The 52nd annual Winner Elks Rodeo will be held July 23, 24 and 25 at the Tripp County Fairgrounds. The rodeo will start at 7:30 p.m. each evening.
The Winner Elks benefit rodeo was awarded the 2020 South Dakota Rodeo Association reserve rodeo of the year award.
The rodeo is a benefit for children’s services at LifeScape which serves children statewide from centers in Sioux Falls and Rapid City.
New this year is professional barrelman and rodeo clown Donnie Landis from Gooding, Idaho. The 2X NFR rodeo entertainer will leave the audience in stitches with his family oriented humor and vaudeville type stand up walk and talk.
Also new this year is a specialty act featuring Crazy Cowgirl trick riding. Candice Aamont is a 13 year old from DeSmet. She has five years of performing experience under her belt. Candice became enamored with the movie Cowgirls and Angels. Shortly thereafter a retired trick rider held a clinic and after that she was hooked. Candice has spent the last few summers traveling all across the upper Midwest. Her main horse is “Dusty” a buckskin gelding she has used at every performance since she started. Candice’s favorite tricks are vaulting where she leaps from the saddle, bounces off the ground and back into the saddle or under the neck where she goes from one side of the neck to the other. Candice hopes to continue trick riding at more rodeos and work to become a pro specialty act.
At the rodeo there is over $35,000 in prize money in all standard events. To add to the excitement is a $1,000 bounty bull each night sponsored by Frontier Motors. The bull rider who has the highest score or no score, rides the longest, gets a chance to ride the bounty bull. If he rides the bounty bull he wins $1,000. There will be a bounty bull all three nights with $1,000 up for grabs each night.
Ranch bronc riding has a $300 purse each night. The entry fee is $50. It is limited to six each night and persons can enter by calling 842-5830.
There will be mutton bustin for kids ages 4-7. This is limited to 10 per night with sign in at the rodeo. In the event there is more than 10 that sign up there will be a lottery drawing with all names thrown in a hat and 10 names drawn out to determine who gets to ride.
New this year will be boot race. There will be two divisions–ages 0-6 and ages 7 to 10. This new event for kids will be all three nights and the winner of the boot race each night will receive a certificate for a new pair of boots/shoes.
Rodeo stock is provided by Hollenbeck Rodeo Co, named 2020 stock contractor of the year. The Hollenbeck’s have been stock contractors since the first Elks Rodeo in 1969.
Calling the action will be SDRA finals announcer Alan Odden of Ft. Pierre . Dusty May of Creighton and Kolton Kovarik, Kearney will be the bull fighters.
Winner Does No. 238 will run the lunch stand serving grilled hamburgers, hot dogs, nachos and soft drinks.
The Elks will have a beer stand. No coolers please.
There will be 50/50 tickets available each evening and drawings held for beef certificates and S.D. lottery tickets.
The rodeo is sanctioned by the South Dakota Rodeo Association, Northwest Ranch Cowboys Association and Nebraska State Rodeo Association and the WCRA.
Proceeds from the rodeo go to children’s services at LifeScape which has served six children last year from Tripp County, 23 from Todd County, 10 from Mellette County, 7 from Jones County, 28 from Lyman County and 5 from Gregory County.
The rodeo started in 1969 under the leadership of four Winner Elks members—Bill Dillon, Vince Hollenbeck, Dick Kazda and Harold Jans. LifeScape (then Crippled Childrens hospital and school) had a traveling rehab unit that visited communities across the stare providing clinics for children with physical disabilities, mostly polio. In Winner, the clinic was held at the Elks Lodge. The four men were so touched by the plight of the children and their families and decided to start a fundraising rodeo to help. The event has been held every year since with the event raising well over $255,000 over the years.
Admission at the gate is $12, advanced tickets are $10, kids 10 and under attend free. Advanced tickets can be purchased at The Elks Club, BankWest and Zip Trip from July 13 until 3:30 pm July 23.