Century Of Rodeo Tradition In Killdeer

A hundred years is a long time to keep a great show going, but Killdeer has been doing exactly that as of 2023. Sam Rhoades started the event in 1924 with true wild horses off the Porter and McCloud ranches, but today Sparky at J Bar J Pro Rodeo, Circle, MT, and Pickett Pro Rodeo, Fairfield, TX, supply the roughstock. While the rodeo evolving from a wild show of cowboy ability to a professional rodeo on the PRCA Badlands circuit isn’t a new change, there are plenty of new events this year!

Kicking off July 1 at 12 p.m. with the Killdeer Mountain Roundup Rodeo Queen Pageant, held at the High Plains Community Center, a full three days of activities is to follow! At 4 p.m., the “Buckin in the Bakken” BBQ competition will be heating up, with a live auction benefiting the KMMR after. At 7:15 p.m., Chancey Williams and Kolby Cooper will be performing live, free of charge. The Mud Butte band will close out the first night, starting their music at 10:45 p.m.

To celebrate 100 years, they plan on 100 horses in the parade on July 4, at 2 p.m. The rodeo will light up the fourth with a cannon shoot and mounted deputies at its opening, and a firework display afterwards.

The Killdeer community businesses generously support the Killdeer Mountain Roundup, and have been vital to its improvements over the century. Originally held at the base of Spectator Hill, it has since moved to its current location and sports new covered grandstands and lights. The purse for contestants has also improved remarkably since its humble beginnings. Originally, the main event winner pocketed $75, $30 to $40 for the other events. Today, event winners will take home around $10,000 each! The rodeo will feature bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, bull riding, tie-down roping, team roping, steer wrestling, breakaway roping, and barrel racing.

When planning your fourth of July, don’t overlook all the great entertainment that the Killdeer Mountain Rodeo Roundup has to offer in their four-day celebration! From the Long X Wagon Trail Ride, to the comedy show, cornhole tournament, live music and Cowboy Church on Sunday, a full holiday weekend can be found in Killdeer, ND!


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