Fred Matthews, New Underwood, honored by Little Britches
August 23, 2017
Fred Matthews, Hermosa, South Dakota, was honored for his 40 years of service at the National Little Britches Finals Rodeo this year in Guthrie, Oklahoma, at the National Little Britches Finals in the Lazy E Arena. Fred has served on the Board of Directors for all these years and has only missed one finals over the 40 years. Fred has served as the roughstock arena director for the NLBR Finals since 1980. He is the only member that has served on the board for this many years.
Fred still judges several rodeos in a 5 state area and is the Judges' representative for the national association.
Fred rode in the first Little Britches rodeo in South Dakota in Custer in 1962. He competed in calf roping, bareback riding and bull riding. He says they went to the rodeo in an old truck with a stock rack on it, not the fancy horse trailers you see now days.
He later helped a co-worker with a Little Britches rodeo in New Underwood in 1976. They hauled bucking chutes from the Piedmont barn to New Underwood and he then continued with the association.
“Little Britches is a part of my family and I enjoy the kids.” Fred Matthews
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Fred and Dee celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary July 1. Usually they spent their anniversary at a rodeo. Once asked why they were spending their anniversary at a rodeo, the response was they wanted to spend time with ALL their kids. Over the years Fred and Dee have taken several extra kids to the finals with them when their parents couldn't go for one reason or another. They have 2 children, Jaycie and Cole; both have competed in Little Britches Rodeos. Before they were old enough to compete they went to the finals with their parents, Jaycie would run papers to the office from the crow's nest and Cole would help the stock contractor with the calves. Dee was a helper to start with, and then graduated to timer in 1981. She moved onto being a Division Secretary in 1995 at the finals, which she still does. She said it was all done by hand when she started but now everything is on computer. She was secretary of the year in 2006.
Fred said after being on the board for so many years he has seen several managers and CEO changes, and a multitude of names come and go on the board but still thinks they've all left as friends and did it for the betterment of the association.
Fred retired from 35 years splicing telephone cable and 23 years in the National Guard.
Fred said I'm going to continue to go – "Little Britches is a part of my family and I enjoy the kids."