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Gene Harris is recognized as the Roughrider Commission Rancher of the Year!
  Congratulations, Gene Harris is recognized as the Roughrider Commission Rancher of the Year!

Harris contributes to rodeo and exemplifies the western way of life," said Justin Olson, Roughrider Commission Chairperson. The award is given annually by the Dickinson Roughrider Commission. Pictured with Gene is his wife of 34 years, Gynell, ranch 25 miles northwest of Killdeer with their daughter, Skye Harris, and their son, Turner and his wife, Katie. Read More...


Roughrider Commission recognized in Las Vegas

Leon Kristianson accepts the Justin Best Footing Award for 2015 at the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association Star Celebration from
Sherry Cervi, World Champion Barrel Racer.

The Dickinson Roughrider Commission received recognition from the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA) at the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas this past December. The WPRA is proud to have Justin Boots Company as a sponsor of the Justin Best Footing Awards. The program allows the WPRA Board of Directors and members to recognize those committees in each of the 12 rodeo circuits that have put forth extra effort to ensure their rodeo had the safest, most consistent ground conditions throughout the entire rodeo. This in turn ensures a safe and level playing field for the barrel racing contestants and their horses.

The Commission has been recognized in previous years with the Justin Best Footing Award. Roughrider Commission Rodeo Chair Leon Kristianson said, “We take pride in making sure our grounds exceed expectations every year. It takes hard work, but we know how much the contestants appreciate it.” Leon Kristianson accepted the third place award on behalf of the Roughrider Commission from Sherry Cervi, World Champion Barrel Racer and WPRA member.


Rodeos band together to help cowboys, ranch families

Dickinson, ND
– Several Badlands Circuit rodeos and South and North Dakota organizations banded together to raise funds for PRCA and WPRA contestants and personnel affected by winter storm Atlas which hit the Badlands Circuit area in October 2013.  Approximately $8,000 was raised and donated to the cowboys, cowgirls and rodeo personnel and their families.

Lori Vernon, 23-year veteran of the Roughrider Commission, Dickinson, ND, spearheaded the promotion. The Roughrider Commission coordinates the annual Roughrider Days Celebration, one of the biggest Independence Day Celebrations held in North Dakota. “It’s a small way we can give back to the many rodeo contestants, their families and workers who continuously support our area rodeos,” said Vernon. “It may not make a big difference, but hopefully it will help and show them how much we all care.” Other entities contributing to the efforts include the Sitting Bull Stampede Rodeo, Mobridge, SD, Minot Y’s Men’s Rodeo, Southwest Speedway, Korczak's Heritage and Ruth Ziolkowski, Crazy Horse Memorial.

Tyler and Tif Robertson were given a heifer by the Roughrider Commission, Roughrider Days Rodeo this past June. The couple, who lives in Hermosa, SD, was affected by winter storm Atlas last October, and the rodeo committee gave them the heifer because of their cattle losses. Tyler has worked as a pickup man for the Roughrider Days Rodeo in Dickinson for the past 25 years. 

Stormie, a bred heifer, is a gift from the Dickinson Roughrider Commission, Roughrider Days Rodeo in Dickinson, ND, to Tyler and Tif Robertson, Hermosa, S.D. The couple lost livestock due to the winter storm Atlas last year. Tyler has worked as a pickup man at the Roughrider Days Rodeo in Dickinson for the last 25 years.

Photo by Creative Edge Photography.


Expect the best

From left: Eight Time World Champion,
Fred Whitfield and Leon Kristianson,
Dickinson Roughrider Commission
Rodeo Chairperson.

Several members of the Dickinson Roughrider Commission attended the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas this past December. Highlight of the trip for commission member and rodeo chairperson Leon Kristianson was presenting Montana Silversmith spurs to eight time World Champion, Fred Whitfield!

Annually, the Roughrider Commission and Kelley’s McDonald’s award the winner of each rodeo event held during Roughrider Days a signature pair of spurs. Rodeo fans can expect performances from top ranked cowboys and cowgirls from all over the country to compete at each PRCA rodeo held during the celebration. Fred Whitfield was the winner of the tie-down roping event with a score of 9.2.

Other 2013 career highlights include:

  • Winner – Jayhawker Roundup Rodeo (Hill City, KS)
  • Winner – Roughrider Days Rodeo (Dickinson, ND)
  • Co-Champion – Mandan Rodeo Days (Mandan, ND)
  • Champion – Rodeo Houston - Won $57,200
  • Co-Champion – 75th Annual Brighton Field Day Festival & Rodeo
    (Okeechobee, FL) 

See below complete list of Montana Silversmith signature spur recipients and 2013 event winners:

  • Bareback: J J Alley, Tabor, SD, score of 80
  • Tie-Down Roping:  Fred Whitfield, Hockley, TX, score of 9.2
  • Saddle Bronc: Jeremy Meeks, Belle Fourche, SD, score of 86
  • Steer Wrestling: DelRay Kraupie, Bridgeport, NE, score of 3.8
  • Team Roping: Jeff Johnston, Thedford, NE & Levi Tyan, Wallace, NE, score of 4.9
  • Barrels: Shelly Anzick, Livingston, MT, score of 15.76
  • Bull Riding: Trevor Kastner, Ardmore, OK, score of 88


Brock: Thank you, Roughrider Commission
Harvey Brock, The Dickinson Press

Roughrider Days Fair and Expo truly is a rodeo and so much more. This year’s event began with a youth rodeo on June 8, got into full swing with the carnival and concluded with last night’s fireworks.

Roughrider Days is a true community event with something for everyone. Anyone who couldn’t find something to do the last two days in Dickinson wasn’t looking very hard. Read More...

Dickinson man wins North Dakota Association of Fairs,
Fair/Event Person for 2012

Leon Kristianson wins
North Dakota Association of Fairs,
Fair/Event Person for 2012; pictured
with Leon is Jim Korkow, Korkow Rodeos,
rodeo stock contractor for
Roughrider Days Fair and Expo.

Leon Kristianson, Dickinson, received top honors at the Dakota Fairs and Celebrations Convention held in Bismarck. Kristianson was initially recognized as “District IX Fair/Event Person of the Year” and went on to win the highest honor and was chosen as “North Dakota Association of Fairs, Fair/Event Person for 2012.” Leon was nominated for the distinguished award by the Dickinson Roughrider Commission and Jim Korkow from Korkow Rodeos, long-time rodeo stock contractor and friend of the Commission from Pierre, SD.

Each year, the nine district directors representing the North Dakota Association of Fairs, select an individual from their respective district to be recognized for their support and contributions to a fair and/or event. From this group of elite individuals, one is chosen and awarded top honor. They are recognized for greatly contributing and going above and beyond the call of duty while working on the event. Another characteristic they look for when choosing the winner is an individual’s commitment to the overall success of the fair and/or event. Kristianson was nominated by his peers for his tireless efforts and contributions to making the Roughrider Days Fair and Expo into one of the premiere events in North Dakota. Currently, he serves as the rodeo chairperson and arena superintendent and has been a volunteer board member on the Roughrider Commission for 22 years. Leon is also actively involved in the Cabin Fever Benefit, an annual fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald House, the Dickinson High School Rodeo and the Dickinson Youth Rodeo.


Roughrider Commission receives Justin Best Footing Award

Roughrider Commission wins Justin
Best Footing Award for 2011;
Leon Kristianson accepts the
award from three-time WPRA
World Champion Sherry Cervi.

Each year the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA) membership recognizes rodeo committees that put forth an extra effort to ensure their rodeo has the safest most consistent ground possible for barrel racing. The WPRA partners with Justin Boots, the original creators and sponsors of the program, to award a committee with the Justin Best Footing Award. Rodeo committees that receive the award have gone above and beyond to make the ground safe, not only for barrel racers, but all events. The well-deserved recognition was awarded to the Roughrider Commission in Dickinson, ND. Accepting the award from three-time WPRA World Champion Sherry Cervi was Leon Kristianson, rodeo chairperson and arena superintendent. The Roughrider Commission received the recognition for 2011 as well as three additional years since the program began in the early 1990s.

Roughrider Days kicks off strong
By Amber Schatz, Weekend News Anchor

In its 47th year, Roughrider Days in Dickinson is moving along smoothly. For almost 50 years the heart and soul of Roughrider Days has always been the rodeo. This afternoon, steer wrestlers, barrel racers and ropers gather for the Slack competition. Read More...

Kristianson receives 2010 Ben Kobza Award for efforts

Leon Kristianson received
recognition from
Badlands Circuit
Board of Directors.

Leon Kristianson received recognition in 2010 for his behind the scene contributions and support of rodeo in the Badlands Circuit. With an ability to build strong alliances with rodeo contractor personnel he has elevated the Roughrider Commission’s presence to a national level. The Kobza Award is voted on by the Badlands Circuit Board of Directors and is presented annually at the Badlands Circuit Finals. Kristianson is rodeo chairman and arena superintendent for Roughrider Days hosting three ProRodeo performances annually in Dickinson, ND.



For more information on Roughrider Days go to and search for Roughrider Days!