Korkow Rodeo wins Remuda Award
South Dakota rodeo company recognized for their bucking horses
Pierre, S.D. (December 19, 2017) – Korkow Rodeos, Pierre, S.D., has won the PRCA’s 2017 Remuda Award, presented by Polaris Ranger.
The award is given to a rodeo and a stock contractor that provides the best, most consistent pen of bucking horses, creating the best opportunities for contestants to score well. The PRCA rodeo in Kennewick, Wash. won the award for the rodeo category.
It was a privilege for Jim Korkow and his family, he said. “It’s such an honor to be recognized for a lifetime’s work.”
The company started with Jim Korkow’s dad, Erv, who grew up with five sisters and impromptu Sunday afternoon saddle bronc ridings at his parents’ ranch, so the young guys could visit the girls. Erv, who quit school in the eighth grade to work for a neighbor because of lean times during the Depression, started trading, breaking, and working horses to make extra money. Through his hard work, he helped his parents buy back their ranch and put each of his sisters through a year of college so they could get their teaching certificate and make their own way through life.
Erv put on his first rodeo in 1947, trailing bucking horses fifteen miles from the ranch to Blunt, S.D., picking up more horses along the way. Admission for that rodeo was a dollar per carload, and that was the beginning of Korkow Rodeo.
Erv’s son Jim went to his first National Finals Rodeo (NFR) in 1959 in Dallas, when he was eighteen years old, hauling a load of bucking horses there. Since then, Korkow Rodeo has had at least one animal, often more, selected to buck at every NFR. This year, Korkow Rodeo had six bucking horses at the Wrangler NFR.
Jim and his wife Carol have three children: Faith, Misty and T.J., and T.J. has taken over the breeding program for the company. Erv started with a good set of mares and got a remount stallion from Ft. Robinson, Neb. He bred all of his mares and neighbors’ mares to the stud. In the early 1950s, Erv bought five mares from Feek Tooke of Ekalaka, Montana. Three stud colts were born from those mares, and those studs were part of the basis of the Korkow breeding program.
Now the Korkows have about 25 stallions at the ranch, and TJ keeps detailed notes on the mares, studs, and their offspring.
The Remuda Award is more than just the horses, TJ said. “It’s how you help cowboys out, too. You want everybody to have a chance to (win money) every time they nod their head.” TJ weeds out the horses that don’t buck regularly. “If I see an animal a couple times, and nobody can win on him, I won’t use him anymore.”
Winning the award was “outstanding,” TJ said. “We’re very grateful for it. It’s a nice feather in our cap.”
Jim said his dad Erv would have been thrilled to know the company he started was recognized for its bucking stock. “My dad was pretty damn tough on the outside, but about half of his body was heart. These kind of deals, he’d have been bawling right out loud.”
“It’s such a great honor,” Jim said. “We’re very humbled, and pretty damn happy.”
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Outtagrass Cattle Co. cartoon by Jan Swan Wood for the June 19, 2021, edition of Tri-State Livestock News