Memorial services for JoBeth Swires 59 of Buckeye, AZ and formerly of Eagle Butte, SD were held at 10:30 AM MDT Saturday June 29, 2019 at the Cheyenne River Bingo Hall in Eagle Butte, SD. Inurnment was in the Eagle Butte Cemetery under the direction of Kesling Funeral Home of Mobridge. Kesling Funeral Home of Mobridge assisted the family with arrangements.
JoBeth Reeves-Swires from the shoe box to the arena box.
JoBeth was born prematurely on September 7, 1960. She was so tiny, at 6lbs. 7oz., she fit in a shoe box. Upon her arrival, her parents, Buzz and Faye were ecstatic. Their first daughter! She joined two older brothers, D’Aun and Kevin Reeves. Then later another brother Kip and sister Melissa joined their herd.
From the get go JoBeth loved horses and, thus, her story begins.
She began riding at the age of three. Her first pony was a little welch paint, that she ran the creeks and hills on. Her first rodeo horse was Tricksie, another welch pony that was an accomplished barrel and pole horse. At age six, her Grandpa Art sent her a big bay, about 15 hands, whom she called George. Shortly after, she and George made their rodeo debut at the Tribal Arena in Eagle Butte.
When she was around seven or eight years old, JoBeth was a member of the Ride & Reelers Drill Team. All the kids on the team were between seven and twelve years old. They did a square dance on horseback. Her cousin Jim Hunt was her partner. There were about eighteen area kids involved in the Drill Team.
JoBeth joined the 4-H when she was nine years old and won her first State 4-H barrel racing competition. She competed in 4-H rodeo, high school rodeo and college rodeo during her eligibility years. She qualified for the South Dakota State Rodeo Finals during each of her four years of high school. After graduation, she went on to attend Dawson Community College in Glendive, MT for two years and then transferred to Chadron State College in Chadron, Nebraska. During her years at Dawson their rodeo team qualified for the College National Finals Rodeo in Sulphur, Louisiana. While she was at Chadron, their rodeo team qualified for the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyoming. In 1978, JoBeth qualified for her first Indian National Finals Rodeo in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and went on to qualify for several more years after that.
In the early to mid-eighties, JoBeth took a breather from her rodeo career. She married Scott Saultsand and added a bundle of joy to the family, their daughter, Jacie Gene. It was during this time she began working with a new horse, Jo Rep (J.R.). He was a little red dun gelding by Repetitious (Double Bid) and Balda Jo, who was a Red Man Reeves mare (Balda Jim/Bogle) AAA. When Jacie was about a year old, JoBeth started her seasoning of J.R. and he seemed to love running barrels. They placed 1st or 2nd at about every rodeo they went to that first summer. J.R. became a phenomenal barrel horse.
Together their accomplishments were: 1989 NPRA Barrel Racing Championship; 1990 SDRA Barrel Racing Champ; 1990 SDRA Barrel Racing Finals Average win; 1990 NRCA All-Around Cowgirl: 1991 NPRA Barrel Racing Title; 1991 GPIRA Barrel Racing Title; 1991 GPIRA All Around Cowgirl; and the 1993 NRCA Barrel Racing Championship. In 1993, they set the arena records at the Indian National Finals Rodeo in Albuquerque, NM, and at the Black Hills Stock Show in Rapid City, SD. J.R. had a lifetime earning of well of $350,000 in Barrel Racing, Team Roping and Breakaway Roping. Their rodeo adventures took them from Calgary, Alberta to the NARC Finals in El Paso, Texas and many, many rodeos in between. In the fall of 1994, J.R. was sold to LeAnne Niddery of Kamloops, British Columbia and in 1995 LeAnne and J.R. won the British Columbia Barrel Racing championship. J.R. lived the remainder of his life in Canada.
J.R. was born at the Gene Reeves Staple Triangle Ranch in Armstrong County, where he and JoBeth were raised. She and her siblings spent countless hours in the saddle, making good, solid ranch and arena horses. They were well mounted and had the horsemanship skills to keep their horses going. JoBeth rode many different horses off the ranch before she ever got J.R. She managed to make a winner out of most of them. After J.R., JoBeth found a big paint out of Texas. He was a registered paint by the name of Windskipper. His barn name was BPeeepers. He had been started on the barrels and she finished seasoning him.
JoBeth and Windskipper went to the winners circle many times in the next few years. She qualified for the INFR several times over the next few years. At the 3rd annual Prairie Paint Super Horse Event sponsored by the Prairie Paint Breeders Association, JoBeth won the Halter, Pole Bending and Barrel Racing events and Windskipper (Bpeepers) was named Super House of the year. JoBeth’s cousin, Kim Peterson, was looking for a horse for her daughter Chancey, who was just starting high school rodeo. Chancey tried the horse and loved him! So JoBeth was afoot again, but not for very long. Soon enough a little bay called Gus was waiting in the hallway of the barn. Then came FM, M 7 M, and her last horse was a yellow horse called Deuce. JoBeth always had a horse she was working with. As soon as they were seasoned and arena ready, they were sold. She was quite a hand with a horse and loved doing it.
JoBeth was not just a barrel racer. She competed in most of the women’s rodeo events and was a team roper as well. She and her brother Kip won several ropings while they were in high school. While attending Dawson Community College, she was ranked the number one Goat Tyer in the Big Sky Region and ranked 14th Goat Tyer in the Nation. She was also a Steer Wrestling Hazer. She hazed for Todd Ward for several years and when he won the National High School Rodeo Steer Wrestling championship.
The thing about being a rodeo cowgirl is that JoBeth had a friend in about every rodeo town across the Country. She just seemed to know everyone. She and J.R. could always find a place to stay and her vivacious personality and dry wit were welcomed.
Of course, her story would not be complete without mentioning her favorite traveling companion, Grandma Lisa. Grandma was in her eighties and was always ready to go when JoBeth said, “rodeo!” They traveled from Texas to New Mexico to North Dakota to the Twin Cities and back home in just one trip. Grandma loved it, even though JoBeth would scare the wits out of her going through the big cities pulling a horse trailer.
In the mid-nineties JoBeth married Justin Swires and they added another bundle of joy to the family, daughter Jada Cole. She was an adoring mom and was so proud of her girls. Both of whom followed their mom into the world of rodeo and are accomplished barrel racers and ropers.
Just like her rodeo career JoBeth’s employment career was wide and varied. She served the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe in a number of roles – as a Prosecutor, the TERO Director, and an Administrative Assistant to two Tribal Chairman, Wayne Ducheneaux and Robert Chasing Hawk. She continued her service to the Tribe and began working for the Cheyenne River Housing Authority, where she worked again with Mr. Ducheneaux and the two became lifelong friends. She was no stranger to hard work and when her husband’s career took them around the Country, JoBeth would always find employment. Her last stop was in Buckeye, Arizona, where she was in horse heaven. They lived right next to an equine facility, so she could ride every day and take care of her horses. She really did not mind cleaning stalls.
What a life! It was cut far too short. JoBeth lived her life on her terms, doing what she loved- caring for and riding horses; writing a little poetry, she was quite an accomplished poet; caring for her wiener dogs, Missy & Princess; and caring for her family.
JoBeth is survived by her husband Justin, her daughters Jacie (Kelly) Schrempp, Jada (Jerry) Jacobs, her grandson Dillon, parents Buzz and Faye Reeves, brothers: D’Aun (Sharon) Reeves, Kevin (Tammy) Reeves, Kip (Chuck) Reeves, sister Melissa (Jason) Wientjes, and her many nieces, nephews and cousins.