Anne Ziolkowski Christensen recognized for contribution to rodeo, retired horses | TSLN.com

Anne Ziolkowski Christensen recognized for contribution to rodeo, retired horses

Courtesy photoAnne Ziolkowski Christensen with one of her ponies at she and husband Paul's Trail's End Ranch at Crazy Horse, SD. Anne was posthumously awarded the Ben Kobza Award, an annual honor given to a Badlands Circuit person who has supported rodeo throughout the years. Photo courtesy of the Crazy Horse Memorial.

CRAZY HORSE, SD – A Crazy Horse, SD woman has been posthumously awarded the Ben Kobza Award.

Anne Ziolkowski Christensen was given the ProRodeo Badlands Circuit award this fall for her contributions to rodeo.

“Anne Z,” who died in May of this year, was the driving force behind the Crazy Horse Stampede in Crazy Horse, SD.

She grew up the sixth of ten children of Korczak and Ruth Ziolkowski, the sculptors of the Crazy Horse mountain carving in progress. Anne, along with several of her siblings, worked at their father’s life goal: to complete a monument honoring the North American Indian people. She oversaw the operations of the Indian Museum of North America and its gifts shops at the Memorial, as well as the special events on the Crazy Horse grounds.

Anne loved horses and cowboys, and she was the visionary who worked to incorporate a ProRodeo Cowboys Association rodeo alongside the Great Plains Indian Rodeo Association events that are held in mid-June.

The Crazy Horse Stampede PRCA rodeo began 20 years ago, and Anne did much of the behind-the-scenes work. She had a “let’s get it done and I’ll start now attitude,” said stock contractor Jim Korkow, whose family provided the bucking horses and bulls for the Stampede.

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Korkow felt a kinship with Anne. He and Anne’s father had a lot in common, he believed. “There were a lot of similarities in our families,” he said. “Her father started a mountain carving in 1947. My father helped build an arena with bucking chutes and back pens and trailed horses to the little town of Blunt in 1947, and started his rodeo career. We were both second generations of a man who was a go-getter, and we were both still very much involved and continuing with the family business after our fathers had passed away.”

When Anne and her husband Paul were married in 2000, Jim walked her down the aisle.

Anne and her husband Paul’s Trail’s End Ranch at Crazy Horse also served as a “retirement home” for old pickup horses. “She liked pickup horses,” said stock contractor Steve Sutton. She took in one of Sutton’s retired pickup horses and several from rodeo pickup man Ken Clabaugh. “She thought they needed to have a very nice place to live the rest of their life out, and up there on that mountain was a great place. It was right out her back door,” Sutton said, “and they got fed every day, had a shed to go to, and she and Paul sat on their deck and admired them.”

She loved horses, Paul said. At rodeos, “I think she rooted more for the horses and animals than she did for the cowboys. It was an absolute pleasure to go to a rodeo with her. She wasn’t quiet, she screamed and hollered and rooted for the horses. It was a lot of fun.”

The Ben Kobza award is given each year to a person in the Badlands Circuit who has supported rodeo throughout the years, often behind the scenes, but that greatly contribute to the success of rodeo in the Badlands Circuit. Ben Kobza, a New Mexico cowboy, spent his summers in South Dakota and volunteered his time and skill at rodeos across the circuit. Past recipients of the Ben Kobza Award include Leon Kristianson, 2010; Gregg Gunderson, 2009; Max Weppler, 2008; Jackie Higlin, 2007; and Jon Mattson, 2006.

CRAZY HORSE, SD – A Crazy Horse, SD woman has been posthumously awarded the Ben Kobza Award.

Anne Ziolkowski Christensen was given the ProRodeo Badlands Circuit award this fall for her contributions to rodeo.

“Anne Z,” who died in May of this year, was the driving force behind the Crazy Horse Stampede in Crazy Horse, SD.

She grew up the sixth of ten children of Korczak and Ruth Ziolkowski, the sculptors of the Crazy Horse mountain carving in progress. Anne, along with several of her siblings, worked at their father’s life goal: to complete a monument honoring the North American Indian people. She oversaw the operations of the Indian Museum of North America and its gifts shops at the Memorial, as well as the special events on the Crazy Horse grounds.

Anne loved horses and cowboys, and she was the visionary who worked to incorporate a ProRodeo Cowboys Association rodeo alongside the Great Plains Indian Rodeo Association events that are held in mid-June.

The Crazy Horse Stampede PRCA rodeo began 20 years ago, and Anne did much of the behind-the-scenes work. She had a “let’s get it done and I’ll start now attitude,” said stock contractor Jim Korkow, whose family provided the bucking horses and bulls for the Stampede.

Korkow felt a kinship with Anne. He and Anne’s father had a lot in common, he believed. “There were a lot of similarities in our families,” he said. “Her father started a mountain carving in 1947. My father helped build an arena with bucking chutes and back pens and trailed horses to the little town of Blunt in 1947, and started his rodeo career. We were both second generations of a man who was a go-getter, and we were both still very much involved and continuing with the family business after our fathers had passed away.”

When Anne and her husband Paul were married in 2000, Jim walked her down the aisle.

Anne and her husband Paul’s Trail’s End Ranch at Crazy Horse also served as a “retirement home” for old pickup horses. “She liked pickup horses,” said stock contractor Steve Sutton. She took in one of Sutton’s retired pickup horses and several from rodeo pickup man Ken Clabaugh. “She thought they needed to have a very nice place to live the rest of their life out, and up there on that mountain was a great place. It was right out her back door,” Sutton said, “and they got fed every day, had a shed to go to, and she and Paul sat on their deck and admired them.”

She loved horses, Paul said. At rodeos, “I think she rooted more for the horses and animals than she did for the cowboys. It was an absolute pleasure to go to a rodeo with her. She wasn’t quiet, she screamed and hollered and rooted for the horses. It was a lot of fun.”

The Ben Kobza award is given each year to a person in the Badlands Circuit who has supported rodeo throughout the years, often behind the scenes, but that greatly contribute to the success of rodeo in the Badlands Circuit. Ben Kobza, a New Mexico cowboy, spent his summers in South Dakota and volunteered his time and skill at rodeos across the circuit. Past recipients of the Ben Kobza Award include Leon Kristianson, 2010; Gregg Gunderson, 2009; Max Weppler, 2008; Jackie Higlin, 2007; and Jon Mattson, 2006.

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