Huron’s Heartland 4-H Rodeo Arena on the east edge of Huron will play host to rodeo action like that pictured. The South Dakota Rodeo Association's Huron Roundup performances will take place at 7 p.m. both Friday and Saturday. PHOTO BY MIKE CARROLL/PLAINSMAN
HURON — A year after the inaugural event, the Huron Roundup is poised to be bigger and better.
“It’s going to be kind of exciting. I am really looking forward to it,” said Kirk Ford, who along with his wife Wendy, orchestrated the return of professional rodeo to Huron a year ago. “I think everybody was really pleased last year with how it went. It’s a nice facility and they love coming here. Word of mouth has made a big difference and it is nice to showcase Huron.”
In addition to being sanctioned by the South Dakota Rodeo Association, this year’s two-performance rodeo will be sanctioned NRCA, M-SRA and the MRA. The opening performance is slated for 7 p.m. on Friday, with the second scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday at the Heartland 4-H Rodeo Arena on the east edge of Huron.
“Your livestock and your judges all have to be approved by all these associations.,” Ford said of the addition sanctioning which speaks volumes to the quality of the event. “We’ve had judges and contractors say we’ll come because we’ve heard it was a good rodeo.”
Included in this year’s rodeo bareback, calf roping, barrel racing, bull riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc, senior men’s breakaway, ladies breakaway, team penning, goat tying and mixed team roping.
“We have all the events. There are nine mandatory and three optional,” Ford said. “Last year we didn’t have all the optional events and this year we do. That includes team penning, goat tying and mixed team roping.”
In addition to the number of events, the number of participants is also on the rise for the 2013 rodeo. More than 400 contestants are registered to compete, with nearly 530 entries when you figure the contestants that compete in multiple events.
“Our rough stock numbers are way up this year - 19 bull riders and 18 bronc riders,” Ford said. “It’s a pretty good run for the rough stock riders and our timed events are up considerably, also.”
This year’s rodeo will have more than 150 entries compared to the inaugural event.
Several of the South Dakota Rodeo Association’s top cowboys and cowgirls will be on hand for the rodeo, along with those from surrounding states and beyond.
“We get those involved with 4-H and college rodeo all the way up to world champion guys coming out here,” Ford said of the caliber of competition. “There will be some local people and state-wide competition.”
This year’s event has also attracted a few contestants who have become well-known for their accomplishments at the PRCA level.
“We have quite a few more contestants coming in and one of the big names out of Huntsville, Texas, is Joe Beaver,” Ford said. “That’s kind of exciting.”
Beaver is an 8-time World Champion, with career earnings of $2,976,661, and has qualified to compete at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo 22 times. He has won the tie-down calf roping world title five times (1985, 1987, 1988, 1992, 1993) and the all-around title on three occasions (1995, 1996, 2000).
Another of the more well-known names scheduled to compete in the Huron Roundup is Jill Moody of Letcher.
Moody has qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo four times (2007, 2008, 2010, 2011) and won the average at the NFR twice (2008, 2010). She has career earnings of $851,225.
Once again this year’s rodeo will feature Lance Lesmeister bucking horses, Al Weischedel bull and Bubel cattle for the timed events.
“Those contractors all bring good stock in for this rodeo, so it does draw all the better cowboys and cowgirls because they know that they have good stock,” Ford said.
Although Ford serves as the director for the Huron Roundup, he is quick to point out that none of it would be possible without the help of numerous volunteers who provide their time and talent to making the rodeo a success.
“We have very good facilities, along with a good crew of knowledgeable volunteers that come out and great sponsors,” he said. For the complete article see the 07-18-2013 issue.
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