Unveiling of Howard Hunter bronze statue at the Days of ’76 Museum
DEADWOOD – Deadwood History and the Days of ‘76 Committee will host an unveiling of a bronze statue of legendary bronc rider Howard Hunter at the Days of ‘76 Museum on Thursday July 23, 2015, at 5:00 p.m. The public is welcome to attend.
Howard Hunter was born in 1951 on a small ranch outside Kyle, South Dakota. He completed in his first rodeo at the age of 10 or 11 in Gordon, Nebraska. His legendary rodeo career spanned four decades. During this time he created an impressive list of rodeo achievements. Hunter qualified for the National Finals Rodeo in 1976, 1978 and 1982; he was the Badlands Circuit Saddle Bronc Champion in 1976, 1978 and 1982; qualified for the Indian National Finals Rodeo 14 times and won the Indian National Finals Rodeo Saddle Bronc Championship in 1980, 1987 and 1990, along with numerous other championship titles.
Sculptor Tony Chytka from Belle Fourche, South Dakota, chose to memorialize Hunter with a bronze to be displayed at the Days of ‘76 Museum in Deadwood. Chytka wanted to recognize rodeo personalities who participated in various Days of ‘76 rodeos. During the 1976 rodeo, Hunter won the saddle bronc riding. The bronze is patterned after a ride Hunter took on a bronc named Ripcord in the 1970s. Chytka said Hunter’s family chose that particular bronc as he was one of the rider’s favorites.
North Dakota Rodeo Hall of Fame Museum curator Phil Beard will speak during the unveiling, and Howard Hunter’s family has also been invited to the event. The unveiling will take place prior to Thursday evening’s rodeo on the outdoor patio at the Days of ‘76 Museum.