Midwest Living Review
This center, opened in summer 2009, is a great place to understand the reach and magnitude of rodeo in South Dakota--and to meet a few of its stars. Casey Tibbs was the Joe DiMaggio of the rodeo world. Born in 1929, he grew up on his family ranch north of Fort Pierre. As a boy, he broke horses for the government. At 19, he became the youngest cowboy to win the national saddle bronc title. Through his career, he won nine world championships in saddle bronc, all-around cowboy and bareback competition. He also wrote, produced and appeared in movies and television shows. Before his death in 1990, Tibbs helped create the Casey Tibbs Foundation to promote the sport and history of rodeo in South Dakota. Take time to enjoy the interactive video terminal, which shows fantastic footage of rodeo action (one bronc rider stays on his horse even as it rolls over him and jumps back up), and the bucking horse simulator. Two floors of displays include saddles, belt buckles, media and memorabilia from rodeo stars going back to 1929. One unusual artifact is an original gate from Deadwood's Days of '76 Rodeo. Special cases honor rodeo queens, rodeo clowns, college rodeo greats, Little Britches Rodeo, The South Dakota Rodeo Association and the Great Plains Indian Rodeo Association. Other areas of the museum, decorated with murals, photos, wagon wheels, brands and tools, give visitors a sense of what life was like on South Dakota's historical working ranches. Admission charged.