Days of ’76, Black Hills Roundup earn high accolades

September 28, 2018

DEADWOOD — Two Northern Black Hills rodeos received high marks this week when they were nominated to be named the best PRCA rodeo in their category.

The final voting results will be revealed Dec. 5 at an awards banquet at the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.

The Days of ’76 rodeo was bumped up into the Large Outdoor Rodeo category this year, and the Black Hills Roundup received the nomination for Medium Outdoor Rodeo of the year. This marks the first year since 2007 that the Black Hills Roundup has earned the recognition.

The Days of ’76 has received the nod for, and won, the best Medium Outdoor Rodeo of the year for the past 14 years, and for four more years before that in the Small Outdoor Rodeo category.

Clay Crago, chairman of the Black Hills Roundup, said receiving the nomination is an honor.

“Coming into our 100th, it’s another stepping stone,” Crago said. “The cowboys, they vote on it. We might be doing something right.”

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

“We’ve got good grounds, a good facility, good stock, and a good committee putting it on,” Crago said.

This year, the city of Belle Fourche is replacing the wooden grandstands that were showing their age and starting to rot in some places.

“It will change the looks of the grounds down there. I hope it will bring some more spectators in,” Crago said.

Included will be a new VIP section, new box seats, and more accessibility to spectators, he said.

The Black Hills Roundup, held July 2-6, will celebrate its century mark in 2019. 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.

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

The Days of ’76 continues to receive high marks.

The annual Deadwood rodeo has won its category 18 times now.

“It’s obviously a big honor. We’re pretty thrilled about it,” said Joe Peterson, chairman of the Days of ’76 rodeo. “We didn’t even know we were in the large category until the announcement was made.”

The category each rodeo is placed in is simply based on the amount of money the rodeo committee adds to each event.

If a rodeo adds more than $80,000 in prize money, then it would be placed in the large category. When the Days of ’76 added more money to the team roping event to give the header and healer even money, that placed the rodeo over the threshold and into the large rodeo category.

“It’s a real testament to our sponsors, the city of Deadwood, and our committee,” Peterson said of the nomination.

The Days of ’76 will be up against other top national rodeos in Cheyenne, Wyo., Dodge City, Kan., Ogden, Utah, and Pendleton, Ore.

“Whoever designed our arena and picked that spot, it’s a neat, neat place. The city has really stepped up and put in a lot of money down there … they’ve done a great job updating those facilities there,” Peterson said. “We try to get the best stock we can, and the Burches have done a phenomenal job. The timed event cattle are awesome, that’s Dan Mundorf, he’s got the best timed event cattle in the world.”

The Days of ’76 event features five PRCA rodeo performances and two parades down Deadwood’s historic Main Street. The 2019 event will take place July 23-27 and will mark 97 consecutive years.

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

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