Deadwood’s Days of ’76 Rodeo Enshrined in ProRodeo Hall of Fame
DEADWOOD, S.D. (7-18-2011) – Deadwood’s Days of ’76 Rodeo is forever enshrined in the ProRodeo Hall of Fame. In a ceremony held Saturday, July 16 at the Hall of Fame and Museum of the American Cowboy in Colorado Springs, Colo., the Days of ’76 committee became the latest inductee.
The Days of ’76 committee was selected for the Hall of Fame entrance by a committee of former contestants, PRCA officials and rodeo experts. More than 150 individuals are nominated each year, and selection is based on contributions to the sport of professional rodeo in any of seven categories: contestant, contract personnel, stock contractors, rodeo committees, livestock, media, notables and lifetime achievement. Including this year’s inductees, 221 people, 26 animals and 17 rodeo committees have been selected for enshrinement in Colorado Springs since the Hall opened in 1979.
According to the ProRodeo Hall of Fame, the Days of ’76 rodeo committee was well-represented at the induction ceremony, bringing a group of 56 for its delegation, including Deadwood Mayor Francis Toscana. Four committee members spoke on stage, including Jon Mattson, the longest-standing member of the current committee at 35 years. He spoke with pride about Deadwood, a town of 1,300 people in western South Dakota, joining the ranks of large storied committees such as San Antonio, Denver and Cheyenne.
The Days of ’76, which also includes parades on Deadwood’s Historic Main Street, has been a staple each summer in Deadwood for 89 years. And since 1998, Deadwood has been honored as the rodeo committee of the year 11 times, the first four in the Small Outdoor Rodeo category and all seven of the Medium Rodeo Committee awards since that category was created in 2004. Deadwood is also a 13-time winner of the Badlands Circuit Rodeo of the Year Award (1998-2010). The committee has increased the prize money 600 percent over the last 20 years.
The July 16 ceremony in the garden area of the ProRodeo Hall of Fame and Museum of the American Cowboy also enshrined the late three-time World Champion cowboy Burel Mulkey, two-time World Champion Bareback Rider Lan LaJeunesse, PRCA Chairman of the Board and longtime San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo Executive Director and CEO Officer Keith Martin, the late three-time PRCA Bucking Horse of the Year War Paint and trick rider/roper J.W. Stoker.