Robert “Aber” Abernethy: 1934-2013
Bob “Aber,” Abernethy, a Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association member for 60 years who began as a bareback rider and went on to become an award-winning stock contractor, died Aug. 21 near his home in Beach, N.D., He was 78.
A Funeral Service was held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013 at the Golden Valley Fair Grounds with Reverend Warren Maxted officiating.
Aber was the North Dakota bareback riding champion in 1956, 1967 and 1968, won all-around titles at the South Dakota State Fair and Salt Lake City and was inducted into the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame in Medora in 2010.
He was second in the world standings in 1959 when he suffered a fractured neck in Red Bluff, Calif., which contributed to his early retirement from competition. He moved on to become a rodeo judge, stock contractor and rodeo producer.
Aber was the stock contractor for the North Dakota Winter Show in Valley City for 47 years (1963-2010) and also produced the rodeos in Dickinson, N.D., and Wolf Point, Mont., among others. He had stock chosen to compete at the National Finals Rodeo for three decades.
In one remarkable span in the mid-1970s, Aber had the top stock in all three categories. Old Shep was the NFR Saddle Bronc Horse of the Year in 1975 and two years later both Double Jeopardy (bareback horse) and Top Hand (bull) were honored as the NFR’s top stock.