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4X PRCA Medium Sized Rodeo of the Year - 2018, 2019, 2020 & 2021

BH Roundup Wins Rodeo of the Year for 4th Year

Belle Fourche Beacon | news@bellefourchebeacon.com

If the third time was a charm, the fourth time is flat-out fantastic, according to Black Hills Roundup Chairman Keith Anderson. The Belle Fourche community’s signature 4th of July event was just named the PRCA medium outdoor rodeo of the year for the fourth straight year. The award was handed out in Las Vegas during the PRCA’s annual awards banquet at the South Point Hotel’s grand ballroom.

Winning the award in and of itself is a huge achievement. But when you consider the Roundup is able to favorably impress the contestants, officials and contractors enough during the PRCA’s busiest weekend of the year to gather ample votes to win in December – that’s simply remarkable. Few, if any, rodeo committees can go from one “Cowboy Christmas” to the other with similar success. And to do it four years in a row is a triumph that any rodeo-loving western community would covet.

“As always I was nervous heading into the banquet,” said Keith Anderson, Chairman of the Roundup Committee. “There are so many good rodeos out there that are in your category, and nothing is a ‘for sure’ deal. But when they do call your name it’s awesome and humbling to know that you did a good enough job that the contestants remembered, noticed and voted for you.”

With the recognition the rodeo has received over the past four years attendance has been up and more people within the nation-wide rodeo community are taking notice of Belle Fourche. It’s something Anderson personally experienced this year while in Las Vegas. Chad Matthews, Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo Chairman, personally congratulated the Roundup committee on their excellent work. Anderson also said they had kudos and a “nice talk” with officials from the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo who also expressed their congratulations.

“It’s pretty awesome when folks like that come up and shake your hand and tell you that you did a good job,” Anderson told the Beacon. “To have that caliber of rodeos notice what you’re doing is a great feeling and good for the community.”

Even top specialty acts and rodeo performers are now approaching the Black Hills Roundup to be a part of the event in the future. “It’s kind of funny. Now we are on a lot of those guy’s bucket lists,” he said. “The rodeo is a century old and getting a lot of recognition so a lot of them want to work it so they can say they’ve been there.”

Since the announcement of the award last week the Roundup has seen a bump in ticket sales. Last year’s attendance approached what the event used to see in the 1940’s. And with the fireworks, cattle drive, carnival, concerts and huge holiday parade the city of Belle Fourche is becoming a 4th of July weekend destination for a lot of rodeo fans and tourists.

“Oh, absolutely,” said Belle Fourche Mayor Randy Schmidt. “A lot of people like to come out to the Black Hills during that time but knowing there’s a four-time rodeo of the year certainly draws folks in. They’re looking to have a good time and see a good show. I think it speaks well for the committee, volunteers and community who really get behind it and support it.” Mayor Schmidt further praised the work that the Roundup Committee and volunteers do to keep the Roundup grounds in top condition all year long for other city events. He singled out the importance of the efforts of the Roundup through Chutes for Charity in raising funds to give back to the community through charitable causes. He also paid tribute to all the past volunteers and chairpersons who have kept the event thriving through 102 years to take it to where it is today.

“There are so many dedicated committee members through the years that have continued to move the Roundup forward,” he said. “And they are certainly to be commended for the job they do.”

Overall, it was another good year in rodeo for South Dakota. Rodeo Rapid City was recipient once again of the PRCA Large Indoor Rodeo of the Year. And the Burke (SD) Stampede Rodeo was honored with the Hesston Sowing Good Deeds Award. Martina Loobey, Miss Rodeo South Dakota from Sturgis, made it into the top ten finalists for Miss Rodeo America and won the Horsemanship Award. South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem was the keynote speaker at this year’s PRCA Convention and Anderson said the Roundup Committee had their photo taken with the Governor afterwards.

“In her speech she said how much she loved her home state and how she loved rodeo because it stood for God and country. She talked about how we pray before rodeo and sing the national anthem and there’s a lot of states and a lot of places that are going away from that,” Anderson said.

The Governor’s speech also drew good reviews from the PRCA staff.

“We were honored to have Governor Noem as our keynote at the convention,” said Tom Glause, chief executive officer of the PRCA. “She appreciates the work ethic of our cowboys and what they represent. We couldn’t have had a better keynote speaker.”

Anderson will serve one more year as chairman of the Roundup Committee in place of Dirk Hoffman. Hoffman was slated to be chairman but stepped down last fall for personal reasons. Yet as the city’s public works director he will still be heavily involved in making sure the rodeo grounds are in top condition. Anderson says it takes a community-wide effort and the support of sponsors to make the event a success; and a lot of work.

“I’ll be chairman one more year and I hope we can win it one more time,” Anderson said. “And then I hope we keep winning it. But we’re always going to rodeo. We have been for 102 years now. The awards we’ve been fortunate to win are a huge bonus, but we’re just going to try to keep getting bigger and better and make the Roundup a destination.”









BH Roundup Wins for the Third Straight Year

Keith Anderson, Black Hills Roundup Chairman accepting the award on behalf of the Black Hills Roundup Committee.  
Belle Fourche Beacon | news@bellefourchebeacon.com

Ft. Worth, TX - For the third year in a row the Black Hills Roundup has won a Rodeo of the Year award from the PRCA. Last July’s event was the 101st in the long history of the signature Belle Fourche event and adds yet another jewel to the community’s crown of accomplishment.

“You can have good years and bad years but to have three good years in a row, it just doesn’t get any better than that,” Keith Anderson, Committee Chairman told the Beacon.

The award for 2020 Medium Outdoor Rodeo of the Year was given on Wednesday evening, Dec. 2nd at the PRCA’s annual Award’s Banquet held at Dickie’s Arena in Ft. Worth, Texas. A sizeable contingent from the Roundup was on hand to witness the presentation and to see Anderson accept the trophy on behalf of the committee.

“It is so humbling to have someone recognize all the hard work that our committee and volunteers put in to produce this rodeo,” Anderson said. “When the contestants recognize it and vote on it’s pretty heartwarming.”

In his acceptance speech, Anderson thanked the state’s governor and city officials for allowing the rodeo to go on during a year when many events were canceled due to the virus.

“We were so grateful to even have a rodeo,” he told the Beacon. “They could have stopped us at any time they wanted but they didn’t. They believed in us and we had a rodeo and won the award. It’s really for them as much as for us. I thanked our sponsors and volunteers and our personnel at the rodeo grounds, our contractors and announcers, everyone who works for us and helped us put on a good show.”

Anderson says the Roundup Committee spends time at each NFR attending meetings and listening for feedback on what makes a rodeo successful. There seem to be three factors that they hear the most. The first is the hospitality the contestants and sponsors receive. The second is the overall organization of the event. And the third is the commitment that is seen from the community to support and grow the rodeo.

Last year’s rodeo saw a few milestones. There were more contestants than ever before, a record payout, and the event was live streamed on the Cowboy Channel.

“It isn’t always easy but we try to be two or three years ahead in our planning with new and upcoming specialty acts. It helps to try and be one step ahead of everybody else,” he said.

The award is voted on by PRCA cardholders. An email goes out usually in September asking for nominations in each category. Then the top five nominated rodeos in each category are determined and a second email is sent asking for the eventual winners. This year the Roundup was up against Burwell, NE, Coleman, TX, Guymon, OK, and Cave Creek, Arizona.

Anderson gave a tip of his hat to the Arizona event. “Boy I really thought Cave Creek had a shot at it,” Anderson said. “They were the trailblazers this year saying they wanted to have a rodeo no matter what. They were the first ones back.”

Not only was it a big year for the Roundup but it was a good year for South Dakota all the way around. Three of the four major awards went to South Dakota rodeos. Rodeo Rapid City (the Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo) won for large indoor rodeo of the year and the Deadwood Days of ’76 won the award for large outdoor rodeo of the year. It was the first time this has ever happened. And that wasn’t all.

“It was really cool because Miss Rodeo America presents the buckle up on stage and that happens to be Jordan Tierney, (from Hot Springs) one of our own,” Anderson said.

“With all those South Dakota rodeos winning makes you kind of wonder why we had to come all this way for the awards,” Anderson said with a laugh.

Small rodeos are classified by the PRCA as those with less than $3,000 added money. Medium rodeos are classified as those with $3,000 to $9,999 added. Large rodeos are $10,000 and above in added money. Since the medium size rodeo category was created in 2004 it has never left the state of South Dakota. The honor has been shared by either Belle Fourche or Deadwood every years for the past 17 years. Deadwood’s win in the Large Outdoor category this year breaks the five-year run of Oregon’s Pendleton Roundup and represents Deadwood’s first win in the category. Rapid City’s win is the first time the award has not been given to San Antonio or Houston since 2003, the last time that Rapid City’s rodeo won the award.

Longtime Roundup stock contractor Powder River Rodeo with Hank and Lori Franzen took home top honors for the bucking bull of the year, Chiseled. The Franzen family also saw one of their own take home a top honor as Jill Franzen Loden won Music Director of the Year. Franzen is a former Roundup music director.






Roundup Repeat!

Belle Fourche Beacon | December 11, 2019

LAS VEGAS - The Black Hills Roundup has kept its lofty perch atop the rodeo world. For the second year in a row Belle Fourche’s signature event has been named best in the country by the PRCA.

Rodeo of the Year honors were presented to the Roundup Committee members and city representatives at the annual awards banquet held last Wednesday at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. It was the perfect way to end the 100th anniversary celebration of the Roundup.

“Wow, it’s hard to put into words what it was like to hear our name called again,” said Keith Anderson, committee chairman. “It’s humbling. To think of the 100 other rodeos in our division and just to make the top five is really something.”

Anderson says it’s especially meaningful to win the award considering that the rodeo contestants themselves nominate and vote on the winner.

“It’s just nice to know that the contestants noticed all the hard work from the volunteers and the board members that go into putting on the Roundup,” Anderson said. “It says a lot for the support we get from our sponsors and the city.”

The Roundup was competing with five other finalists in the Medium Outdoor Rodeo of the Year category; Stephenville, Texas, Coleman Texas, Amarillo, Texas, and Estes Park, Colorado.

“There’s so much that goes into putting on this event, it’s a lot of moving pieces,” Anderson said. “Our goal as the Roundup committee is to try and make it bigger and better every year and we seemed to have been able to do that for the last few years. In 2020 we’ll be at this thing for 101 years. Maybe we’re getting a few things figured out.”

For 31 of those 101 years Powder River Rodeo has contracted with the Roundup to provided bucking stock. They were named 2019 Remuda Award winner. This prestigious award goes to the stock contracting firm that provides the best, most consistent pen of bucking horses, creating the best opportunities for contestants to score well.

“What a spectacular night we had at the “Rodeo Oscars,” said Powder River’s Lori Franzen. “This is such a prestigious award for our company and family. And for Blackfoot, Idaho winning small rodeo of the year and the second year for the Black Hills Roundup winning, we’re so proud to be a part of these amazing shows.”

As we reported last week, Anderson and several committee members were also in Vegas to conduct a little business. They attended seminars on rodeo-specific topics. They also booked performers for the 2020 event. Serving as barrel man will be Slim Gardner and the specialty act will be Jason Goodman with Young Living Percherons.

And while the NFR rolls on, it won’t be long until the 101st Black Hills Roundup which will take place June 30th - July 4th, 2020.

BH Roundup wins big

Dec 6, 2018

BELLE FOURCHE — The Black Hills Roundup was named the PRCA’s best Medium Outdoor Rodeo of the year Wednesday evening in Las Vegas.

Members of the Roundup committee were on hand in Vegas to receive the award.

Clay Crago, chairman of the Roundup committee said hearing the news was exciting.


“Just being in the top five was pretty dang cool,” he said. “We were sure hoping (to be selected) but I was just satisfied either way and then when they announced our name,

Crago was one of 17 committee members present at the banquet where the news was announced.

“So that was neat to have us all there,” Crago said. “A few tears were shed; it was really cool … (it took) 100 years to get it. It all fell into place from the induction into the PRCA Hall of Fame, and being nominated (for Medium Rodeo of the Year), and then winning it here and falling right into the 100th, I don’t think you could have a fairy tale story any better.”

The Roundup had been nominated one time before, in 2007, but this is the first time the rodeo took home the big honor.

To receive the nominations and ultimate win, contestants in the PRCA cast ballots for their favorite rodeos.

The Roundup was in contention with rodeos in Amarillo, Texas; Coleman, Texas; Estes Park, Colo.; and Stephenville, Texas.

Deadwood’s Days of ’76 rodeo moved up into the Large Outdoor Rodeo category this year for the first time, and it was nominated to be named the top event. Other large outdoor rodeos in contention were: Cheyenne, Wyo., Dodge City, Kan., Ogden, Utah and Pendleton, Ore, with the Pendleton Round-up ultimately receiving top honors.

The Black Hills Stock Show also received accolades when it received a nomination as the best large indoor rodeo of the year. It was in contention with Corpus Christi, Texas, Denver, Colo., Fort Worth, Texas, and San Antonio, Texas. The San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo won the category.

The annual awards banquet helps kick off the National Finals Rodeo, with the first round of rodeo action held tonight.

The Black Hills Roundup, held July 2-6, will celebrate its century mark this coming summer. Crago said the “One Arm Bandit” will be back as a specialty act. There will be miniature chuck wagon races, two nights of fireworks, the popular parade, a concert downtown, and a larger cattle drive.

This year, the rodeo will have new grandstands. Construction crews demolished the old grandstands this fall as parts of the structure were rotting. Work on the new grandstands will occur throughout the winter.

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