Special Needs Rodeo calls for competitors

Carrie Stadheim
Morgan Fuhrer of Belle Fourche, S.D., is looking forward to the Special Needs Rodeo June 18 at the Black Hills Roundup grounds in Belle Fourche. Photo courtesy Rhonda Fuhrer

Rodeo is a sport that the whole family and community can enjoy. Black Hills Roundup Committee members and other volunteers will host a special rodeo they think will be fun for everyone involved, on Saturday, June 18.

The free event, named the Special Needs Rodeo, will be at the Black Hills Roundup rodeo grounds during the same weekend as the High School Rodeo Finals. The committee welcomes those of all ages and abilities to participate. The rodeo will go from 10 am until noon. Refreshments will be provided.

Volunteer Rhonda Fuhrer, Belle Fourche, South Dakota, said that both riding and non-riding events will be offered for rodeo participants, and that Suncatchers Therapeutic Riding Academy will provide horses for riding events including barrels and poles. A bucking barrel will be available too.

High school rodeo athletes are encouraged to help with the activity, Fuhrer said, and other volunteers will help as well, to ensure every participant is safe.

Stations for each event, and other activities will be set up around the arena. For those who need assistance riding, there will be side walkers and horse handlers, and for more experienced riders, there will be activities to independently compete in.

For those who don’t feel comfortable riding a horse, there will be activities to watch – possibly rope tricks and whip cracking. There will also be ground events such as dummy roping, goat tail untying, as well as a petting zoo and more, Fuhrer said.

The committee is hoping for and will be equipped to handle at least 50 participants, Fuhrer said, and still has plenty of openings. Buckles and trophies have been donated, and every competitor will receive a prize.

Fuhrer said the entry deadline is June 1, but that they will accept entries until the event is over. “We won’t turn anyone away,” she said.

Fuhrer and her daughter Morgan, a 16 year old with cerebral palsy are looking forward to the first annual event. “We are really excited,” she said.

For more information, contact Fuhrer at 605-210-3267 or for a registration form, go to