George Richmond: 1920-2013
June 13, 2013
George Richmond, an inductee in the Montana ProRodeo Hall and Wall of Fame and a former Columbia River Circuit steer roping champion who competed in PRCA rodeos well into his 80s, died May 2 at his home in Hayden Lake, Idaho. He was 93.
Richmond made his first appearance in a PRCA rodeo in 1942 in Belle Fourche, SD, and – even during three years' service at Fort Robinson (NE) during World War II as a U.S. Army corporal – he never stopped competing with great skill in all the timed-event disciplines.
The man who carried PRCA card No. 14 won all-around titles in Ellensburg, WA, and Molalla, OR, along with tie-down roping buckles in Puyallup, WA; Missoula, MT, and Billings, MT, during the 1950s and extended his career decades longer by focusing on steer roping.
Richmond was 65 when he won the steer roping titles in Moses Lake, WA, and Walla Walla, WA, while earning a check at the Pendleton (OR) Round-Up, on his way to becoming the 1985 Columbia River Circuit year-end champion. He qualified for the Ram Columbia River Circuit Finals Rodeo for the last time in 1991.
From 1943 through 1999, Richmond competed in nearly every steer roping event at the Cheyenne (WY) Frontier Days. He started going to Pendleton in 1947 and was still capable enough to stand fourth in a field of 68 after the first day of steer roping in 1991.
He made his last competitive appearance in Pendleton in 2004 – finishing fourth in the Gold Card Steer Roping when he was 84 – and he was inducted into the Pendleton Round-Up Hall of Fame last year.
When his career as a full-time cowboy ended around 1960, Richmond and his wife, Alberta, moved from Park City, MT, and bought a cattle ranch in Hayden Lake, Idaho. Over the years, he also owned a real estate business, worked as a rodeo announcer and ran a tie-down roping school, where one of his students was future World Champion Jeff Copenhaver.
Richmond's wife preceded him in death on Feb. 24, 2013. He is survived by sons, Dave (Lori) and Lee (Jan), and daughters, JoAnne Nielsen (Tom) and Jeanne Northfield, and 10 grandchildren. Both Lee and Dave were also PRCA competitors; Lee was the 1987 Columbia River Circuit year-end steer roping champion.
Services are scheduled for 10 a.m. May 9, at the Prairie Cowboy Church with a reception to follow and burial at 1:30 p.m. at the Coeur d'Alene Gardens. Yates Funeral Home in Hayden Lake (www.yatesfuneralhomes.com/_mgxroot/page_10718.php) is handling the arrangements.