The 49th annual Winner Elks Rodeo for LifeScape is set to go for Friday, July 27 through Sunday, July 29 at the Winner Fairgrounds. The competition starts at 7:30 each night—Friday through Sunday. Over 300 contestants will compete for over $35,000 in prize money in all the standard rip-snorting competitions: bareback riding, saddle bronc, ranch bronc riding, tie-down roping, barrel racing, goat tying, and of course—bull riding. Friday's performance will also feature team penning. Mutton bustin’ for kids ages 3-7 is back, too, with a limit of ten kids per night. There’ll be 50/50 tickets each evening, plus a candy scramble for kids 9 and under sponsored by Winner Super Foods. Adam "Jelly Bean" Carlson of Brainerd, MN will be the barrel man and funny man and the bullfighters Ryan Robinson of Ainsworth, NE, and Colton Kovarik, Kearney, NE will help keep the bull riders safe. Alan Odden of Miller returns as the announcer.
Rodeo stock is provided this year (and every year since 1969) by Hollenbeck Rodeo Company, named the Stock Contractor of the Year by the South Dakota Rodeo Association.
The Does will run the lunch stand, featuring grilled hamburgers and hot dogs.
Admission at the gate is $12; advance tickets are $10 each. Kids 10 and under attend for free.
All profits go to LifeScape’s children’s outreach programs, which serves children statewide from centers in Rapid City and Sioux Falls. Therapists drove over 220,000 last year to provide services to children in their own homes, schools, and daycare centers.
The rodeo began in 1969, under the leadership of four Winner Elks members—Bill Dillon, Vince Hollenbeck, Dick Kazda, and Harold Jans. LifeScape, (then Crippled Children’s Hospital & School) had a traveling rehab unit that visited communities across the state providing clinics for children with physical disabilities. In Winner, the clinics were held at the Elks Lodge. The four men were touched by the plight of the children and their families, and decided to start a fundraising rodeo to help out. The event has been held each year since, raising over $129,000 for the kids.
The fundraiser is sanctioned by South Dakota Rodeo Association, Mid-States Rodeo Association, Northwest Ranch Cowboys Association, and the Nebraska Rodeo Association.