Black Hills Roundup is named PRCA Medium- Sized Rodeo of the Year | TSLN.com

Black Hills Roundup is named PRCA Medium- Sized Rodeo of the Year

Rodeo Committee members that attended the awards ceremony, left to right: Chip and Dallas Conner, Scott and Sandie Porterfield, Herman and Barb Clarkson, Jim Doolittle, Karen Wagner, Clay Chas Crago, Justin Tupper, Dirk and Betty Jo Hoffman, Brian and Mel Schmidt, Mark and Deb Levrington. Photo courtesy Clay Crago

It only took 100 years for his favorite rodeo to be named the best in the country, said Clay Crago.

The chairman of the Belle Fourche Roundup said it is a pretty special feeling, knowing that cowboys around the country named your event as the very best one in its class.

The Belle Fourche Roundup, which will celebrate its 100-year anniversary in 2019, was named Medium Rodeo of the Year by the PRCA.

Crago said that every card-carrying member of the PRCA can vote for the varying awards, such as announcer of the year, pickup man of the year, and many others. After the initial voting, the field was narrowed to the top five, and another round of voting ensued. Seventeen members of the rodeo committee traveled to the awards ceremony, but they didn't know who won until the recognition event in Las Vegas Dec. 5.

“When we got into the top five, I thought, ‘That’s pretty danged good. I’ll take top five.’ I was hoping we’d get No. 1 but I’d have been happy with top five. We called anyone we knew that would be voting and reminded them that we were in the running.”Clay Crago, Belle Fourche Roundup chairman

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"When we got into the top five, I thought, 'that's pretty danged good. I'll take top five.' I was hoping we'd get number one but I'd have been happy with top five," said Crago, a Belle Fourche rancher, who is in the midst of a two year term as chairman of the rodeo committee. He will oversee the 2019 rodeo and then step down and vice chairman Keith Anderson will take the reins.

Crago said before the second round of voting, he campaigned for his favorite rodeo. "We called anyone we knew that would be voting and reminded them that we were in the running." He said the steer ropers' votes probably made a big difference. Some rodeo committees don't host steer ropings.

Crago said he isn't sure why the Roundup made it into the top five to begin with. "I think everything just came together, the past committees, past chairmen, and we've been pushing a little more to get the word out about our rodeo." Crago also pointed out that the rodeo was inducted into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame this past summer, which likely helped it gain notoriety.