The Annual Casey Tibbs Foundation Tribute Dinner will be held on Nov. 3. Now in its 29th year, the Tribute Dinner is an opportunity for friends and families in the ranching and rodeo communities to celebrate and honor the accomplishments of South Dakota cowboys, cowgirls, families and animals. This event is an annual fundraiser for the Casey Tibbs Rodeo Center. We congratulate the following who are the 2018 Tribute Dinner Honorees.

Rodeo Cowgirl: Kristi Lensegrav-Birkeland of Dupree

Kristi is a six-time, year-end Goat Tying Champion from 1999-2006 and three-time NIRA champion. She is a nine-time SDRA Goat Tying Champion from 1996-2007. In 2002 and 2004 she was the NRCA Finals Champion. Seven times between 1993 and 2012 she was the “fastest time tied of the year.” Kristi works on a ranch with her husband Jace, and they have one daughter, Sidni, who has competed as a goat tying partner with her mom. The couple’s identical triplets, Cruz, Fletcher and Lee also compete in rodeo.

Rodeo Cowboy Great: Jake Reinhart of Highmore

Jake has represented South Dakota in high school, amateur and professional rodeo in the United States and Canada. He competed in steer wrestling at the WNFR in 2007, 2009 and 2011. Jake won the NHSR finals tie-down roping championship in 2008 and qualified for the CNFR in 2011 and 2013. He won the World’s Oldest Rodeo in Prescott in 2013. Two years later he won the California Rodeo Salinas and the ABC Rodeo in Lubbock. In 2016, he also won rodeos in Mississippi, Utah, Missouri and Texas. He won the Corn Palace Stampede Rodeo in Mitchell in 2017 finishing 17th in the world standings.

Past Rodeo Great: Steve Mowry of Presho

Steve has participated in all levels of Rodeo from Little Britches to the PRCA. He spent a decade being a rodeo clown and bullfighter. He competed for five years as a Pro Tour Bull Fighter capturing many first place wins. In 1983 and 1984 he was runner up to the World Champion Bull Fighter, In the middle 1980’s he was a Champion College NFR bullfighter. In 1985 he broke his back while bull fighting in Louisiana. He returned to the sport a year later and competed at the NFR. He continued as a Pro Rodeo Clown and bullfighter until 1991.

Rodeo Promoter: Raymond Sutton Sr. of Gettysburg

Ray grew up outside Agar with brothers John and Jim. The Sutton Ranch hosted rodeo competitions from 1926-1936 which included entertainers like Lawrence Welk. Ray partnered with George Fairbank creating the Sutton/Fairbank Rodeo Company. They held rodeos with specialty acts including chariot racing with mules or unbroken buffaloes. Ray would ride Dude the Jumping Horse who leaped over steers and other horses. The brothers joined Erv Korkow to form Sutton/Korkow Rodeo Company in the 1950’s. In the 1960’s Ray sold his share of the company to brother Jim. Nine decades later Sutton Rodeo continues today under successful management of Jim and his family and is alive and well.

Ranch Cowboy Family: Glen & Yvonne Hollenbeck of Clearfield

Glen’s grandfather Earl, produced some of the first rodeos in the Sandhills of Nebraska, circling Model T’s and wagons around to create an arena. Glen became one of the top pick up men in the country and trained and mentored others such as Steve Sutton. He was the 1960 World Champion calf roper. Yvonne was a professional rodeo organist and secretaries many rodeos, sometimes handling both duties at the same rodeo. At age 40, Glen won the championship calf roping in 1982, against much younger competitors. He won the U.S. Calf Roping Association Championship in his age division in 2008. In 2017 at the tender age of 75, he won the Senior Pro Assn World Championship.

Sons Shawn and Jay excelled in calf roping and other family members actively participate in rodeo.

Rodeo Animal Athlete: Frenchman’s Guy owned by Bill and Deb Myers of St. Onge

Frenchman’s Guy is a 1987 Palamino Stallion that sired many great performance horses and rodeo champions with progeny earnings exceeding eleven million dollars. His owners, Billy and Deb Myers are the leading breeders of arena performance and rodeo champions. Though he lost his right eye as a yearling, Frenchman’s Guy became a highly competitive arena athlete in the barrel futurity, derby and PRCA/amateur rodeo circuits. He was a finals qualifier PRCA Badlands Circuit and South Dakota Rodeo Assn, Northwest Rodeo Cowboys Association Reserve Champion and Finals qualifier PRCA Badlands Circuit and South Dakota Rodeo Assn, just to name a few. He is known as an elite competitor especially for his extended stride and speed.

Frenchman’s Guy is now 31 years old and resides on the Myers ranch in St. Onge.

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