Where can you ride a bucking bronco without getting hurt? Watch National Finals Rodeo championship rides and see rodeo artifacts of rodeo clowns and cowboys? You can pretend you’re a cowboy or just learn about them at the Casey Tibbs South Dakota Rodeo Center in Fort Pierre, South Dakota.
When Life Magazine published its October 22, 1951 issue, they put Casey Tibbs, a South Dakota born and raised cowboy, on its cover.
Casey was not just a cowboy, he was a rodeo cowboy, and a national champion as well. At age 19, Casey won his first national saddle bronc-riding crown. He went on to win a total of nine national saddle bronc riding championships during his rodeo career. At age 22, he was the first and only cowboy to ever be on the cover of Life Magazine.
In 2009, the town of Fort Pierre built a museum honoring Casey’s life and rodeo career. The Casey Tibbs South Dakota Rodeo Center is located on a hill in Fort Pierre overlooking the Missouri River. And if you happen to see the list of Casey’s 8th grade classmates, look for the name Marialyce Tyler. Marialyce, my mom, went to school with Casey.
Trip taken July 2013.