Students from as far away as Kilgore, Nebraska arrived at the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Rodeo Arena in Eagle Butte on Saturday, June 30, for a free rodeo school that was sponsored by Pro-Rodeo Hall of Famer and CRST tribal member, Tom Reeves.
The rodeo school was open to anyone of any age who was willing to learn.
This was the second official rodeo school event for Reeves’ Sung Wat Gala Youth Program on Cheyenne River.
Other events were rescheduled due to unfavorable weather conditions.
Reeves offered one-on-one personal instruction to students, and he provided equipment ranging from saddles, ropes, hats, vests, and boots. It was a “come as you are” atmosphere as students eagerly arrived and were outfitted with the proper equipment and gear.
Various instruction stations were set up throughout the rodeo grounds which students used with supervision.
Popular South Dakota cowgirl Mazee Pauley was on hand and gave classes in roping and goat tying.
She taught a group of young kids the basics of using a rope and the importance of roping safety. Kids practiced their lasso skills on plastic dummies.
Stock contractors, Frazier Bucking Horses and Reeves himself, volunteered their services and stock to the day’s events.
Younger riders rode Shetland ponies to hone their bareback and saddle bronc skills.
Whitney Ducheneaux was the only female rough stock rider who had a loose-rope ride, opting not to use a saddle or any rigging.
The Kursave family travelled from Kilgore, Nebraska to attend the free school.
Cooper Kursave received one-on-one instruction from Reeves and later implemented what he was taught on four of his rides out the chute.
Lunch and supper meals were prepared by volunteers Chip Gunville and Trini Bird Necklace.
Remi Bald Eagle announced the day’s events and played music over the speakers between the rides.
By the end of the day, over 100 people participated in the rodeo school.
Reeves said he plans to continue sponsoring rodeo schools throughout Cheyenne River, and invites everyone to participate.