Black Hills Stock Show has something for everyone | TheFencePost.com

Black Hills Stock Show has something for everyone

Gayle Smith
Potter, Neb.

Photo courtesy of Alaina Mousel, TSLNCattle are on display most of the week during the Black Hills Stock Show.

One of the highlights of the 2012 Black Hills Stock Show will be the addition of the National Sheep Shearing Championships. Although the sheep shearing event made its first appearance at the BHSS in 2009, this year the stock show was honored with being the host for the National Sheep Shearing Finals.

The Black Hills Stock Show will be held Friday, January 27 through Sunday, February 5 in Rapid City, S.D., at the Civic Center and the Central States Fairgrounds.

“The Black Hills Stock Show was selected by the National Sheep Shearers Association to be the nationals qualifying round for two competitors to advance to the world,” according to Ron Jeffries, general manager of the BHSS. “The top two professional finishers will go on to compete in the world, which will be held in New Zealand. This development should add some competitors to the national competition. I think it is pretty exciting to be able to send two of our top finishers to the world,” he added.

Also back to the stock show this year will be the professional saddle bronc championships, which was first held at the BHSS in 2010, but skipped the 2011 show. The saddle bronc match is invitation-only, with the top 30 saddle bronc riding contestants being invited to compete. Top finishers from the WNFR were the first to be invited, with remaining spots filled with top finishers in the Badlands Circuit and past WNFR winners.

According to Jeffries, four top stock contractors have also been invited to the match. J Bar J, Powder River, Burch Rodeo, and Korkow Rodeo are expected to bring their top saddle broncs. “The horses will also be judged during the match,” Jeffries said. “The top average on 10 head of horses will receive a stock contractor incentive of $2,000. We hope that prize money will encourage them to bring some of their top stock.”

Spectators can expect to see 30 bronc riders attempt to ride their broncs in the first go round. The top 12 will advance to the short go. “There are no carryover scores, so there are no averages,” Jeffries said. “There will just be a long go and a short go. The final payout will be $10,000 cash added money. It will take two to win. With that many WNFR stock contractors, we should have some really good horse power,” he said.

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One of the most popular events at the BHSS is the Ranch Rodeo, which allows teams to compete in a variety of everyday ranch activities. According to Jeffries, teams of four will compete in the Ranch Rodeo for top prizes including buckles, jackets, trophies, and over $10,000 in cash awards. Awards are also presented for the top hand and top horse. The event is limited to 40 teams, who travel from a five-state area to compete in the event. “This event draws some of the top ranch hands in the region,” Jeffries said.

During the 10-day stock show, the public can expect to see a variety of events including a free trade show featuring over 270 vendors. With a nice offering of everything from livestock equipment and feed to vehicles, clothing, jewelry and housewares, the BHSS offers something for everyone. “We will have a nice offering both upstairs and downstairs,” Pam Teller, trade show coordinator, said. “We have both large and small, high end and lower priced items. It will be an incredible shopping experience for the public.”

At the James Kjerstad Event Center at the Central States Fairgrounds, a variety of horse competitions including calf roping, team roping, team sorting, barrel racing, the Winter Classic AQHA Show, the Winter Spectacular NRCHA Show, AQHA Working Cow Horse, and First Interstate Bank Horse sale will be held. During the horse sale, 160 of the top horses in the region will be sold. “We will have grade and registered horses in the sale, and all breeds will be represented. There is everything from finished show horses, finished roping horses, a nice set of ranch geldings, some competitive rodeo horses, finished reiners and nice barrel horses. We also have some babies and yearlings in the sale,” said Jill Swanhorst, horse events coordinator.

There will also be 15 Quarter Horse stallions on display in stallion row. The horses are from Nebraska, Wyoming, and South Dakota and will be previewed prior to the horse sale.

About 350 cattle will be shown during the 10 breed shows held throughout the week from Monday, January 30 through Saturday, February 4 at the Civic Center. “The BHSS is an excellent way for ranchers to promote their cattle operations. It is also an excellent opportunity for buyers to purchase some high quality animals,” according to Kadee Hande, BHSS livestock show coordinator. Entries for the cattle halter shows are down this year, but buyers can still expect to see some quality animals coming to the Black Hills Stock Show. “We expect to see plenty of quality heifers and younger bulls coming to compete in the halter classes this year,” she said.

The cattle events will kick off with a commercial heifer show at the James Kjerstad events Center at the Central States Fairgrounds. “The show allows commercial cattlemen a chance to showcase their genetics,” according to Hande. “There are many good commercial cattlemen in this area. This is an opportunity for the BHSS to showcase the commercial cattlemen, when the rest of the week is focused on showcasing the purebred cattlemen. It shines the light on the commercial side of the industry.”

Other activities taking place throughout the week is the Denim and Diamonds Quilt Show at the Civic Center. The public will have the opportunity to view over 400 quilts during the five-day event. This event is more than just a quilt show,” according to Joan Kettlewell, who coordinates the event. “It is an opportunity for women in agriculture and women in the city to get together and share something they enjoy. They can get together and visit with friends and neighbors they haven’t seen for a year, and best of all – it’s free!”

The BHSS will also hold several PRCA rodeos, a western art show and quick draw contest, a buffalo show and sale, the World’s Smallest Rodeo for kids, and the North American Sheep Dog Trials during its 10-day run.