And the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo is coming beginning December 1,2016

Wrangler National Finals Rodeo

STEPHENVILLE, Texas—Tarleton State University’s Rodeo Hall of Fame celebrated the induction of five new members during its seventh annual steak dinner and auction Saturday, Nov. 12, in Stephenville.

It’s an old-time Saturday night as well as a celebration of rodeo, rodeo people and the ranching lifestyle.

Wrangler National Finals Rodeo

Overall it’s a party that’s hard to describe if people haven’t joined in with the Black Hills Roundup’s National Finals Rodeo sendoff.

It’s why everyone is invited.

This year’s sendoff for the area’s top rodeo talent opens at 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19, at the Branding Iron. The Black Hills Roundup Committee offers an opportunity to meet with committee people, top PRCA rodeo competitors and rodeo queens.

Wrangler National Finals Rodeo

The committee reported they weren’t certain yet which of the area’s top riders, ropers and queens would be on hand, but promised a good time with autographs, annual cowboy auction and live music with Dakota Country to close the night.

Each honoree was presented with a bronze Rodeo Hall of Fame medallion by Tarleton President F. Dominic Dottavio and head rodeo coach Mark Eakin.

Wrangler National Finals Rodeo

Held at City Hall at City Limits, the annual steak dinner and live and silent auctions benefits Tarleton Rodeo Program’s scholarship fund. This year’s auctions garnered approximately $13,000.

About this year’s Rodeo Hall of Fame inductees:

Following his graduation from Onida High School in 1953, Jim went to South Dakota State to play basketball. “I wouldn’t have gone to college if it wouldn’t have been for basketball,” said Jim. “I was pretty well entrenched here.” While at State, Jim earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Husbandry and in Physical Education.

The success Jim had had in high school ball continued in college, and he was drafted to play for the Minneapolis Lakers. “I had no reservations about where I was going to end up,” said Jim. “I played a lot of basketball, and never got cut from the Lakers.”

“We had a horse sale in October every year. I was at training camp, and I knew when I went there, I’d be home for the horse sale. That’s when I made up my mind I was going to ranch instead of play basketball.”

“I guess I think I made the right decision. They weren’t paid like they are now. They didn’t hardly get their rooms paid when they went places to play. It was a pretty tough racket.”

Even while Jim was in college, the Suttons were part of the Sutton Rodeo business. “I can remember being a rodeo secretary before Steve was born, so we were doing rodeos at that time,” said Julie. “Jim was involved with his dad.”

The Suttons conducted livestock sales – horses, buffalo and registered Herefords – for 55 years. “The first sales were in a tent, but after a few years, we built the sale barn that’s still at the ranch,” said Jim, who got his Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) card in 1960, and joined the Sutton Rodeo Company partnership in 1968.

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