PIERRE, SD – A 49-year tradition rides on Aug. 13-16 as the South Dakota 4-H Finals Rodeo brings together some of the most accomplished young cowboys and cowgirls from across the state to compete for top honors at the Stanley County Fairgrounds in Ft. Pierre.
This year, due to COVID-19, precautions will be taken to keep contestants, families and fans safe during their time in Ft. Pierre. With more than 1,300 youth competing in 4-H rodeos throughout the state, some regional contests were cancelled or postponed. Even with fewer qualifying rodeos, the State Finals will still have upwards of 450 competitors. The top 4 competitors in each event earn a coveted spot at the Finals Rodeo to compete for one of 26 event saddles, over 78 buckles, scholarships and numerous other awards.
The chute first opened on the SD 4-H Finals in 1971 as a way to gather the best of South Dakota’s 4-H rodeo athletes together to give them the chance to compete against each other. It’s since grown into a three-day event bringing an estimated $1.4M each year to the Pierre/Ft. Pierre economy. This event is 100% made possible from outside donations and unlike other 4H events, receives no state funding. The Finals committee is already working on the planning of the 50th SD 4H Finals Rodeo in 2021.
Festivities kick off on Thursday, Aug. 13 with the Ambassador Horsemanship Competition at 6 p.m. and the first Rodeo performance Fri., Aug. 14 at 5 p.m. Sat., Aug. 15 features rodeo performances at 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., and Ambassador Crowning at 4. Cowboy Church at 8 a.m. opens events Sunday, followed by the final rodeo performance. You can find a full schedule of events at sd4hrodeo.org.
For more information, contact South Dakota State 4-H Finals Secretary, Sue Van Liere at 605.222.1474