Rodeo couple exhibits trick riding and roping, gun spinning at Buffalo Bill Rodeo |

Rodeo couple exhibits trick riding and roping, gun spinning at Buffalo Bill Rodeo

By Ruth Nicolaus for the Buffalo Bill Rodeo

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. — A pair of western entertainers will hit the “stage” at the Buffalo Bill Rodeo in North Platte next month.

In the tradition of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, Rider Kiesner and his partner Bethany Iles entertain with trick riding, trick roping and gun slinging.

It’s an exhibition of the Western arts, heralding back to the old west days of Annie Oakley, the Will Rogers Follies, and the glory days of TV, when westerns were king.

Kiesner and Iles are well-known for their work. Kiesner has performed at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, pro rodeo’s world championship, seven times, and has done his act in all 50 states and 15 countries. He’s performed at Cavalia, and last year, he and Iles did their act at a NASCAR show in front of 130,000 fans.

Their act is all western: Kiesner trick ropes and does gun spinning tricks, standing on a specially designed platform on his truck, doing such rope tricks as the butterfly, the wedding ring (with 70 feet of rope) and the Texas skip. Iles rides around the arena, doing dangerous yet beautiful trick riding stunts like the suicide drag, the shoulder stand, the liberty stand, the full fender drag, the stroud layout, and one of her newest, the cartwheel vault.


He’s no stranger to the art of western talent. When he was 9 years old, he got a Will Rogers trick roping kit for Christmas and taught himself to rope. His entire family, including younger brother Roper and parents Philip and Julie, took their show on the road. When Rider turned 18, he got his PRCA card and began his solo career.

World champion trick roper Rider Kiesner will entertain with his brand of fancy trick roping and fire. The Oklahoma cowboy has been a showman and entertainer for more than 20 years. Photo by Jackie Jensen

Iles grew up with a mother who was terrified of horses, but when Iles saw trick riding, she and her twin sister knew that’s what they wanted to do.

“My mom, being a good mom, signed us up to take riding lessons, and within a month, we had three head of horses,” Iles said. The sisters made their own trick riding equipment and hung off horses, “which is totally not safe,” she laughed. Their riding instructor hosted a trick riding clinic, which the girls attended, “and a year later, we had learned enough to do local shows,” Iles said.

The two of them paired up in 2018 and have performed at rodeos across the nation. Kiesner is a four-time world champion trick roper and a two-time world champion gun spinner, and the couple is the 2020 PRCA Specialty Act of the Year.

They will entertain during each night of the Buffalo Bill Rodeo in North Platte June 15-18. Performances begin at 8 p.m. nightly. Tickets are on sale at and at the gate and range in price from $10-$23.

For more information, visit the website or call the office at (308) 532-7939.


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