Casey Tibbs Is The Greatest Athlete In The History Of South Dakota
Think about this:
World Champion 1949. World Champion 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954. World Champion 1959.
But wait, there's more:
World Champion in a second sport in 1951.
Oh, and by the way, that's not his greatest sports accomplishment.
That would be World All-Around Champion in 1951 and again in 1955.
Those first 6 world championships up there are for Saddle Bronc Riding.
That 'second sport' championship was Bareback Bronc Riding.
And yes, he was the World All-Around Rodeo Champion twice.
From rural Orton northwest of Ft. Pierre, his name was Casey Tibbs. But in the sports circle that is Professional Rodeo, you'll hear him called a lot of different names. Things like 'Casey is the Babe Ruth of rodeo', 'Casey is the Muhammad Ali or Jack Dempsey of rodeo'. Or maybe 'Casey Tibbs? Well, he's the Wilt Chamberlain, Michael Jordan, and Magic Johnson of rodeo...all rolled into one'.
It's hard to imagine what Casey Tibbs meant to professional Rodeo. From the cover of Life magazine to documentaries about his amazing life and career, he transcended the sport, perhaps like Tiger transcended golf or Jordan transcended basketball. People who never liked rodeo, maybe even had no idea what rodeo was, knew Casey Tibbs. One of the founders of the Rodeo Cowboys Association, Casey brought rodeo across the United States border and around the world. From Belgium to Japan, people marveled at Casey Tibbs. One of the 'Must See' destinations in South Dakota is the Casey Tibbs Rodeo Center in Ft. Pierre.
Casey passed away in January 1990 at just 60 years old and lies at rest near his beloved Ft. Pierre, South Dakota.
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