Sidney Rodeo Inducted into Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame
Over the past 90 years, the Sidney Iowa Championship Rodeo has received many accolades. However, on Aug. 8 they added yet another feather in their cap as they were part o the 2015 induction class for the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame.
The ceremony took place in the sculpture garden adjacent to the Hall of Fame and also included the Guymon Oklahoma Pioneer Days Rodeo and Red Bluff California Round Up.
According to a press release from the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame, the three rodeos inducted this summer are, “among the oldest and most prestigious PRCA events on the schedule.”
Sidney’s rodeo is celebrating its 93 year in July, the Red Bluff Round-Up just completed its 95th annual event, and Guymon Pioneer Days, the 2002 PRCA Large Rodeo of the Year, is producing its 84th annual event next month.
It was Hamburg native R.W. Smith who sent in the nomination papers for Sidney to be inducted.
R.W. said his dad, Wayne “Bub” Smith, 88, has attended the rodeo since he was a kid. He was also volunteered annually at the rodeo as an American Legion member.
“Because it’s been such a big part of our life and his life for many years, I really wanted him to see it inducted.” ~R.W.
Additionally, while visiting the Rodeo Hall of Fame 2 years ago with his daughter, R.W. said there were numerous pictures from Sidney being used to tell the history of rodeo.
“If they’re using Sidney to tell the history of rodeo, they really ought to be a member of the Hall of Fame.” ~ R.W.
The Sidney rodeo, commented R.W. is a “professionally run rodeo” that has a stellar reputation across the United States. He wasn’t surprised it was included for nomination, but was baffled as to why no one had nominated it before.
In addition to the three rodeos being honored, world champion cowboys Tom Nesmith, Mark Garrett, Bob Wegner and Harry Charters, along with rodeo notable Jack Hannum, the Hendricks Brothers specialty act and four-time team roping head horse of the year Precious Speck will also be inducted.
It is a committee of former contestants and rodeo experts selects Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame inductees. More than 150 individuals are nominated each year and selection is based on contributions to the sport of professional rodeo in any one of seven categories: contestant, stock contractor, contract personnel, rodeo committees, livestock, media, notables/lifetime achievement.
Including this year’s inductees, 243 people, 29 animals, and 25 rodeo committees have been selected for enshrinement in Colorado Springs since the Hall opened in 1979.
The Sidney Iowa Championship Rodeo started in 1923 when Earl and Henry Tackett decided to entertain those at the Old Soldiers Reunion.
Members of Sidney American Legion Post 128 quickly assumed sponsorship and made it an annual event. After more than 90 years, the Sidney facility is one of the best in the country. In fact, Sidney’s population of 1,150 grows to roughly 38,000 visitors during the five days of the rodeo.
R.W. said he plans on taking his parents to Colorado for the induction ceremony. Members of American Legion Post 128 and Sons of the Legion will also attend to accept the award.
Sidney Iowa Championship Rodeo Board Member, Trevor Whipple, said they are excited about the induction and that they feel the rodeo is deserving of the award.
“Being inducted is a great tribute to all the generations of amazing volunteers the rodeo has had over the past 92 years,” said Whipple. However, he was quick to point out that it takes the City of Sidney and the surrounding communities to put on a great show each year.
“It takes a lot of determination and dedication to put on the rodeo each year, and we definitely don’t do it alone; it’s a group effort.“~ Whipple.
96 Years and Counting- History Lives Here!
In 1923 the Tackett brothers returned from Wyoming and decided to entertain visitors attending the Old Soldiers Reunion in Sidney. To show them some real western action, a circle was formed with Model T cars and makeshift fencing and Henry and Earl Tackett were up and away on the fastest bad houses; they could find. They received the sum of $50 and more bruises than they could count.
Sidney Legion Post 128 quickly assumed sponsorship of this exciting sport and made it an annual event open to the public with a small grandstand and no admission charge. They went each year to South Dakota to buy bucking broncs and bulls were bought from Texas and Mexico. Several quarter horses were owned by the Legion and kept in Sidney all year. Within five years attendance grew so much, a small admission was added, a larger grandstand built, professional cowboys began to compete and some trick riders and animal acts were added. Early rodeos included the appearance of Indian tribesmen in full native dress, sometimes from the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota. In 1931 lights were added to the arena and night shows started. After 1952 the livestock was brought in by professional contractors, who furnished top-grade stock to work at each performance.
Today, the Sidney facility is one of the best in the country with parking, new pens and gates, hospital facilities, concessions, flea market, carnival and covered concrete grandstands. Sidney’s population of 1,150 hosts over 38,000 visitors during the five days of Sidney Iowa Rodeo, which ranks in the top 12% of the nearly 800 rodeos approved by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. The downtown Sidney parade kicks off the excitement at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, a Rodeo Queen Contest is held at the arena at 6:00 p.m. and the first full performance begins at 8 p.m. Specialty acts delight audiences between bucking and bull riding competition and the girls barrel racing event. For many, many years the Sidney High School Rodeo Band has enhanced every performance. Dances are held on Friday and Saturday nights after the Rodeo.
During the year 1996, Sidney Iowa Rodeo was declared an official Iowa Sesquicentennial event with the Friday afternoon performance being dedicated to that celebration of 150 years of statehood. The “Iowa Voyager” trailer, containing historical Iowa memorabilia, was on display in Sidney during Rodeo week.
The Sidney Iowa Rodeo was selected as the 1997 PRCA National Finals, Small
Outdoor Rodeo of the Year. What a great honor for the 75th Anniversary Year.