Article courtesy of Jason Gross Black Hills Pioneer Apr 19, 2018
BELLE FOURCHE — The Black Hills Roundup committee has earned a spot in the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame and Museum of the American Cowboy in Colorado Springs, Colo.
This group is one of 10 inductees to enter the hall on Aug. 2-4 as part of the 2018 class. Belle Fourche’s committee is the 29th to earn induction.
Belle Fourche will host the 99th Black Hills Roundup, June 30 through July 4, at the Black Hills Roundup Grounds.
“It’s just quite an honor,” Black Hills Roundup committee chairman Clay Crago said of the Hall of Fame induction. He added this recognition is not limited to the current group.
“It’s been 99 years of committee members that have made this rodeo last as long as it has,” Crago said. “We’re coming up on 100 years. There’s not very many rodeos that can say that.”
The Roundup board consists of seven members. Crago said the number of committee members varies between 30 and 50, with the latter number being reached very close to rodeo time.
“You start with the board, and then we branch it out through the committee to make each job get done, how it needs to be done,” Crago said. The committee fills every conceivable role.
Crago and the committee learned of the induction Tuesday afternoon.
“It’s just people giving their heart and soul to the Black Hills Roundup,” Crago said. “It’s cool.”
He has served on the committee for 10 years.
Board and committee are progressive, according to Crago. The Roundup has added a fourth PRCA Rodeo performance, with the fireworks display expanding to two nights.
Powder River and Mundorf Cattle Company are among the stock contractors. They have also contributed to the Roundup’s success.
“Good stock keeps the cowboys coming,” Crago said. “With the cowboys coming, the fans come to watch them.”
Crago said the Roundup has attracted more sponsors, which he credited for a better show. “That’s what we’re always striving for,” he added.
He anticipates quite a number of committee members are planning to attend the August ceremony.
The Hall of Fame induction will not really change the way the committee does things.
“It’s just more or less kind of an ‘atta boy; you’re doing it right. Keep going strong,” Crago said.
Other Hall of Fame inductees for August are:
Walt Garrison, notable;
Leon Coffee, contract personnel;
Speed Williams and Rich Skelton, team roping;
Billy Minick, stock contractor;
Deb Greenough, bareback riding;
Billie McBride, barrel racing;
Kristie Peterson, barrel racing; and
French Flash Hawk “Bozo,” stock.
Kay Bleakly will receive the Pioneer Award that weekend.