‘Anne Z’s rodeo’ three-day event during the Crazy Horse Stampede Rodeo | TSLN.com

‘Anne Z’s rodeo’ three-day event during the Crazy Horse Stampede Rodeo

Crazy Horse Memorial honors American Indian cultures every day, and in mid-June, heralds the New West during the three-day gift from Mother Earth Celebration and Crazy Horse Stampede Rodeo.

The art show, sale and the sports arena action combine over the Father’s Day weekend, June 15-17.

Anne Ziolkowski Christensen oversees the events, two of the most popular held every year in the valley of Crazy Horse Mountain, the world’s largest mountain sculpture in progress.

The carving is an international celebrity, but Anne liked that the popular Stampede is small and simple. You can bring blankets or lawn chairs, sit on the grassy hillside, enjoy a picnic, look at the Memorial carving on the horizon and see rodeo action at your feet.

“It’s family-oriented and we hold it over the Father’s Day weekend, so it’s a good thing to do with grandpa or your dad,” she said

Family mattered to “Anne Z,” and her unexpected death at home on May 6, 2011, affected relatives and friends far beyond Crazy Horse. Her dedication to the sport is one reason supporters continue the Stampede, which remains the only rodeo to include Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) and Great Plains Indian Rodeo Association (GPIRA) events.

She also was passionate about caring for elderly animals. That’s why retired rodeo pick-up horses still amble around her Trail’s End home at Crazy Horse.

For her “loyalty, volunteerism and circuit citizenship,” members of the Badlands Pro Rodeo Circuit encompassing the Dakotas last year posthumously honored Anne with the Ben Kobza Award.

The Crazy Horse Stampede Rodeo, produced by Korkow Rodeos, starts at 2 p.m. each day at the Memorial’s rodeo grounds. GPIRA events are held Friday and PRCA action happens Saturday and Sunday.

The purchase of a Stampede rodeo ticket provides for free admission to the Memorial’s visitor complex, including the Indian Museum of North America, Korczak’s original log home-studio and the Native American Educational and Cultural Center.

The many gifts from Mother Earth celebration exhibitors nearly fill the expansive 40,000 square-foot complex.

Show coordinator Janeen Melmer, said this year’s displays will include sculptures, paintings, drawings, jewelry and pottery. “We will have a really nice variety.”

Crazy Horse Memorial is on U.S. 16-385 between Custer and Hill City, officially the “Crazy Horse Memorial Highway,” and is just 17 miles to Mount Rushmore. For more information, visit http://www.crazyhorsememorial.org, e-mail memorial@crazyhorse.org or call (605) 673-4681.

The Heritage Village gift shop next door to Crazy Horse Memorial also celebrates the western culture.

“The Village” features the free Rodeo Clown and Bullfighter Museum, open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily from Memorial Day weekend through late September.

Heritage Village and a campground and RV park are just south of Crazy Horse Memorial and three miles north of Custer on U.S. Highway 16/385. For details, call (605) 673-4761 or the campground at 673-5005.

– Crazy Horse Memorial