5th Annual Use’ta Could Rodeo Fishing Tournament | TSLN.com

5th Annual Use’ta Could Rodeo Fishing Tournament

Riata Little
Tri-State Livestock News
The UCRA Fishing Tournament has been a fun event for old rodeo buddies to get together and catch some fish for a good cause. Courtesy photo UCRA

Cowboys and cowgirls are headed back to Lake Oahe for some fishing fun with good friends on June 1, for the 5th Annual Use’ta Could Rodeo Association (UCRA) Fishing Tournament. It will be will be held once again at the South Whitlock Resort in Gettysburg, SD.

The Use’ta Could Rodeo Fishing Tournament was the brain child of JD Ford, Shawn Freeland, and Joe Ford Jr. when they got together one weekend in early June for some fishing on the river and decided it would be a great idea to invite some buddies the next year. The 1st Annual Use’ta Could Rodeo Fishing Tournament was held the very next year. Fishing teams consist of about 2-4 people and at least one team member has to have been a card holder in some type of rodeo association – 4-H to PRCA.

Joe Ford Jr. said, “The first year we had about eight or nine boats and we raised a little money for T-shirts and added money along with some nice door prizes, a custom-made Star Of The West Hat and a trophy belt buckle – which continue to be the most saught after prizes. In years two and three we raised more money for the purse and collected some even better door prizes. We wanted to keep the prize money limited to about $1,500 to the winning team to keep it a non-professional event, we had some extra money so we decided to figure out a way to do something in a way to give back.” So they decided the Shane Drury “Nothin’ But Try” Scholarship Fund was the perfect place to send the extra money.

“Shane was a local professional bull rider and good friend of many UCRA members. Shane lost his battle with Ewing’s sarcoma on October 31, 2006, and now his legacy lives on encouraging others through this scholarship which is awarded every year at the College National Finals Rodeo,” Joe explained. “The first year we donated to this we were able to give $500 or $600. Last year was the 4th Annual UCRA fishing tournament and we were able to donate $1,500 to the scholarship fund.” Joe acknowledged that this was only possible because of the hard work put forth by the founders and members of UCRA. He said they put out a lot of effort into approaching businesses for money and item donations. “Last year we decided to auction off some of the higher dollar valued donations from our supporters and gave 100 percent of the proceeds to the fund.”

This year Joe said they are expecting about 20 teams which ends up being approximately 60 fishermen total. Each year they have more teams enter the fishing tournament and he said he believes the growth is primarily due to word of mouth.

“We put this on every year as a way to get old rodeo buddies together for a good time of fishing and story telling. Rodeo is a sport with a high level of camaraderie and life long friendships but like all sports when we retire from the road and go back to our normal lives we all get busy with things and lose contact,” Joe said.


Buckle Sponsor – Casteel Auction and Real Estate

Big Other Fish Award – Custom-made Star Of The West cowboy hat

Platinum Sponsor – McKenzie Witt Carpentry Inc.

Money dontations and door prizes: Rushmore Equipment, Road Runner Distribution, Shane’s Story, Phillip Livestcok, Cuttingedge Lawn Care, E/Z Trucking, Outlaw Fencing, Shane “Opie” Covell, Clark Brothers Construction, Feintastic.com, BMS Financial Advisors, Marsha Ford “massage thearapy,” Warne Chemical, Paint The Town, Black Hills Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Lewis Agency Insurance, Carribean Clean, Precision Mechanical, Ramkota-Pierre, Big Mamma’s Beer Garden, Nemo Guest Ranch, Runnings, 3D Excavation, Star of The West Storage, Country Corner, Tri-State Livestock News.

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