Burke: Getting Stampede Ready

The world should know that we will crack the gates on the 31st annual Burke Stampede Rodeo this July 16-18 in Burke, South Dakota.

It has been a rough year and a half in Stampede country. The tornado that tore through our community in August of 2019 did extensive damage to the Stampede Rodeo grounds. Not only did repairs require considerable money but also volunteer time and coming together that was hampered by the covid pandemic. We are just thrilled to report that as always, our can-do community, volunteers and supporters did not disappoint. An American watch party held in March netted the necessary income to replace boards with aluminum planks on two sets of bleachers and to purchase a replacement beer stand from the Gregory County Lions Club. Volunteers have spent countless hours removing debris from the tornado, replacing bleacher boards, installing aluminum seating, welding metal walkways on the bleachers, repairing and updating the bathrooms, ripping the ground in the arena, fixing the arena sprinkler system (also damaged in the tornado), replacing broken glass on the crow’s nest, doing extensive dirt and road work outside the arena, and most recently painting the entire arena.

All of this makes this year’s rodeo historic. But it is also historic in another sense. This year will mark the first ever Burke Stampede Rodeo sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboy’s Association (PRCA) and the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA). For all of the past 30 years, The Burke Stampede Rodeo has always set a very high-performance bar. Our announcer Travis Schauda from Broken Bow, Nebraska just happens to be a PRCA announcer. Our funny men and clown acts for the past 10 to 15 years have all come from the ranks of the PRCA. Our Big Screen has always been provided by PRCA members. We have had PRCA stock contractors. We have done everything with an eye on professional rodeo production except invite contestants from the PRCA to participate. It has been a big step with much thought and planning but this year (2021), we will do just that. It is our hope that many of the contestants that you follow on the professional circuit will compete on the dirt floor of our very own Burke Stampede Arena.

As we planned for this big and exciting step forward and up, we realized that to draw the caliber of contestants we would like to see, we would need to up the ante. We are absolutely overwhelmed with the response from our steady Stampede sponsors and several new sponsors. Stampede supporters, you did not disappoint!!

The Burke Stampede Rodeo Committee has hired Korkow Rodeos (Anchor K), Canning SD as our stock contractor. Korkow Rodeos is one of only 3 stock contractors who have had stock selected for the NFR every year since the NFR started in 1959. Great horses such as the famed “Onion Ring” are sure to be a big attraction for the cowboys and the fans. Big Screen and Music by Hi-Def Rodeo, Ben Benavides, Las Vegas, Nevada. Ben started his career in Professional Rodeo as an announcer and brought his Big Screen expertise to the Stampede in 2019. Specialty Act and Entertainer Justin Rumford, Ponca City, Oklahoma. “Rump” is 9 times PRCA clown of the year and one of the most decorated entertainers in the history of the PRCA. And he has been to the Stampede before so this will feel like coming home to Justin. Our Announcer is long-time friend and voice of the Burke Stampede, Travis Schauda from Broken Bow, Nebraska.

It feels soooo good to be planning this great event again! Of course, there is much more to do as we prepare for the Stampede so if you want to be a part of the plan-ning, or help in any way, contact any Stampede Committee member.

The Cowboy Channel has pledged to pick up the Burke Stampede. Stay tuned for more updates.

Make plans to join us at this year’s historic 2021 Burke Stampede Rodeo! We’ll be ready and lookin’ for you at the Burke Stampede Rodeo, July 16-18 at 7 p.m. at the Burke Arena, Burke, South Dakota.

Volunteers big and small painted the arena fence in preparation for the Stampede. Photo courtesy Burke Stampede

–Burke Stampede Rodeo


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