KEEPING THE FAITH: Family of the late Shane Drury presented award to Randy Routier during the Black Hills Stock Show | TSLN.com

KEEPING THE FAITH: Family of the late Shane Drury presented award to Randy Routier during the Black Hills Stock Show

Jesse Drury and Randy Routier

Laurie Goering, Traci Routier, Randy Routier, Jesse Drury, Riley Routier, Ryan Routier. The two kids in the front row left to right are Braden Routier and Peyton Routier. Photo courtesy Jesse Drury

The family of the late Shane Drury presented the ninth annual Shane Drury Keeping the Faith/True Grit Award to Randy Routier during the Black Hills Stock Show Rodeo® Feb. 6.

Randy Routier

In his words….

"I grew up on the family ranch southwest of Buffalo, South Dakota, in Harding County. Including my nephew and niece, my family has been ranching in the same area for seven generations.

On March 8, 1997, I was at a bronc riding school in Gillette, Wyoming, and got thrown off and broke my neck.

They sent me to the Rapid City Regional Hospital until I was stable enough to go to the Craig Hospital in Denver, Colorado, where they taught me to live with my new situation.

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I was now unable to move or feel anything from my neck down and was on a ventilator because I could not breathe.

They also taught my family and potential caretakers how to take care of me.

On July 24, 1997, I was released from the Craig Hospital and was able to come home.

I went back to high school and finished my junior and senior year and then attended college at Black Hills State University.

In 2010 I got married and have since moved in to the town of Buffalo.

I'm currently helping the family run an outfitting business called Routier Outfitting where we guide hunters on the family ranch.

I have a computer that is voice activated so I am able to do a lot of the communicating with hunters to get things lined up.

I also have the wheelchair that is sip and puff operated and I stay very active and attend many social events.

I still go to rodeos and local ballgames and the like.

I also have a gun rig that is operated with a joystick and a sip and puff system so I can still hunt.

This last September, through a hunt arranged by one of our hunting friends, I was able to go to northern Minnesota and take a bear.

I manage a little rodeo business for the family. They raise some bucking bulls. We have actually had a couple that we raised make it to the PBR.

Along with that I stay active in the rodeo world by being the chairman for the local high school regional rodeo.

None of this would be possible without such a great support team of family and friends that take great care of me. The doctors told me when I left I would be sick all the time and I never am.

While in the hospital in Denver a pastor from Texas came to visit and that is where I get most of my strength. Without God in my life I would have a very hard time handling my situation.

I am able to watch services three times a week by the computer and that keeps my faith strong."

Shane Drury

Shane Drury graduated right across the street from Central High School and was an inspiration to many throughout his life. As a bull rider, he conquered beast after beast in the rodeo arena. Perhaps that prepared him for his battle with cancer that would eventually take him from this earth. Shane's determination in the arena served him well as he beat the disease once and returned to competition with Gortex patches filling his chest wall where ribs had been removed. Round one of Ewing's Sarcoma started in May of 2002, included 15 chemo treatments and surgery to remove the tumor as well as parts of four ribs and a piece of his lung. In June of 2003, doctors believed him to be cancer free. Shane came back to the arena, first as a competitor, and after being diagnosed a second time with Ewing's Sarcoma, he returned as a judge. Throughout everything, he kept Strong Faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, a positive attitude, and was very well known for his perseverance. Shane had many highlights in his bull riding career. He was on the Southwestern Oklahoma State University men's rodeo team that won the national championship in 1999. In 2000, he made the trip to Las Vegas to compete at rodeo's championship event, the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR). He won the prestigious Reno (Nev.) Rodeo championship spurs in 2001 setting an arena record. He just missed qualifying for the NFR that year, finishing the season in 19th place. He was making a bid to get back to the NFR and was having back pain. When tests revealed that the pain was coming from a tumor, Drury faced that just as he faced every bull he ever got on – with the determination that he would come out on top. He did that to the end with a smile on his face. Cancer never got the best of Shane Drury. He saved that for all the people that knew him.

Routier was given a bronze of Shane riding the bull 409 Orleans at the PRCA rodeo in Greeley, Colorado. The bronze is sponsored by Black Hills Bronzes, Grant and Kristan Standard, and was sculpted by Mavis Madison.

Other recipients of the award create a prestigious list of Who's Who among the cowboy world:

•Ashley Andrews, Bowman, N.D.

•Brian Fulton, Valentine, Nebraska

•Brian Curtis, Belle Fourche, S.D.

•Julian Whitcher, Scenic, S.D.

•Chuck Schmidt, Keldron, S.D.

•Billie Sutton, Burke, S.D.

•Nate Morrison, Potato Creek, S.D.

•Marcie Locken, Isabel, S.D. (in memory)