There’s gold at the Black Hills Roundup
This Belle Fourche, S.D., rodeo started as a fundraiser during World War I, and by 1927 President Calvin Coolidge was among the fans in the stands.
Since joining the ProRodeo ranks in 1944, the Black Hills Roundup has grown in size and notoriety among the PRCA’s top competitors, landing a spot in the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in 2018.
That same year, bareback rider Richmond Champion set the Black Hills Roundup record with a 91-point ride on Powder River Rodeo’s Craig At Midnight. The cowboy and the bronc are perennial powerhouses at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
Champion has lived up to his name with more than $1.1 million in ProRodeo career earnings since his rookie year in 2012. So far, the California-born, Texas cowboy has qualified for the NFR five times (2014, 2016-19) and is on track to make it a sixth.
Champion, 27, was 13th in the PRCA | RAM World Standings as of June 22 thanks to scoring checks at some of the biggest rodeos of the season: $8,750 at the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo, $5,500 at the Super Series Finish in Fort Worth, Texas, $4,800 at the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo in Denver, and $4,305 at the San Angelo (Texas) Rodeo.
Craig at Midnight was the top bareback riding horse at the 2017 NFR and won the 2016 Pendleton Whisky “Let ‘er Buck” Bareback Horse of the Year award. Less than six months after setting the Belle Fourche record, Craig at Midnight took Tim O’Connell to the winner’s circle with an 88.5-point ride during Round 3 of the 2018 NFR, helping O’Connell win his third world title.
On July 1-4, ProRodeo athletes will be competing for valuable ProRodeo Tour Points in Belle Fourche. Fans can catch the action on the PRCA on the Cowboy Channel Plus App, July 1-3 at 9 p.m. (ET) and July 4 at 5 p.m.
Total payout: $177,614, 2017
All-around: Cody Doescher, $8,062, steer wrestling and team roping, 2017
Bareback riding: 91 points, Richmond Champion, 2018
Steer wrestling: 3.3 seconds, Ronnie Fields, 2004
Team roping: Clay Smith/Paul Eaves, 3.8 seconds, 2017
Saddle bronc riding: 90 points, Wade Sundell, 2013; J.J. Elshere, 2019
Tie-down roping: 7.3 seconds, Clint Cooper, 2013
Barrel racing: 16.61 seconds, Stevi Hillman, 2017
Steer roping: 9.0 seconds, Rocky Patterson, 2011 (33.3/3, Rocky Patterson, 2011)
Bull riding: 93 points, Chad Brennan, 2002
Jennifer Day-Smith is the owner of Knotty Equine and founder of the art of equinitryology. She spends many of her days checking cows and yearlings on her and her husband’s ranch, and the rest of…
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