On June 2, 2012 the 4th annual Usta' Could Rodeo Association (UCRA) Fishing Tournament was held at South Whitlock Resort, Gettysburg, SD. Thirteen boats consisting of two- to four-member teams competed for first, second and third place and a slice of more than $2,500 in prize money. In addition to cash, UCRA awarded a trophy belt buckle for the largest walleye and a custom-made cowboy hat donated by Brad Montague at Star Of The West Hat Company.
The Surring team, consisting of Tad, Josh and Kerry Surring from Hermosa, SD, won the tournament with an impressive catch of walleyes. Chad Meyers, Rapid City, SD, won the custom made hat by weighing in a huge northern for the biggest junk fish of the day. Adam Newmann, Rapid City, won the trophy belt buckle for catching the largest walleye. The Newmann team also won a side jackpot for weighing in the two largest walleyes.
Competing this year were several new teams alongside seasoned competitors and UCRA committee members and founders who have been angling for all four years.
UCRA was formed four years ago by JD Ford, Rapid City; Shawn P. Freeland, Caputa; and Joe Ford Jr., Highmore, SD, as a way for old rodeo buddies to get together for a weekend of fishing and story telling.
"The tournament is growing each year thanks to continued support of our sponsors, door prize donors, contestants and of course the hard work of the committee members. We can't thank these businesses and individuals enough for their support and donations because that is what keeps the guys coming back and spreading the word to other potential contestants," said Joe Ford Jr.
A few years ago, UCRA members decided to give back in some way and came up with the idea of giving part of the money raised to the Shane Drury "Nothing But Try" Scholarship fund. Drury was a local professional bull rider and good friend of many UCRA members. Drury lost his battle with Ewings Sarcoma on Oct. 31, 2006. Now his legacy lives on encouraging others through this scholarship given to a deserving rodeo athlete who has faced adversity and overcame. Over the past few years UCRA has given $1,000 to the fund. This year UCRA donated $1,500 to the Shane Drury fund and looks forward to contributing for years to come.
New at this year's Fishing Tournament, larger-valued door prizes were auctioned during the awards ceremony to raise more money for the Drury "Nothing But Try" scholarship fund. Items sold included: a weekend stay in a suite at the Ramkota in Pierre; a fishing pole donated by Linn's Dakota Mart in Pierre; a tackle box and smoker donated by Runnings; golfing at Red Rock in Rapid City; a gift certificate for a rental at Mavericks Outdoor Rentals in Pierre; and several other items. The highest-selling item was a breeding to the beautiful stallion "Feintastic" (son of Mr. Eye Opener by Dash For Cash) donated by owners Charles Brewer of Wessington, SD, and Sam Sheppick, Pierre, SD. The breeding opportunity was purchased by the partnership of 4/D horses, Highmore, SD, and barrel horse trainer Amanda Richardson, Sturgis, SD.
The tournament is traditionally held the first weekend in June at South Whitlock Resort West of Gettysburg, SD. UCRA members would like to thank the resort for their hospitality and door prizes and also recognize the managers of The Steakhouse At Whitlock for their fantastic food and donations. UCRA is thankful for each sponsor and donor that made the 4th annual UCRA Fishing Tournament possible.
- Usta' Could Rodeo Association
Editor's Note: For those interested in donating to or fishing in next year's tournament, search 'Usta Could Rodeo' on Facebook.