Oglala Sioux Tribe honors local rodeo champions | TSLN.com

Oglala Sioux Tribe honors local rodeo champions

Donna Sue Putnam Willey
with thanks to Cheryl Twiss

A reception for Lisa Lockhart and Chad Ferley was held December 27 in their hometown of Oelrichs, SD. Lockhart was honored for her 2013 Canadian win and third place Women's Professional Rodeo Association Barrel Racing finish and Ferley for his World Champion Saddle Bronc Riding win in 2013. During the celebration, the pair were honored by the Fall River County Commissioners and the Oglala Sioux Tribe. The County Commissioners proclaimed Dec. 27 and 28 as Lisa Lockhart and Chad Ferley Days.

Commissioner Mike Ortner presented them with certificates and thanked them for representing Fall River County.

Thomas Poor Bear, the Vice President of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, and Native Rodeo Contractors, Cheryl Twiss and Lloyd Twiss who have provided Chad with practice horses from the start of his career, had a special honor for Lockhart and Ferley. The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation borders Fall River County and is just 12 miles from Oelrichs, so the Oglala's have been a part of the Oelrichs rodeo from the beginning and are now the majority in the Oelrichs school.

Though Lockhart and Ferley are not Native American, Mr. Poor Bear wanted to honor them for their accomplishments in the rodeo world, just as the Oglala's Honor their own Indian Cowboys and Cowgirls. He remembered Howard Hunter in saddle bronc riding and Merle Temple in bareback riding who both competed at prior National Finals Rodeos (NFR) and are still champions to the Tribe.

Lockhart was honored with a Star Quilt for her 2013 NFR third place finish in barrel racing, and Ferley was presented with a red satin quilt version of the Tribal flag for his NFR World Championship title in saddle bronc riding. They both also received small Tribal flags and an explanation of the design and interpretation of what the flag means to the Oglala's.

Poor Bear wrapped them in the quilts and stated that this is the Indian Peoples' way to show honor to individuals, both Indian and White, who have accomplished great things in their lives.

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Lockhart and Ferley were surprised and humbled by receiving this very special honor from their Oglala friends. Lockhart, raised in Montana, has qualified for the NFR seven times and this year was her fourth time to win the Canadian Barrel Racing Championship. She finished 3rd for the year and also 3rd in the average at the NFR, her highest career finish. She has over a million dollars of total career earnings.

Ferley won the PRCA World Saddle Bronc Riding Championship for 2013, making this his second World title, having also won in 2006. This was also his seventh appearance at the National Finals and his best average finish at third. If you would like to show support for Lisa and Chad, donations are being taken by The Office, located at 432 4th St, Oelrichs, SD 57763, to replace Chad's 2006 faded bill board along SD Hwy 385. The new sign will feature both Lisa and Chad.

The author appreciates the help of Cheryl Twiss in writing this story.