History

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HISTORY OF THE THREE FORKS RODEO

The first Three Forks rodeo was held in 1946. Founders Harley Fitzhugh and Tex Simpson promoted the rodeo while members of the Three Forks/Willow Creek Roping Club put it on. The roping club continued to run the rodeo for four or five years with help from members Don Scoffield, Jack Rea, Monte Parker, LeRoy Miller, Dick Lower, and others. Ben Peterson was also a big part of the rodeo and was recognized as the Grand Marshal in 1961 for his efforts.

Jack Rea and the Three Forks Booster Club ran the rodeo the next couple of years. Doctors Larry Laird, Lin Durham, and Ed Bertagnolli were a great influence. As a matter of fact, they earned so much money from the rodeo that they were able to buy the band new uniforms. Jack Rea and his family continued to run the rodeo until the Jaycees and Three Forks Junior Chamber of Commerce took over for two years.

The Three Rivers Saddle Club was formed in 1975 and ran the rodeo for 25 years until it dissolved in 2001. Today the rodeo is put on by the Board of Directors of the Three Forks Rodeo Grounds. The rodeo has been held in the same location since 1946 with 1998 being the first year in the newly renovated facility. There has been a parade in conjunction with the rodeo since the first year.

The Three Forks Rodeo was voted the 2008 NRA Golden Rodeo of the year by the NRA/WRA contestants and board of Directors and then received the same distinction in 2014. Unlike many other rodeos, the Three Forks Rodeo is not supported by taxpayer money, such as city or county funds. It is entirely supported by business sponsorships and advertising, ticket revenues, concessions and participant fees.

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