now is on display in the Miles City Chamber of Commerce.
While they were there, Rafel and his girlfriend, Kim Tennyson, were given a tour of the town, becoming fascinated with the cowboy culture and history. Rafel offered to build a trophy saddle for the MCBHS, an offer which was gratefully accepted, but perhaps disbelieved at the time. In the following
winter months, Rafel sent photos of the work-inprogress to John Laney, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce, who realized that Rafel’s offer of a donated trophy saddle was serious. Rafel was put in contact with John Morford, president of the Bucking Horse Sale, where the final arrangements were made. The saddle was shipped weeks before the event, and the Rafels came later to be part oftheir first Bucking Horse Sale.
“They treated us like kings,” said Rafel. As Silver Sponsors, they enjoyed the action from VIP seating, where the beer flowed freely. “They’re nice, nice people, so we’re going to come back. We get to present the saddle, so that’s kind of fun. Brody Cress won it last year.” Their trophy saddle, bronc halter, and custom-made stand is the prize for the champion of the long round. “We almost immediately agreed to build a second saddle,” Rafel said. First Interstate Bank sponsored the purchase of the materials, and the saddle has already been completed and delivered to the bank, where it will be on display until the week of the event.
Even his trophy saddles are built “rhinoceros tough and butterfly pretty,” according to Rafel. Not just for decoration, all of his gear—down to the prize bronc halter—could be used in competition. “The trophy halter and saddles are no different than the using ones. We pay attention to every nail, every detail. If it’s not right, I literally lose sleep over it,” he says.
“I don’t claim to make this saddle by myself,” says Rafel. Though he is the gifted tooler of the workshop, there are several helping hands, including two other gentlemen, also in their sixties, whose teamwork prevents any undue curse words. “There’s a lot of times when you swear at a saddle. I quit doing those things by myself so I don’t have to yell and scream,” he says. Additionally, he welcomes young cowboys to his saddle shop who are interested in the trades of leather and bronc riding. Kim spends her time building purses, wallets, belts, and similar goods.
“The team at Emmet Saddlery are committed to providing the World Famous Miles City Bucking Horse Sale a championship saddle for as long as we are welcome there,” Rafel said. His crew is already planning the saddle for 2024, and are eager for the hospitality and fun of the 72nd Bucking Horse Sale – hopefully with warmer weather.
67th Annual Home On The Range
Quick response at mcbhS saves lifeBY KAYCEE MONNENS CORTNER
Ben McGee was awake when he arrived at the emergency room at Holy Rosary Healthcare in Miles City. Dr. KayCee Gardner Moore, his former hunting guide and physician at the hospital informed him, “Ben, you had a massive heart attack and you died.”
Last year at the Miles City Bucking Horse Sale, McGee felt lightheaded while watching the Mother’s Day horse races on Sunday. Seconds after telling his wife he did not feel good, he collapsed in the grandstands, was not breathing, and had no pulse.
Bystanders in the crowd responded. A schoolteacher began CPR, and several EMTs and other medical professionals were in attendance. Dale Diede, a physician’s assistant from Ekalaka, rushed to help, monitoring pulse while CPR was administered by several people working in turns.
“When I got there, I certainly thought that it was a futile effort,” he said. Diede asked the off-duty EMTs present if there was a monitor available. There was, but it was in the ambulance, which sat in the infield with a horse race about to start. Paramedics couldn’t get across the track.
“We were on our own,” said Diede. “It felt like forever that they were doing CPR until the EMS got up to where we were,” said Rachel, McGee’s wife. Finally, they were able to cross, and an automated external defibrillator (AED) was available. There are different versions of the story, because of the chaotic situation, but McGees were told that Ben required four shocks to restart his heart. Before being loaded into the ambulance, he was awake and breathing on his own. He asked for his wife, and was annoyed with the paramedics for cutting his new Carhartt vest, a detail that is funny to the family now.
Tests at the hospital in Miles City showed that he had a massive heart attack, so he was quickly flown to Billings. There, it was discovered that McGee had seven blockages in his heart and within a day or two, he underwent a quintuple bypass surgery
– numbers practically unheard of in the medical field. “It’s amazing that he survived because that’s pretty significant,” said Gardner.
McGee’s doctor at home in Pennsylvania told him that the type of heart attack he experienced is called the “widowmaker,” because the victim shows no signs of pain or symptoms until it is too late. A mere 46 years old at the time, McGee’s only indication was recently experiencing shortness of breath. In fact, he had taken the preventative measure of making an appointment with his cardiologist for June after returning from Montana.
McGee is a regular hunting client of Gardner Ranch Outfitters of Hammond. Over the years, he had also taken his two daughters, and they were invited to come to the Gardner Ranch branding that spring. McGee and his family planned to experience their first Bucking Horse Sale and then brand
a few days later as a family vacation. We “never really made it there,” McGee said.
Amazingly, McGee and his family toured Mount Rushmore the day before, walking around the base and climbing steps. He had also been at the Gardner Ranch in the days leading up to the Bucking Horse Sale. If the heart attack had occurred in either of those locations, so far from medical help, McGee would not have survived. By the grace of God, it seems, he just so happened to be at the Miles City Bucking Horse Sale when he had a major cardiac arrest, which was the exact place with the people in attendance to save his life. “I do believe God was with us at that time,” says Rachel McGee.
As it turns out, being flown to Billings for surgery was also the best medical care McGee could have hoped for. He recovered in an Airbnb near the scenic town of Red Lodge for 10 days until it was safe to fly home. High cholesterol and genetics were the culprits for McGee’s heart problems.
Another astounding feature of the event was that not only did McGee survive the heart attack, he has no noticeable issues afterward. Heart attacks present immediate danger because blood stops flowing to the brain and vital organs. This is why CPR (and sometimes the use of an AED) is so crucial, and with each minute that goes by, it is more difficult to bring a person back. “It also shows the importance of these new programs that we have like Heartsaver,” says Diede. “People need to learn CPR. Just like that, they could save a life.” Apparently, McGee’s daughter felt the same way, because she went home and became CPR certified.
McGee’s recovery went smoothly, and the family plans to resume their family vacation this May, taking in the rest of the Bucking Horse Sale and a branding or two.
“I just want to thank the people at the Bucking Horse and the first responders. The ambulance drivers, everybody that helped that day. There were so many people around us that helped clear people out of the way and off the benches. My wife said it was kind of surreal how fast it happened and everybody was so nice, so helpful,” says McGee. He looks forward to meeting the people who saved his life. “I can’t wait to see them and thank them and give them a hug. I can’t thank them enough.”
THURSDAY, MAY 18 - 8:30 P.M. MITCHELL TENPENNY CONCERT
Opening concert Acts kicking off at 6 p.m.
Stolen Roan -A hometown Miles City band playing “good ol country music.”
Copper Mountain Band - Copper Mountain Band is a high-energy country and classic rock group that can play any venue and appeal to any audience. The band was originally formed in 2007 and has toured off and on over the past decade to include multiple engagements in France. In 2020 the band decided to hit the road yet again to appease the fan base they created all across the United States and abroad, as well as fueling their passion to create outstanding live music!
From honkytonks to county fairs, if you can catch a CMB performance, you won’t want to miss the opportunity! Lead singer, Jacque Jolene has a fiery passion for her craft that is like nothing you’ve ever seen on stage. She can captivate any audience with her original tunes in addition to being able to cover just about any song request from country to rock ‘n’ roll and she is surrounded with outstanding musicians who simply love to play!
For an artist who’s amassed so many light-hearted country songs, Mitchell Tenpenny is actually dead serious about his craft. And the result of that is a carefully curated batch of bona fide country songs that he hopes will keep getting fans to listen and to love what they hear.
“This isn’t a hobby for me. This is my job: to get people to love and believe my songs. I have a responsibility to make music that people latch on to. That’s what songwriting is to me,” Tenpenny says now, four years after making his debut in 2018 with Telling All My Secrets. “It’s like that old adage, ‘With great power comes great responsibility.’” That album earned him the best first week showing for any major label country debut LP at the time of its release. Even with that solid work ethic, Tenpenny knows that half the fun of making the music is the having fun part. The songwriting and wordsmithing come naturally, he says, even when he’s been out drinking with friends. “There’s a clarity in the drunk. Sometimes that’s when you have the best titles, phrases, and alliterations, because you’re free and you’re talking, and things just come out differently.”
He says his hook book is packed with ideas from good hangs and nights out.
Now that he’s on the verge of releasing his ambitious 20-track studio album This Is The Heavy, he maintains that while his rock influences are featured on the songs, with heavy drums and guitars, the foundation for everything he does is country. Which you’d expect from someone who was born and raised in Nashville, in a family with deep roots in the country music business.
“In the heyday of Brooks & Dunn, they were my favorite band. And going to Fan Fair with my grandma (former Sony/ATV Music CEO Donna Hilley) was awesome,” he recalls. “But there was a lot more than just country music going on in Nashville. There was the emo-rock scene and the Rocketown scene. After being so engulfed in country music, when I got to high school, I made friends by starting a rock band.” Even as they explored that sound, Tenpenny’s origins stayed with him and ultimately, led him to a proper career in country music. “When teacher says, ‘write whatever you want in your
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2pm PRCA Jordan Xtreme Broncs
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journal’: that’s how songwriting feels to me. Just free. So lyrically we stay country, but we also explore new sounds.”
That’s the very reason that Tenpenny’s music sounds like an evolution of sorts. If fans expect him to recreate traditional country music, that’s just not him. “If I copy Waylon and Willie, that’s not authentic. Because those records have already been made. I write what I know and what I like, and hope that other people like it, too.”
At 32, Tenpenny also knows that he hasn’t lived quite enough life to make every single song about him. He’s okay with telling a compelling story when it happens to make a compelling song. “I don’t always just write about myself. Johnny Cash didn’t really shoot a man in Reno just to watch him die. It was just a great lyric. A lot of my songs come from true life, but a lot of them are stories I make up in my head.”
MATCH BRONC RIDE
WITH THE PURPLE BAG PROJECT AT MCBHSBY HANNAH GILL
After the whiskey is gone, Crown Royal’s iconic purple bags are being given a second life as care packages for active American military heroes around the world. This year, everyone attending the Bucking Horse Sale will have a chance to fill a purple bag and write a note to accompany the bag as it travels overseas to a military member.
“Crown Royal has been supporting our troops for over 10 years now,” says Thomas Moss, who works in marketing for Crown Royal and is responsible for bringing the Purple Bag Project to Miles City. “We will be set up for people to fill up the bags at the Bucking Horse Sale itself, so we will have people file in and start picking out the items they are interested in and then we will bag it up and it will be deposited in a cool Crown Royal mailbox that we retrofitted to collect the bags.”
Everyone will have an opportunity to fill out a note to accompany the bag that they fill, but Moss says all the notes will be reviewed prior to shipping to make sure there is nothing inappropriate or hateful.
“Crown Royal provides all the supplies needed, the bag itself, the donated items and the notepads,” Moss says.
Nobody likes their cookies or granola bars to smell like shampoo or deodorant, so traditionally, the bags at an event focus on either perishable foods or toiletry items. This year, the booth’s focus at the Bucking Horse Sale will be on toiletry items and Moss has forecasted around 500 bags to be filled in Miles City. After the bags are filled, they will be sent to a program partner, Packages From Home, based in Arizona, where they will join thousands of other purple bags
filled out at similar events throughout the country before they are batched and then sent overseas.
“These Purple Bag events happen at bars, sporting events, the CMAs, a lot of celebrities pack bags, we’ve had people pack bags at Walmarts and grocery stores, anything you can think of,” says Megan Richards, program director for Packages from Home.
When there are no Purple Bag events happening, bags can also be filled through the Purple Bag Project’s website where anyone can go online, virtually fill out a personalized note and choose what food items to “pack” that will join the rest of the purple bags, along with other packages to be sent, at the Packages From Home distribution center.
The Purple Bag Project has partnered with Packages From Home, and to date over one million purple bags have been packed and sent to military members around the world. Packages from Home was started when a military mom began sending “packages from home” to her son and his entire squadron. She organized packing parties and the idea blossomed into the large charity that it is today.
Since the partnership began, consumers can donate back their purple bags to the program through their local Crown Royal retailer, and for every bag donated to the Purple Bag Project, one dollar will be donated to Packages from Home to support their mission.
“There are over 174,000 US troops in over 176 countries worldwide,” Richards says. “We will send packages to any US military address we receive that is overseas. We have seen an uptick recently in requests from areas in Europe surrounding the war in Ukraine, we do send to naval ships as well. We also use those items sometimes for active duty here domestically and for veterans here at home as well.”
Packages are sent based on addresses that are received through the request form on Packages From Homes’ website, and the forms allows for special requests, as well as an option for canine handlers to receive a Bones From Home package for their partner.
“Military members can sign themselves up or a family, friend or significant other can, as long as you have your military member’s military address overseas,” Richards says. “We are luckily able to fulfill about 100 percent of the requests we receive.”
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